Monday, July 13, 2009
above photo from a story in the Ithaca Journal
Today the hay barn colony barn burned in a smokey inferno --- 45 minutes, and it was gone. It's likely the kittens, and perhaps the friendly cats, did not make it. Hopefully, as it was daylight, many of the cats were out in the fields.
Nancy let me know via Facebook and I drove out just before dark. The fire department and the owners were there, standing over the smoking ruins....a vast field of metal roof, and the skeletons of tractors. I can't begin to describe the devastation, just as I could never adequately describe how huge it was in its glory.
They have put out food for the cats along the field. I saw one cat, and the fire personnel said they had seen three or four. Originally there had been around 35, but the numbers had dropped over the years after they were neutered. New cats and new kittens kept the colony from dwindling entirely these past three years, and the owners kept them well fed.
I won't blog about what I learned there, as the investigators will need some time to go through the ruins. I offered my help with the remaining cats. The owners have my card. It just doesn't seem fair. Of all the colonies I've been involved with, this was the only colony that was truly safe. They had this huge wonderful warm dry barn, lots of hay, and two square meals a day. Even water bowls. And litter boxes for the friendly cats at the south end of the barn. Every couple of years I would stop in to catch a few for fixing or rabies boosters. Nancy stepped in to help last time. There was no need to sneak around. It seemed like the sun was always shining.
I swung by her place to fill her in. She'll probably have more info than I in the days to come.
It wasn't until I was on my way home that it really hit me.
The hay barn cats are no more. Here is their story. Warning, Nancy, that may be a sad post for you to read.
And now it begins to rain.