It started off innocent enough. The Country Boy has been asked to haul animals for an older couple several times as they have moved or changed barns. They have a few horses and a llama that watches over them. They needed the llama moved one last time and he offered to do it yesterday evening.
Truthfully, I wasn’t thrilled when he told me what he was doing. He had already driven several hours dropping off some paperwork and he was going to be retracing some of the roads that he’d be traveling this morning. Why not wait until today?
Ms. Logic was not happy.
Mrs. Country Boy decided to convince the girls that it would be fun to ride along with him – and bring Riley with us.
Country Boy’s Dad asked for the mules to come back to the homestead to eat the tall grasses in the now unused pasture. That would give our pasture a rest (needed in this drought) and help him. Plus, no mule care for a week – yahoo!
So there we were – our little family, dog included, haulin’ (insert other word for mules) down the highway. Everyone was happy.
The mules seemed thrilled to see what to them is probably the equivalent of an all-you-can-eat Las Vegas buffet when we got to their “vacation” home. The fence needed a bit of mending, but it didn’t take too long to do. Hopefully they’ll be so content with their options that the grass on the other side won’t seem so green. Once that was done, it was off to pick up the llama.
What I didn’t realize going into this trip was that the llama’s current home was at an animal sanctuary. By sanctuary, I mean a farm/place where the owner rescues every time of domestic animal she finds that needs rescued. She had horses and ponies, dogs, bunnies, roosters and chickens, and cats. Lots of cats.
Maybe bringing Riley wasn’t such a good idea.
He didn’t know what to think when we stepped out of the truck and ran into…Mrs. Dr. Dolittle? Mrs. Noah? Still not sure what to make of the owner…and her menagerie of animals. Soon he was being pursued by a dog that wanted so badly to play with the big guy who suddenly showed up, and a horse who didn’t know what to make of him.
Then there were the cats. Riley was mesmerized by the cats. He wanted to sniff them more than anything. I should give him proper credit, though – he was really, really gentle and meek around them. Regardless of his approach, more than a few cats wanted no part of that and showed it very clearly to him.
But there was one cat who was really friendly to the girls and to Riley. Nala purred herself right up to us and didn’t want to let us go. She sniffed Riley, let him lick her and purred around his feet.
“Isn’t she friendly?” said the owner. “She just gets along great with the girls and even the dog likes her. Plus, did we tell you she’s the best mouser we have?”
Did someone say mouser?
Faster than an auctioneer says, “SOLD!” we were driving away with a llama in the trailer and a cat in the front seat.
By the time we got home, it was really late. I got some of the cat gear – some food, some water, kitty litter and box – out of the barn and into the garage for her to have overnight. She quickly mastered the cat door into the house, though, and showed up outside my bedroom meowing at some point in the night. The rest of the night was spent fitfully sleeping with a cat purring next to me…or climbing over my head…or meowing that I wasn’t petting her…
The Country Boy woke up and joked, “I had a nightmare last night that we brought home a cat.”
Unfortunately for Riley, his nightmare just started. Sweet little Nala – so gentle and loving at the sanctuary – turned into crazed Ninja Cat on Riley. Several times she attacked him out of nowhere and when he was paying her no attention. Poor guy looked at me like, well, like we parents look at one another when our kids go crazy on us and we don’t know why. It was sort of like a “Seriously? Did you need to do the full jujitsu move on me there?” look.
In spite of her attacks, Riley has shown his composure and true good nature by being very nice to Nala. I’ll have to give him a special treat today for his trauma.
As for the cat, she’s in the barn getting used to her new home. Those mice better be on notice – she’s a black belt master, that’s for sure.