Thursday, August 5, 2010

Laugh Or Cry

Okay, in 25 words or less, there is a jaguar loose in our neighborhood. Yes, a jaguar. Presumably someone's "pet". USDFW has been baiting it for over 2 1/2 weeks at a farm less than a mile and a half away as the crow (or jaguar) flies. Another neighbor less than 1/2 mile away took a picture of it out by his pool.

The only reported attacks (as of two days ago) have been against dogs and so far only at night. However, as we have the only small livestock in the area, I can't help but think we are sitting ducks. The cat has been estimated weighing 150 lbs. That's almost twice Hank's size. Hank would not stand a chance and I sure don't want to put him in that spot - physically or mentally.

The logical thing would be to lock everyone securely in the interior of the barn at night. First of all, it's just too hot. Secondly, with 30 sheep and a guard dog, that 36' stall is just not big enough. We decided to fence off the two end doors and let the sheep run in the aisleway at night.



The back door, heading out to the paddocks, matches the front except it's set up so the bottom gate will open. The front door is just permanently wired off for now, but we have easy access to the barn through a side door. I hope it's enough.



During the day we are running the sheep out in the front field. Out where I can see them or possibly someone driving down the road would notice if something were wrong. Even though it's (again) brutally hot and humid, the porch of the wool house makes a somewhat pleasant spot to sit and watch. Watch the peaceful sheep grazing, the horses swishing their tails against the summer flies, taking some pictures...

What the hell (sorry I've resorted to cursing, but I feel sort of entitled after the last couple of days...and nights) is that in front of the chicken coop?!?



Zooming in, using my 200mm lens for detective work...well, you can see what it is.



My limited amount of white Jester yarn, previously attached to eight inches of the first sleeve of the Jester sweater that I was carrying around in a cute spindle basket so I could knit on the go. It was previously sitting on the back of our ATV...inside the barn.

B. WILLARD!!! How could you!?! I expect that out of Keebler and Graham, but not you!



Hey, I just wanted to see what this was. I don't know what you are talking about.



From the front side of the barn, through the hay shed, through the tack room (see, the Shaun the Sheep video is true and I swear if that new spotlight is broken, I'm going to shoot someone and it ain't gonna be a jaguar!)...



...and down the aisleway. I used the zoom and shouldn't have (compressed everything). If you look closely you'll notice two sets of cross ties, 20' of water hose... The yarn was pulled out at least 40' there, plus 12' (tackroom) plus 12' (hay shed) plus 10' once it got outside.



And the sleeve was hooked on the manure spreader. Nice. Real nice. Excellent touch.



Why was it that Saint Tim and I worked until 11:00 last night securing your barn?

And where is my cute spindle basket!!!!!

I canvassed the barn, the stalls, the run in sheds, the front field. No sign. It would have made a perfect chew toy for Hank, but I was hoping to at least salvage something. It was my fault. In coming through the side door this morning, I didn't secure the chain. I apparently will never learn. At least the yarn and knitting can be fixed.

Out of the corner of my eye...



KEEBLER!!!!

Yes, that makes sense. My initial thought was correct. Sorry about that B. Willard. Sorry, Hank, for thinking you chewed it up. I knew better - in all aspects.



And even I have to admit you can't help but laugh at a sheep stuck with a knitting basket over his head.

***Most recently added***Okay, so the preacher's dogs did get attacked, but now they are thinking by a pack of dogs. One DFW person said he set out a bait trap of his own and got no hits. Trying to find the source for the "game warden" shot.

**Well, our county judge just stopped by. We were all duped. Rumor started by a preacher (?) on Connersville Pike who is now refusing to cooperate. Sheriff's dept. has baited a couple locations for almost 3 weeks and has seen nothing but house cats which is why USDFW won't make any statements - which they are required by law to do if there is indeed a public risk. The one dog attacked they think had a run in with a bobcat, which are known to be around here and I'm not super worried about. SO...on one hand whew!!! and the other, well, let's just say I'm not as angry as Tim. It would be hard to be that angry...

Hank will be greatly relieved to not be locked in prison with grumpy sheep tonight.

Keebler is still in trouble ;-).

22 comments:

Alice said...

I'm sorry about Jesters yarn, and your spindle basket, and the frightful jaguar that is loose.... but I also laughed till I cried at the story. What a great post! Not what you needed but a boost to my day to be sure! Nice to know that someone else has days that are "crazy". Hang tight, it's not even noon yet!

Deb W said...

I would expect that very thing out of my cats, ...but sheep? who knew!? I would have laughed too, but I've been there too many times!

And speaking of cats, I hope they catch it soon, before it, or anything else gets hurt.

Tammy said...

OH my...I'm sorry but I laughed too hard on this one. Priceless, and I'm so glad you can salvage the yarn...and your cute little basket too. What a hoot. And Keebler looking all innocent. What basket? Now the Jagaur is just very scary. I hope that he will be caught quickly and that he doesn't come anywhere near your farm.
Tammy

Michelle said...

