Things normally go smoothly in the barn.
Ok smooth for THIS barn.
Mabel walks in, Belle follows, cats, goats and dogs, try to cause trouble, etc, etc. Just another day at the "office".
I KNEW it was going to be an "off" day when, right off the bat, Mabel flat REFUSED to come in the door. She stood there, snorting and shaking her head, and no amount of coaxing could make her step through the door.
I finally had to remove the two 2x6 boards I had put on the ground for a "porch" so we wouldn't have to step on the mud hole that was forming in front of the door. It seems Mabel likes the squish of mud (and other "stuff") between her toes. Up came the boards, and Mabel walked right in, with Belle close behind.
Things went downhill from there. I had swept up the night before and accidentally left a milking stool to close too Mabel's stanchion.
More snorts, stamping of feet, gnashing of cud, etc, etc......
I had to squeeze past Belle, then Mabel, remove the offensive stool, then slide back through so the cow people could move forward. All this was followed by even MORE snorting when Mabel discovered that I had forgotten to put her feed in the box.
If snorts could kill.....
I dumped the bucket in front of Mabel's awaiting tongue, then put a scoop of food in Belle's pan. Everyone was happily munching away, so I settled in to milk.
Now, usually, Belle will try to "sneak" (in plain sight) through the doorway, in order to "help" Mabel with her breakfast. Since I use a cane, it comes in handy to thwart malicious bovine in their attempt at pilferage. Belle sees the stick, and backs out.
Only this time, she didn't back all of the way out...
Since the table I feed the cats on is now about "nose level" on Belle, it finally caught her attention. She stopped, sniffed the air, and PUT HER FACE IN THE CAT FOOD DISH! It actually took me THREE pokes with the stick to get her lips to stop sucking up cat food. Amazingly, the stupid cats just sat there and WATCHED her eat their breakfast.
So - I pokes her with a stick, and get her to back away from the cat food.
Cows, especially those with a new-found addiction to cat food - must have short memories because, every time I turned my back, Belle would try to sneak back to scarf some more cat food.
More stick pokes....
I finally (mercifully) finished milking and was unlocking Mabel's head from the stanchion. Turning my head, I saw Belle heading for the cat food - once AGAIN. I was too far away for a stick poke, so I picked up my glove and tossed it toward Belle's head.
NOTE TO SELF - NOT a good idea....
I hit Belle flat on the side of the head. A good shot, if I do say so myself, but it turned "ugly" rather quickly - this, to my best recollection - is how the progression of events happened:
I unlock Mabel's head and see Belle going for the cat food.
The glove is launched, and strikes Bell in the side of the face.
Belle, expecting a stick poke and not a glove, jumps into the air about 2 feet.
Belle's face catches the cat food dish as she jumps, causing it to scare the cats.
Alarmed cats now scramble, kicking the dish onto the floor.
Right about HERE, Mabel is backing out of the stanchion and the dish lands right behind her with a LOAD "CLANG". It's amazing how something that weighs in at over 1000 pounds can move like a gazelle when the situation warrants it.
I hear a loud, excited "MOOOOO!", as Mabel lunges forward, thinking some evil thing is about to have her for lunch. Problem is, this hillbilly was about 3 feet IN FRONT of said scared bovine at the time.
Trust me, even IF a scared cow IS lunging toward you just to "be held", it's not a good idea to catch them. Mabel recovered just in time before something embarrassing happened, and started to back out of the room again, albeit, MUCH quicker.
Belle had long since disappeared - my last sight of her, she was high tailing it out of the area. Mabel got turned around, decided to forgo her normal routine of inspecting Belle's dish for left overs, and headed out on Belle's coat.....er.....COW tails.
Unfortunately, I had closed the door behind them so the goats wouldn't get into the barn. Now I had to slide by two excited bovine to open the door. I decided that the better part of valor was to go around the barn, and open the door, instead of braving the killer snorts.
It was like a floodgate opened up. Belle came shooting out first, with Mabel hot on her hind-end. Goats scattered, cows kicking up heels, dogs heading for cover, hillbilly hugging the barn wall...
It was a wondrous sight - all caused by the fact I had fed the cats.
From now on, there is a new feeding schedule for the felines -
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Things normally go smoothly in the barn.