A ranch visit and a chance to meet barn kittens

All last week I was immersed in a design project for a client, so when Saturday finally came a day trip to another part of the San Francisco Bay Area was just the ticket. I have in-laws of in-laws (Hubby says that makes them "outlaws") that recently moved to a ranch not very far from John Steinbeck country. They were holding a housewarming gathering at their new spread. We "dropped in" for a visit.

I knew I was going to have an extra-good visit when our hostess informed us that there were "new" kittens in the barn! She happily escorted us out to the outbuildings, introducing us to the chickens along the way while the ranch dogs tagged along behind us. We waved hello to the horses (who we've been introduced to before) and headed into the barn.

In a neat and tidy stall the size of a child's bedroom, we found the 8-10 week old kittens lazing about on hay bales. The kittens weren't born at the ranch, so they aren't all from the same litter. They were adopted to be raised as working kitties on the ranch for catching mice and vermin. Despite they're working status, these kittens aren't wild or feral in anyway

Our hostess always makes sure that her ranch cats get lots of love, affection and socializing and raises incredible cats. Our cats Dexter and Dee Dee are offspring from one of her best former ranch cats, Skittles (who lived and died at a previous homestead). 

As these kittens "asked" to be held and cuddled it was clear they are getting the same great upbringing.

Each kitten had a distinct personality. 

The male tabby (whose whiskers have been chewed down to stubs by one of the girls) didn't mind sitting on the edge of the truck bed, but was nervous about being held up high unless he was held close. Once I cuddled him close, his purr-motor started up and he was a real love bug.

The female tabby with the white socks was curious and adventuresome--exploring the bed of the ranch truck and playing with bits of leaves and straw. Hubby held her first and discovered that she preferred to ride around on his shoulders while getting pettings--walking back and forth across shoulders behind his head.

The all-black female with white socks (and whiskers that resemble Salvador Dali's moustache) was such the little princess-in-training. She greeted us from the comforts of "her" pillow on a hay bale and wanted us to come to her. Once I sat down on a hay bale next to her, she got up and wanted lots of love and attention. She walked around high on her tiny kitten toes kneading the hay bale, purring loudly and mewing intermittently if she thought my attention had strayed away from the task at hand (giving her lots of pettings). She was also fascinated with the sound of my camera's shutter and played with my long braided hair.

All three kittens were incredibly photogenic. It was hard to narrow down the photos for this post. And even after narrowing it down, this is still more photos than I usually post. I guess that's what happens when you've been smitten by barn kittens.
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  1. Funny story! Did you notice that the lead-kitty's whiskers had been chewed off? It always cracks me up when one of their *siblings* does this to them.

  2. I am smitten by the kittens!
    I love the little black and white one, hard to resist taking them all home:)

  3. These three are adorable! I noticed the stubby whiskers on the little fella immediately. It's so funny that one of his companions would be responsible for keeping him neatly trimmed. The black cat sounds like a real charmer and her whiskers would absolutely make Salvadore proud. What a slice of heaven your outlaws enjoy!

  4. Great post Cindy! It was great to see you guys on Saturday!


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