The cleanest one round here is the cat


Talking to a mate of mine who works at our local agricultural engineers. His comment was that any virus that can survive on his hands when he’s at work is too tough for alcohol hand-sanitisers to cope with. I know how he feels, there are industries where you have to wash your hands before you visit the bathroom.

The other day I was talking to a butcher I know. He is seeing far more customers, they’re people he can tell were supermarket customers because of the questions they now ask. Apparently some are coming to him because of the panic-buying in supermarkets. His comment was if anybody tries panic-buying with him, he’ll just offer them a full side of beef to carry away.

But it does look as if some of the supermarkets are trying to ensure their food chains. One farmer who bottles his own organic milk for Booths was asked if he could increase production by quite a respectable amount. He could because he had previously been forced to sell some of his milk into the non-organic market. Another farmer had some Belgian Blue bulls ready for killing. The butcher he sells a lot of stuff to wasn’t keen because, as he commented, “They’re harder to sell, the grain is a bit coarse.’ He got a phone call a couple of days later. “Send them in, we’re getting short of stuff.”

Spring is obviously coming, it’s getting warmer. The other day I walked out to feed heifers without bothering to put on the battered hi-vis jacket I’ve been wearing all winter. Our feral farm cat was trotting across the yard on errands of his own and when I appeared he jumped sideways and set off at a run. It was only when I said ‘Hi’ to him that he stopped, realised it was me and came back to get his ears tickled. I don’t think he’s ever seen me without that jacket on.

He is settling nicely to work, taking both rats and crows. In spite of him being entirely feral with us offering him just a little food as a backup, he is a genuinely friendly cat who will actually climb up your leg to get his ears scratched.
We had a cow calve the other night and I went to give her a couple of buckets of warm water to drink. As I did so the cat appeared on a wall next to me, and ran down my arm and perched on my shoulder. Then when I bent down to pick up the bucket he much have decided this was closer to the cow than he felt it was wise to go. So he jumped onto her back and then back onto the wall.
The cow spun round to see what the threat was to her calf and chased him as he ran along the wall then dropped down the other side onto a round bale of silage. It has to be said he isn’t a fan of cows.


Anyway there’s always this, in paperback and ebook

As a reviewer commented, “This is the third collection of farmer Jim Webster’s anecdotes about his sheep, cattle and dogs. This one had added information on the Lake District’s World Heritage status. This largely depends upon the work of around 200 small family farms. Small may not always be beautiful but it can be jolly important. If you want to know the different skills needed by a sheep dog and a cow dog, or to hear tales of some of the old time travelling sales persons – read on! This is real life, Jim, but not as I know it.”

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9 thoughts on “The cleanest one round here is the cat

  1. Doug Jacquier March 21, 2020 at 12:05 pm Reply

    I predict the re-birth of rabbits (aka underground mutton in Aus) as a meat source, especially since they breed like … , well, quickly. Meanwhile, put your glow-worm jacket back on and stop scaring the animals or I’ll call the RSPCA. 😉

  2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt March 21, 2020 at 4:21 pm Reply

    How nice to have a friendly working cat. No spoiled pets on your premises – they all haul their own weight.

    • jwebster2 March 21, 2020 at 7:14 pm Reply

      He’s friendly because he wants to be which is nice 🙂

  3. Widdershins March 22, 2020 at 4:34 am Reply

    Sounds like FFC (Feral Farm Cat) is settling in nicely! 😀

    • jwebster2 March 22, 2020 at 6:33 am Reply

      He’s even acquired a name, ‘Billy’
      Apparently it’s from ‘Billy no mates’ because he was the only cat, but of course he has made friends with us and even has a vague understanding with Sal 🙂

      • Widdershins March 22, 2020 at 10:52 pm

        Sounds like Billy was just waiting to find the right people. 🙂 … and Sal. 😀

      • jwebster2 March 23, 2020 at 6:57 am

        The relationship with Sal ‘needs work’ 🙂

      • Widdershins March 23, 2020 at 8:26 pm

        Heh, heh, heh … said every person who has cats and dogs in the same household. 😀

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