Extract from Lisa's blog at: http://www.twobearsfarm.com/2012/09/willie-and-baxter-find-home-rural.htmlWILLIE AND BAXTER FIND A HOME
The kitties are doing great, they've adjusted well. Here are some photos of them enjoying their new home. We've grown very attached to them.
One is of Oscar and Cujo relaxing on the couch - their favorite nap place. Oscar likes to bury his head under a pillow while he lays on his back.
Thanks for all of your help, Diane. We'll stay in touch with updates and photos!
Here’s a great story about 5 lucky cats who were recently given a second lease on life by a caring community of volunteers here in Southwest Virginia.
It truly “took a village” to save these cats. The call went out from Vicki at Roanoke Regional Center for Animal Control and Proctection (RCACP) that 5 skittish/feral cats needed help or they would be euthanized. She contacted our founder, Diane Novak, for help. Diane went into high gear with emails and phone calls trying to find a place for these cats.
Thank you...we are just over the moon with these kitties...
Max (Timber) is so long...OMG...when he stretches out on the couch he takes up 3/4 of it and he doesn't move, for anyone...ha-ha everyone in the house just moves around all of the kitties...they definitely 'rule the roost'...as it should be!!!
Max is definitely a 'daddy's boy' - he and my husband are inseparable when we are at home...it is the cutest thing ever.
The Cox Family
Hi to all at BCB.
The boys are doing great! The transition has been smooth and they seem to be very comfortable in their new surroundings. They are eating well, playing hard and sleeping through the night.
I swear they have both grown an inch or two in length and have round full bellies. We started them off in the kitchen, and now have expanded into the den, they love to run from one room to the other.
Timber has already mastered the phone answering machine and loves to push the buttons and playback messages. Remy is more athletic and figured out how to breach the safety gate dividing the kitchen and den on day 3!! He is a true explorer, and will probably be the first to climb the drapes and/or make it to the top of the kitchen table and counters.
As for us, every spare moment has been spent with the boys. They are so much fun and provide great entertainment. Every day is a new adventure!
Janet and Tom Blue
Diane with Barn Cat Buddies was great to work with in
the adoption process. I fell in love with a kitten on
PetFinder.com, sent an e-mail inquiry, filled out an on-line application and met my kitty in her foster home.
Diane communicated during the entire process through e-mail to make the adoption possible. My husband and I wanted to meet her and so went to an adoption event she was working. We were really impressed with her friendliness and dedication to taking care of the kitties and finding good homes for them.
Our Barn Cat Buddy will be a house cat. She and another female kitten adopted at the same time are adjusting wonderfully and we couldn't be happier with them, Diane or Barn Cat Buddies.
Janet and Tom Blue
Webmaster's Note (August 2012): We recently received an update from Janet which included a link to her delightful blog. Click HERE to enjoy Janet's wonderful stories!
I thought you might like to see these. Tiggerford Pocket is
all boy, loves to instigate wrestling matches. Decker is so
sweet, they are sleeping well in the bed, as soon as I turn off the
light, playing stops and they go to sleep.
They are fine with dogs and Frididdley. Beamer is fine from a distance. TeeGee is scared of them right now. Another week and we should be all good. They are lots of fun. Obviously, Tiggerford and Blu are getting along quite well.
I am glad I got both…
UPDATE from Keshia August 2012
Hey, I just wanted to let you know that we recently got chickens to add to our "farm."
The barn cats, Bibs(nee Tux) and Puma have been great with them. Sometimes I think that they are more of a rooster, who hangs and protects them from harm. Here's a picture of Bibs with them, they really are something else.
Both are very curious, as you can see from the picture, but live very well together.
My new cats are super sweet and doing really well! The solid black one, which I think is going to be Raven, hangs all over me. She is probably the sweetest cat I've ever known.
When I was playing with the new ones (still unsure about names) she did come out of her box and eat while I was there. Of course they are all hissing at each other but will soon be great friends. The exchange went well with Katharine Leigh.
