The Cat’s Meow

On our dairy farm we have a lot of cows, obviously.  We also have chickens for fresh eggs, guineas for fly control, and lots and lots of cats. The barn cats live on the dairy, eat what they hunt, and generally avoid people.

My husband and I were never really cat people, but Lucy stole our hearts. As a very small kitten, she decided to adopt us. She was born on the farm to a long line of barn cats. She liked people, and she liked us. She would jump on our laps, if we sat on the patio. She made figure eights on our legs, if we went outside. One day Scott came home with cat food, and it was official — she was ours.

Lucy was a good mom and had many litters. We always kept at least one kitten from each of her litters. Some didn’t make it. Some stayed around our house. Some ran off with the other barn cats. She even adopted a stray baby that was the same age as her kittens.

Unfortunately, Lucy got an infection and never recovered. She left behind two 6 week old kittens, Harley and Sake. There was no way I was giving them away.

Harley and Sake were inseparable. They played together, snuggled together, and took care of each other. They even came in heat together. Soon we noticed that both Harley and Sake were expecting.

As time passed, I anxiously awaited the kittens. I checked for signs everyday. Yesterday evening, Harley started acting differently. She was very affectionate with me and her sister. I knew the kittens were on their way. I watched as she found her spot and delivered her first kitten. It was getting late, so I went inside and went to bed.

That morning, as I put the boys on the bus, I decided to check on Harley. Boy, was I surprised when I found Harley, Sake, and ELEVEN kittens! You see, Harley and Sake had both had kittens over night (they do everything together). They are both taking care of all their kittens. I have checked on them several times, and one mother is nursing and one is taking a break. (Wouldn’t that be nice, ladies?) They clean each other’s babies and each other.

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Sake (black and white) and Harley (gray) take care of their brood together.
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Harley takes over while Sake gets a break

I think that Harley had 4 babies and Sake had 7 babies, but I can’t be sure. Either way, they will be raised by the both of them. And the kids are already asking, “how many can we keep?” It’s hard to say no to babies! So now I have 15 cats — Harley, Sake, their older sister Minnie, their adopted brother Sonic, and 11 babies.

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Can You Handle the Cuteness?

Who doesn’t love baby animals? Baby calves have the most precious little faces with big eyes and long lashes. We had a weekend full of brand new baby calves and I just have to share the cuteness. Get ready to say, “awwwwww”!

One of Scott’s responsibilities is to check all of the expectant momma cows. The whole family decided to tag along on Saturday, and boy are we glad we did.  All six grandkids got to witness a baby calf being born!

Then we headed back to the barn to visit two more calves who were about a day old. The babies of our family, Claire and Clayton, enjoyed meeting this sweet baby.

We continued driving around looking for calves and witnessed this sweet moment of a momma nursing her baby.

The next morning, Grandpa, Krisie, and Claire rescued two calves that had been abandoned by their moms. One of the babies was still wet from being born, so Claire helped dry her off.

What do you do with abandoned baby calves? You take them to your house and bottle feed them! It started to rain so we moved them to the shelter of the patio. Grandpa gave Eli a lesson on how to hold the bottle. The little bull calf was shaking, so he was wrapped in a towel while Krisie fed him. The kids had so much fun (I’m pretty sure the adults did too), and they learned a lot.

Just to push the cuteness factor up a notch, we had a baby bull calf born a few weeks ago that was so teeny tiny. He was about the size of a dog! Can you handle all of the cuteness?!

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Meet the Chaloupkas

Introducing the Chaloupka family! By the way, the “c” is silent (think Chanukah) and it is pronounced ha-loop-ka. Here’s a pic of the whole gang, Eugene and Elyse, their children, and grandchildren. Aren’t we a good lookin’ group?

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Gene and Elyse have been married for 46 years. They were both born and raised in Moulton and were high school sweethearts. They have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Gene oversees planting and maintaining the crops as well as equipment maintenance. Elyse is responsible for records and accounting, and she heads up the raw milk side of the dairy.

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Their oldest son, Chad, has been working at the dairy since he graduated from Texas A&M in 1999. Chad is the dairy herd manager and also is heavily involved in the production of our new cheese plant. He is married to Niki, and they have a 7 year old son, Landon, who loves sports and the farm.

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Their daughter, Krisie, and her husband Marty, are raising their two daughters in Houston. Lily is a lively, lovable 3 year old, and Claire is a curious, cuddly 1 year old.

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Their youngest son, Scott, his wife Kim, and their boys recently moved back to the dairy so Scott could continue the family tradition of farming. Scott takes care of the heifers and helps with the crops. Kim manages social media and the websites for the dairy and our corn maze, Rocky Creek Maze. She is also the voice behind our blog. They have 4 year old twin boys, Eli and Isaiah, and 5 month old Clayton.

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We hope you enjoy reading our blog.  Check back often to find out what is happening with the farm and the family.

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