Last week one of our farm cats went missing.
Binx was a farm cat left behind by his owners when they sold the property and moved away. We have no idea how old he was but we have had him at least seven years. He was neutered and we kept him vaccinated; but when we would let him into the house he sprayed (this was due to habit rather than urinary tract infection), and as such except on the coldest winter days he stayed outside. Of course he always had access to two small barns, and an old house, and a “dog house” we bought for the cats.
Binx was an excellent mouser but of course we also keep him well fed. At some point he must have lost the tip of one of his ears due to frost bite. He was a little scruffy looking but had a charming gentle personality.
|Binx at rest in the yard.|
Binx was never one to roam, we have 10 acres and although he might walk to the bottom of the driveway we never saw him cross it. The road itself is very quiet, leading to a campground and a few houses.
As such we were very surprised last week when Binx went missing.
I walked up and down the road in case he had been hit by a car. Sometimes the cats like to hang out in the barns but when I went looking for him in the barns all I saw was a skunk (in the barn, it politely backed away from me). In the front of the yard however, I did find coyote feces.
Although we have lots of trees and I would think Binx could easily climb one if he felt threated by coyotes, it remains a possibility that coyotes may have got him. I still have my doubts about this as the coyotes tend to come at night (to eat fallen crab apples) and Binx would usually be asleep in the barn then, especially as fall nights are chilly.
Another possibility is that an owl got him. Although we seldom see owls there was a great gray owl here in the summer. What a terrible image of a cat being carried away by a bird! If Binx was in the pasture this could have happened.
Perhaps a camper saw him on our driveway and picked him up. Indeed Binx is a very friendly cat.
Raccoons have been known to kill cats but we do not have them here. I know the skunk is harmless, we have had skunks here before and they even come onto the deck to nibble cat food without bothering the cats.
I went online to check my local shelter where lost rural cats are surrendered – in this case the Edmonton Humane Society, but no such luck.
It has now been a week since Binx went missing and I have to think he will not be back and is probably dead. Rest in peace Binxy you were a wonderful friend and much loved.