Thanks again, Diane, for getting all of this set up.
Here's a couple of pix that I took this morn. Please don't fault my photography skills with these pix, I haven't taught then how to walk that cat walk and pose yet!
It will be hard to fit Buster's dramatic story into 200 words but his story must be heard.
Buster did not have a big chance at life since he was feral , but through a series of small and large miracles, today Buster lives out life with his best friend in their own barn.
After being attacked by either a coyote or a dog, Buster required surgery to remove the ball of his femur that went into the hip socket. After a volunteer trapped him, he was taken to Angels of Assisi where he was altered, given his shots and later his surgery was performed.
Diane Novak knew I had built a new barn and was willing to take care of Buster while he recovered. He had his own space for the winter and healed beautifully. He accepted his new home with joy and appreciation.
It wasn't long before I could rub him and tickle his back side However, he seemed to prefer the company of another rescue cat, Teddy, and bonded with him almost immediately. Teddy was also feral and placed as a barn cat.
The two of them are inseparable, running and tumbling in the summer and snuggling in their warm hay forts in the winter. Buster and Teddy continue their lucky and happy journey and show their appreciation everyday for their lives.
Thank you, Diane Novak, and Barn Cat Buddies!!
“Promise me that when I die, you will take care of my cat”. Those words echoed in my mind as I heard the news that my grandfather had passed away.
A mountain man who loved nature and all of its creatures, this was my grandfather's only request. I promised my grandfather that I would find a suitable home for this cat, and we even imagined a large farm with rolling hills and plenty of room for play and exploration, which my grandfather said would be perfect. How fortuitous that vision would be.
A stray, the cat had made quite a name for herself. Considered a nuisance, neighbors complained and the property manager even threatened to terminate my grandfather's lease if he continued to feed the stray, so my grandfather moved to a more remote unit and fed the animal at 4:00 each morning, for he could not bear for this animal to go hungry.
He spent considerable time with this animal in the outdoors that they both loved, and the ravages of neglect and suffering were soon reversed with veterinary care, love, and lots of patience. The cat eventually ended up at the local SPCA. My grandfather, who had been searching for days for the animal, officially adopted the cat and declared the stray off-limits to all concerned. My grandfather affectionately named the cat "Trouble", and Trouble was his faithful companion for the remaining years of my grandfather's life.
Following my grandfather's passing, I called around and learned that Angels of Assisi, the only no-kill organization in the area, had a "Barn Cat Buddies" group that places outdoor/feral cats near barns or warehouses. This sounded ideal.
Diane, touched by the story of my grandfather and this stray, arranged for volunteers to leave food and water, and the first night, a volunteer named
Ted left food, water and a sleeping box near my grandfather's unit. Diane also gave me the name and numbers of veterinarians, to whom my grandfather could have taken Trouble, so that I could obtain vaccination and sterilization records, which were necessary for placement.
Trouble was still faithfully waiting for my grandfather when members of Diane's group finally found her. Their dedication and commitment eventually paid off. Barn Cat Buddies found the most idyllic setting that was strikingly similar to the one that my grandfather and I had imagined:
a large farm with acres of land and a heated area with food and water for feral/outdoor cats - a true paradise for a cat who had been through so much.
This story is deeply personal to me, because for years I have supported animal rights and rescue groups, and in the one moment that I desperately needed the help of such a group, I found this most amazing group of people at Barn Cat Buddies, who came to the aid of a total stranger and a helpless animal. The help of Barn Cat Buddies made it easier to celebrate my grandfather's life, and his commitment to all of God's creatures.
A last wish honored, a promise fulfilled, and one very lucky girl named Trouble has found a new home.
Sara Morris, Steadfast Stables, Roanoke
Just a note to thank you so much for all of your help!
The Barn Cat Buddies are doing a great job at my stables!
All three cats have adapted well to life here and, as you said, "They are fabulous Rodent Control Technicians."
