Updated: May 24, 2020
We've grown to forty animals under our care at the farm. With so many, it's becoming easy to forget that animals have a life story. They can't tell us their stories and we don't know if they're self-aware of their history, but even if it's only for our benefit, animal stories are worth recounting and reflecting upon. They teach us life lessons and we can become better animal caregivers when we look at them with compassion and understanding rather than just a food commodity. It's probably better to not name an animal that is raised for food, but we've chosen to commit all the way to the responsibilities and realities of caring for animals even those that may become our meal someday. So every animal has a name and a story. There's Shaggy the sheep, Honey Bun the cow, and Sandy the hen just to mention a few. The cat is one of only three that came to us with a name. He's also one of only two animals on the farm without a companion of his own species.
Hunter was adopted after the elderly couple that owned him passed away. Nobody now knows his story. When we arrived at the farm of Hunter's temporary caregiver, he was frightened and panicked when we put him in a crate for the drive home. Flailing around the crate, we feared that he would immediately run off when we released him or hurt himself in a desperate escape attempt. I put my hand into the crate expecting to get a painful scratch from his impressive claws or even a nasty bite. To my great surprise and relief, Hunter pressed his shoulder against my hand and purred. We'll never really know how much he meant to the couple and how much they meant to him, but a small part of their story lives on in him.Whatever stories Hunter would tell about his first home if he could, surely one of them would be how he loved to be stroked by the hand of the nice elderly man and woman. I hope we can live up to their story.