Friday, December 1, 2023
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Rescue Stories: Mariposa’s Mom, and Life on the Farm

Sammy, Mariposa’s mom

It’s not the best photo since Sammy didn’t like the flash, but this is Mariposa’s mom in the barn where she now lives at Birgitta’s farm.

Here is Sammy when I trapped her.

Sammy in the trap.
Sammy in the trap.

She has a unique little white spot on the end of her tail, as you can see in the photo at the top, and below.


And here is Mariposa from the first time I saw her at that house, for comparison.


Birgitta updates with little notes now and then.

A bit of cat news… The last 2 girls (Sammy and Greta) seems to be happily installing themselves with the goats… I feed them during chores so they are happy to see me… They have 2 little houses to sleep in… And today so far I have been gifted 2 mice, 1 shrew and 1 mole… Putt near enough for a stew lol,” Birgitta sent me one morning last winter. Sammy is elusive, but always around for mealtimes. The other cat Birgitta mentioned was the dark tabby we’d trapped the first day with four kittens. Birgitta named her Greta Garbo because she is all made up with all those stripes, especially the eye liner, and she looks like a movie star.

I see all of them now and again… I put dry food in the hay barn and sometimes I catch one eating… Most are used to me now and just watch instead of taking off… I don’t think they will ever be pets but life must be good for them now?

I think so, not just for Mariposa’s relatives but for all the ferals I’ve taken there over the past three years. They had to move because their lives were threatened, and better a free life on a small farm than death by poison, or other means.

They are working useful cats now,” she said. “I love having them around… Turn my head and a kitty or another sitting up somewhere looking at me… Somehow you can feel cat eyes?”

Missy and Zen

“2 of the first rescue group having a love session… They also groom each other frequently!” These are Kissy and Zen. Kissy (“cause her markings looks like she is pouting to give a kiss lol“) was a Pittsburgh CAT foster, Cherokee, who just would not socialize, and Zen was a cat from a group in Jefferson Hills who were threatened and disappearing after a neighbor joked about going out to shoot some cats. They were in the first group of cats I took to Birgitta’s farm. These two actually stay inside, and they’ve pretty much grown used to people in the three years they’ve been there. Sometimes they just need a little extra time. Here is another photo of Kissy. Birgitta is retired and working as a fiber artist, hence the bales of roving and carded wool and looms and such. You can visit her Facebook page, All Strings Considered.

Kissy on the chair, ready to supurrvise her human.
Kissy on the chair, ready to supurrvise her human.

“This is Oscar… The wildest one ever… Ellie is petting him and then so was I… Miracles does happen !

Oscar was a socialized cat who came into Pittsburgh CAT from one of the shelters, as a temperament case. He was totally untamable, no matter who fostered him in Pittsburgh CAT. Swats and hisses and growls, he too went off with the first group, and is actually the cat in the crate in the barn in that article. When Birgitta released him, he disappeared, then spent some time in the woods, in one of the neighbor’s barns at the top of the hill, just kept away from people. But he met up with Birgitta’s Amish neighbor Ellie who loves cats and slowly he gave in to her ways, being fed special foods, spending time on the porch then in the kitchen of her house, finally being petted a bit, and ultimately moving in and being a lap cat.

Look at that shiny coat ! Ellie is so patient and her cat hating husband loves him… Calls him his panther…” It’s not the best photo, but it’s Oscar being petted on the porch, and Ellie’s blue Amish dress.

Oscar being petted on the porch.
Oscar being petted on the porch.

“2 are living under my hay barn and eating in there…
2 live in the pantry keeping it mouse free and eating in the basement…
2 from before are now in and out cats…
There are 2 in the barn up above me…
The rest come and go, not sure if they have permanent places…
All in all I am feeding at least 20+ cats”

I’m so glad for her generous heart and love for animals that she could save so many. Birgitta has four acres and several other neighbors along the rural road have small farms. All together they are 20+ acres of barns and outbuildings and people who feed cats. They are safe from angry neighbors there.

A new cat showed up.
A new cat showed up.
Birgitta messaged me yesterday with this news, “A stray found it’s own way into my kitchen… Young female ? Really hungry ! Very shy but did not appear feral…” And looks like she might be expecting, possibly someone from a more populated area may have dumped her on one of the larger farms in the area because she was pregnant and, you know, cats are fine with that. On farms like Birgitta’s and her neighbors, that might be true. Unfortunately, in rural areas, there isn’t a lot of opportunity for affordable spay and neuter. Glad she found her way to Birgitta’s kitchen where she will get the care she needs.

Just a little update on a TNR project. You can find more about where Sammy and Mariposa came from under Dunbar house TNR project. You can read about my visits to the farm to set up feral cats for transferring in this group.

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“The TNR Story”, 8″ x 14″, Sharpie markers © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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“and no one ever had any more kittens, and they all lived happily ever after.”


This art was inspired by working in post op at the May 25, 2014 Homeless Cat Management Team TNR clinic. I’ll make a $5.00 donation to HCMT for each poster sold. Quantity discounts are available if you want a stack for a clinic or event. Find it here on Portraits of Animals.


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Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

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From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

3 thoughts on “Rescue Stories: Mariposa’s Mom, and Life on the Farm

    • Did you find the rest of this story from last summer? I removed eleven adults and 17 kittens from an abandoned house and got them all where they needed to be. And Mariposa let me know she was not like the others.

    • Vicky, I went to check to see I had the links correct and discovered the final changes I’d made to this weren’t here. I must not have updated the post after I scheduled it. There are more kitties for you to read about!


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