I really appreciate all of your advice concerning the adoption process - it all went so smoothly !
Take care and I look forward to talking to you again soon.
Katy Holbrook, Roanoke, VA
Henry & Shirley Fairtrace, Moneta, VA
When my wife, Shirley, first told me we were getting some new friends, Barn Cat Buddies, I wondered how this would end. She said they would stay in the barn,
catch mice, and be virtually unnoticed. I'm a skeptic, but agreed. In the past, I've run a salad bar for animals that included horses, pigs, goats, donkeys, you name it. We have had our buddies for about six months now, and they are a delight.
Sam, the tom cat, does exactly what he is supposed to do.
I watch him creep about doing his own thing with an occasional
visit to the back porch where we keep a constantly full food
bowl. Alwin and Smokey rarely leave the back porch except
when I forget to fill up the food bowl.
shortly after we got her that she didn't want to be a barnyard
cat. She separated herself from the rest of the kitties,
sat on the front porch at the door, and ran in the house
time the door opened! She now lives in the house, has her
own toys and a bed that she rarely sleeps in (ours is softer),
and waits for you to turn on the kitchen faucet to get a drink.
Would I do it again? Sure would!! And if you are reading this, I suggest you try it too. You won't be sorry.
Photo Credits: Vicki Holt
Michelle Gilbert, Shadow Ridge Stables
I just wanted to extend a thank you to Diane and the Barn Cat Buddies program… We adopted three cats (Cinnamon, Flora and Inka) a few months ago and are loving every minute with them.
After not having any cats in the barn for a while, I was definitely glad to hear the pitter patter of paws around again!
All three are adjusting well and love their new life of running the rafters looking down at all of the horses and spending cat naps curled up in the hay! So far they’ve been great workers and continue to leave ‘presents’ at the office door let me know of a job well done. Cinnamon even helps control the bugs and loves catching flies! Thanks for such a wonderful and pleasant experience…we would definitely adopt again and certainly recommend this program to anyone.
Shane, Tamara and Isabella Evans
Jada and Brianna turned out to be so affectionate and loyal it warms your heart. There nothing like coming home to these guys. As soon as they see me they come running over for their loving time while on guard for critters. Since we've had them, lots of moles and mice have met there demise. If anyone is having any doubts about there effectiveness doubt no more. They are God's perfect little exterminators.
Elizabeth and Ken Bygler, Maryland
Velvet and Panther are visited by their new pet parents, Elizabeth and Ken Bygler from Maryland.
The kitties who were being fostered by Diane originally came from theFranklin County Pound and Angels of Assisi. The couple is such a fan of the show NCIS that Velvet's name will be changed to Ziva and Panther's to Abby. The Byglers promise to send us updates and lots of photos!!
Smith Mountain Lake Gardeners Adopt a Barn Cat Buddy
Susan and David Gring
We live at Smith Mountain Lake and are consummate gardeners. The voles, or field mice, were doing considerable damage to our plantings and after unsuccessfully using many methods to eradicate them, our frustration level was mounting. Our neighbors encouraged us to find an outdoor cat. Then in April, we spied a story about Barnyard Cat Buddies in The Roanoke Times, met Diane Novak, and the rest is now history.
Odie, a very affectionate one year old cat, has been living with us for
almost two months now. We had been previous long time dog owners, so
having an outdoor cat was indeed a new experience for us. And, in all
truthfulness, the sole reason we wanted a cat was for rodent control.
Good news---Odie is more than earning his keep. He is very neat and
clean, and perhaps the most important surprise----he is providing us
with a joy we never imagined. We spend hours amused by his antics and
the affection he so freely provides.
I would urge others who are struggling with rodent control to consider adopting a barnyard cat buddy. A smart, effective and "green" strategy to be sure, but yet only a small part of the reward you will find in being a buddy to a barnyard cat.
