Friday, May 4, 2007

Barn Cat Spanky

Spanky is a muted calico who lives at the barn where my friends and I ride horses. Like some rare and blessed people, she has found her life’s calling. You might think that a cat who lives at a barn would find their calling hunting mice. That’s probably true of many cats, but not Spanky. Spanky is the official barn greeter.

Our barn is an active one. Kids come and go by the SUV full to take riding lessons and learn about horse care. Not all of the kids who come to the stable ride horses. Many are the younger siblings of riders and are too short to sit a horse on their own. While their older sisters learn to walk and trot the young children are entertained by Spanky.

Fearless, Spanky allows the kids to pet her and tote her around the barn. She could easily get away from them. The rafters are high and easy for any cat to climb but Spanky benignly allows her back paws to drag the ground as a too short child holds her under her front legs and carries her through the aisle. I love watching her with the kids. Just when I think some child has finally carried her as far as she will go, Spanky lets her pick her up yet again. Unflappable she purrs at the kids, never a tooth or claw to be seen.

It’s not just kids, Spanky loves everyone. She greets all visitors with proper Southern politeness. Whether they’re a “cat person” or not matters not to her. In fact, her gentle spirit and affectionate purrs have convinced more than one person that they might like cats after all!

Some might say it’s too bad that such a loving cat doesn’t have a house of her own. House or no, Spanky has a home at our farm. Those who know her know that one house just couldn’t hold enough people for her to love. The barn is where she belongs, loving each of us as we come. The more people the more love Spanky seems to exude.