You might wonder if I’ve fallen off a cliff with my lack of presence here lately. It’s not like me, I know. I’m sorry.
I’ve been sick. Both physically as well as heartsick. A week ago today, my beloved cat, Purrrcy, died unexpectedly after a surgery that was supposed to be very low risk. A one or two night stay at the vet and then back home with me. Only a 1% chance of not making it. I’m still reeling from the fact that my cat was the 1 in 100,000. It just seems so unfair.
What does this have to do with city farming? Well, for me, pretty much everything. When I brought Purrrcy home several years ago, I wasn’t looking for a cat. At all. As a matter of fact, I pretty much didn’t like cats. Or any other animals.
So what happened? I’m not sure. I bumped into Purrrcy quite by accident and he instantly won my heart. I went from I don’t like cats to Can I take him home? in a blink of an eye. It took me exactly 2 seconds to make the transition to the other side.
As it turns out, Purrrcy was perfect. He was more like a cat/dog mix, not just a cat. He’d come when I called, would go climb into his bed if I asked him to, came running to greet me at the door when I came home and generally loved to be near me every second of every day.
Without realizing it, he was working his magic on me, changing me. Before long, I knew I needed chickens. WHAT? We had chickens as a kid and I didn’t think I liked them. Yes, they fit with my goals of being more self-sufficient, but really? Chickens? I would have NEVER considered chickens before Purrrcy. But he was such an unexpected delight, maybe I’d like hens too?
I took the leap into backyard chicken ownership. Another completely unexpected move for me. Because of this, I’ve always called Purrrcy my ‘gateway’ animal. I started with him and ended up with a flock of 12 chickens within a year. Self-proclaimed animal hater now with a baker’s dozen? (And I completely adore them all, I should add.) I’d also have 10,000 bees to add to the mess by now if I’d gotten my hive delivered last spring before the bee ordering cut off date.
As it turns out, Purrrcy led me down the right path. And I don’t think I would have been brave enough to try it without him slyly changing the person I thought I was. If I had to do it all over again, I would. Only sooner. Waiting so long has been my only regret.
In the meantime, I grieve the unexpected passing of my beloved companion, Purrrcy, who enriched my life in a million ways (the chickens being only 12 of them), and for whom I will always be thankful.
What about you? What pushed you over the edge to chicken ownership?
(If you haven’t taken the leap yet, maybe you just need to get yourself a cat!)