Katherine Burton, Diamond Hill Garden Center
"Every Garden Center needs a cat. Diamond Hill Garden Center was introduced to this concept the first year they opened. A mama cat with 3 kittens in tow showed up looking for a new home. With reluctance, she was taken in--the kittens quickly found new homes and the mama cat, now named Miss Daisy, took up residence in the Garden Center. It was thought that she could keep the rodent population at bay (which she did) but she developed quite the p.r. skills as she greeted customers and on occasion did some pan handling. The employees all grew to love her and looked forward to her friendly greeting when they came to work. It wasn't until her sudden death this winter that we realized how much the customers had also looked forward to seeing her when they came into the Garden Center. We knew we couldn't re-open in the spring without a cat.
We spent several weeks looking for just the right cat--we wanted the perfect combination of p.r. personality and rodent/quality control. Our search lead us to the Barn Cat Buddies. They specialize in relocating neutered feral and non-feral cats to farm and farm-like settings to help keep down the rodent population. Woody had been abandoned by his family when they moved away, so he already had the people skills we were looking for. Within 24 hours he had won over the employees with his outgoing personality. He is very vocal, and some might think a bit of a complainer, but he has a great personality and we are anxious for our customers to grow to love him as much as they did Miss Daisy.
Thank you Barn Cat Buddies!
Sue Oliver, Botetourt
"I have just adopted two young cats named Cody and Dylan from Barn Cat Buddies; they are now safely living in my barn. They have adjusted well and are happy, playful kittens enjoying life to the full, as it should be. Already I have noticed less rodent droppings. The Barn Cat Buddies is a great program and I hope more people will support it."
Carolyn McQuay, Bedford
"Taking Romeo, Tom and Jerry to my barn was a great success. They are happy and have adjusted well. Tom is a night owl and prowls for mice, lizards, bugs, etc with Jerry who likes being outside the best. Romeo stays in the feed room and keeps watch. All three enjoy getting high on the hay bales and looking over their kingdom. I am pleased they enjoy playing with the mice. They are easy to handle and I am hoping to adopt one more beautiful kitty from Barn Cat Buddies. "
Courtney Day, New Castle
"Everything is going really well. Thunder is no longer really jumpy - he's still shy but not as much as he was in the beginning. Thunder has made friends with Sunny and Boots (2 of the cats Jo brought to us). They follow Thunder around and always eat together, it's adorable. Thunder sits in his favorite spot - on top of the hay bales where he can watch over the corn and out the back of the building. "
A Feral Cat Caretaker Expresses Her Gratitude
Jo Brewer, Catawba
"I have taken four ferals I’ve been caring for to The Day Farm. Sunny, Boots, Elvis and Daisy are HAPPY AND HAVE ADJUSTED WELL to their surroundings. They are no longer mistreated, used for target practice, and otherwise abused. Barn Cat Buddies has allowed them to now live in an environment in which they are appreciated for their natural hurting abilities. They have food, shelter and are productive and valued members of a working team. The Barn Cat Buddies Program forms the perfect alliance between the farmer and these cats that are so often misunderstood. "
Jean Bowles, Centura Equine Center
"Dear Diane - just a short note to let other barns know how great the "barn cat buddies" has been for Centura. We adopted a mother and her two kittens this past summer. They are a joy to have around and are no longer feral. All three of them are very affectionate and show us constantly how appreciative they are of their new home. We also adopted two older cats from Angels of Assisi and RVSPCA who needed homes and they, too, are a delight to have around the barn. Please help save lives for these homeless cats; you'll feel good about it. "
The Dolan Family, Glade Hill
" We contacted Barn Cat Buddies with somewhat of a difficult request.... I wanted a barn kitty that was good with small kids and not afraid of dogs. Diane found us the perfect cat. Stormy makes barn chores much more pleasurable...if that's possible. He is so loving and a real joy to have. He has not only done his job in controlling the mouse population, but he has become an important part of our family. Thanks Diane! "
Barn Cat Buddies Program
c/o Diane Novak
PO Box 777
Hardy, VA 24101