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After being spayed, neutered and vaccinated, the three feline siblings began their life as farm cats.  They began with a few quick hours outdoors to explore under my watchful eye, then returned inside to eat and sleep every night.  Immediately, the dozens of towering trees became intensely fascinating.  Each day their confidence swelled and they climbed higher and higher.  If you’ve never seen a cat climbing his first tree, it’s quite comical.  The expression they get on their face is half-crazed and wild as they sink their claws into the bark and heave themselves upward.

The boys were the first to make it up to the branches where they’d rest in the crooks.  Deciding they wanted to come down, they meowed nervously, only then becoming aware that they were stuck.  They spent a little while stranded until they gleaned enough bravery to tumble clumsily back to the ground.


Snickers, their only sister, is not one to be left behind.  She’s considerably daintier than Hercules and RJ but she can be ferocious in her own right.  She was soon tearing up the trees and getting marooned on the limbs, only after she paced and fidgeted and meowed pleadingly, she could not figure out how to get down.  Jack reassured me that she’d stumble back down.  I reluctantly allowed her to spend her first night in a tree.


More than once I begged Jack to get her down.  He rolled his eyes, reminding me that he only was doing it because he loved me, all the while muttering about stupid cats  Eventually he ran out of patience and then it was me heaving the ladder up to where she anxiously begged.  At the top of a shaky ladder stretching to reach Snicker’s scruff just beyond my fingertips, I too was grumbling about stupid cats.

After a learning curve, Snickers figured out how to rotate herself around and slide down the trunk, not unlike a baby learning to successfully navigate stairs.

This morning, Claire yelled happily from her room and I went to get her, drawing the blinds to let the sun shine in.  I took a double take:


Snickers was sunbathing on the slope of the shingles, her eyes half closed in pleasant revelry.  I knocked on the window and she snapped up to the roof, employing the same pathetic cry I hadn’t heard since the last time she got stranded.


I let her in through the window and she purred her thanks.  The gash on her nose clearly explained her predicament.  It’s not the first time the cats have used their climbing ability to escape danger, though it’s certainly the first time any of them have scaled a ladder.


I don’t know if the scratch came from one of my boys who occasionally like to torment their sister or a rogue stray that has been spotted in the neighborhood.  Regardless, Snickers didn’t seem too upset.  After a quick drink from the sink, she was begging to go back out.

I’m glad that the cats aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves but at the same time, know when it’s time to hightail it.  The ladder’s back down so if comes to it again tonight, Snickers is going to have to revert to back to the trusty old trees.


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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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