Okay, the knitting fiasco was not an addition to the story I was expecting after our emails! The fact that Keebler is still free in the pasture instead of staked out somewhere as jaguar bait is a testament to your love and good humor under all circumstances, because I am sure I would have lost it when I saw a very sentimental knitting project and its yarn strewn through the barn and barnyard!

DayPhoto said...

Of course, I like the others had to laugh out loud. The jaguar is frightening, and losing the spindle basket and Jester's yard just terrible, I was beginning to get very worried.....then there he was acting all unconcerned and I laughed out loud!

Great post! Drama right up to the last minute and then a good laugh!

Linda

http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

Mom L said...

What Deb W said!!! I would never have thought sheep would get into such trouble as yours do. My 9# cat - yes. She just kicked my big cup of water over - again. I hope they catch that big cat soon!!

Nancy in Iowa

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

Well, thank goodness somebody else besides Graham did it!

The Barn Door said...

What a great story and pictures!!! Sounds like something that would happen to me. and had me in 'stitches'! Oh and in case I didn't email you, I have linked your blog to mine at: http://through-the-barn-door.blogspot.com/
Because I LOVE it!!

Shirley said...

Pretty scary about the jaguar, I think I'd be keeping a rifle handy- it's been raised as a pet so won't fear humans.
Keebler had me laughing too!

flowerweaver said...

I didn't know it was legal to keep a pet jaguar! Yikes, that's scary. The yarn...too funny! I laughed until I cried. Farmer Rick laughed, too. This entirely reminds me of the Shaun video.

Ken and Mary of Fancy Fibers Farm said...

I'm shocked about the jaguar! I guess there's good reason for not allowing people to own that type of critter as a pet. It isn't fair to the jaguar or those who cross paths with it. I can understand your concern for your animals and especially Hank. He'd do his best, I'm sure to protect his charges, but there's only so much we can ask of our BWDs. I'm glad you're taking such extraordinary precautions. I'm really hoping they can get that jaguar. So sorry about your project, I'm sure my DW would totally feel your pain. I too laughed when I saw those pictures of Keebler. We had a shetland ewe that my DW found yesterday stuck in a plastic lawn chair. She said that was a sight she'll not soon forget. Good luck.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Well, county judge just stopped by. We were all duped. Rumor started by a preacher (?) on Connersville Pike who is now refusing to cooperate. Sheriff's dept. has baited a couple locations for almost 3 weeks and has seen nothing but house cats which is why USDFW won't make any statements - which they are required by law to do if there is indeed a public risk. The one dog attacked they think had a run in with a bobcat, which are known to be around here and I'm not super worried about. SO...on one hand whew!!! and the other, well, let's just say I'm not as angry as Tim. It would be hard to be that angry...

Hank will be greatly relieved to not be locked in prison with grumpy sheep tonight.

Keebler is still in trouble. ;-)

Pam said...

This story just continues to make me howl!!! The best part was the sleeve on the manure spreader (we call it a crap drag on our farm)until I read about the lying, rumor-spreading pastor. I dont' know why when ANYTHING goes wrong on your farm you don't just automatically go to Kebbler...

Lori Skoog said...

A great update. I got to see the barn and everything. Hope things get back to a dull roar now.

Michelle said...

But what about the neighbor with the pool? The one who took a PICTURE???

Nancy K. said...

I'm SO glad there's no Jaguar and I can feel your pain (or is that rage?) at Keebs. He sure is cute though!

;-)

Haley said...

I'm so sorry about the jaguar; that is wicked scary.

And my cats do similar things to my knitting all the time. All my birch needles have little teeth marks on them; they still work fine, though. One of our cats is older and only has one tooth left, she's the only innocent party around here.

Yvonne Todd said...

A PREACHER started the rumor? Would you want to go to his church? For yours and the animal's sake I'm very glad it was a rumor!

I just love your blog. It is one of the first I go to everyday. You have a wonderful knack for expressing the personalities of your animals. Thanks for getting my day off to a smiling start.

bj of LaColline said...

Maybe Keebler was a cat in another life, or hopes to be one and live right there on Equinox Farm!
He's just practicin'.
(I came back today just to read this again. Sorry about Jester's yarn, but, yes, I laughed out loud again!)

Real or rumored jaguar, thank goodness that's all over. Preacher may think to be wary next halloween of costumed jaguars. ;-]

Leedra said...

I ran this and the more recent post backwards. Sorry about Jester's yarn. The knitting basket around the sheep's neck is so funny. Alot of work to keep them safe over a person that should be charged with SOMETHING! Just not sure what.

Kenleigh's Fiber Studio said...

Oh my goodness - Keebler is so naughty!!! I don't know if I could talk to him for a few days ;) The picture of him tangled up in the basket was pretty funny! Mixed feelings about the jaguar story - glad to hear it was just a hoax, but can't believe it was a lie started by a preacher.

patchworkfibers said...

Okay, it's not really funny, but I still have to laugh at Keebler and the yarn.

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