The routine is the same every morning. About 5 am, the cat starts howling at the bedroom window. I eventually roll out of bed, grumbling at him, but knowing I need to get up anyway. On my way through the house to the bathroom, I let him in. He has a snack while I get ready to milk the goats. He comes back outside when I go out.
I set up grain and milk pail at the milking stand, then head out to let the chickens out for the day and feed them.
The cat is there, in the tall grass half way to the chicken coop. His black and white body stands out stark on even the darkest morning. He crouches as I go past on the way to the chickens. When I come back, he pounces. I can almost hear him saying,
“Boo! HAHAHA! Gotcha!”
I head to the paddock to bring out the first goat. As the goat trots up the hill toward the milking stand, the cat bounds across the goat’s path, back arched, leaping menacingly as he goes, as though he is going to bring down an animal ten times his size.
Or he might lie in wait for the goat’s return to the paddock, leaping out from behind the corner of the shed.
Sometimes, he gets more than he bargains for. If it’s Artemis he threatens, it goes badly for him. She has a vendetta against the cat, and lunges at him every chance she gets. If I’m not right there, ready to grab her collar and hold her back, she’ll chase the cat all over the yard to show him who’s boss.
In truth, I think the cat enjoys being chased by the goat. He enjoys pretending to attack me in the dark as I feed the other animals and do the milking.
By the time I’m finished with the milking, the cat is done playing. He trots back indoors with me, has another snack, then finds a cosy place to curl up and sleep for the day.