ARCHIE This is Archie, a delightful, cuddly tabby boy. He and his sister Annuk were born in July 2014.
In April 2015, I went to Greece to visit my friend Joan, and also to bring home a quartet of abandoned kittens (nine months old then) that Joan had rescued from the dump. ( Joan runs a cat rescue operation on the beautiful island of Syros. These four were all supposed to be fosters until I adopted them out. Well, I managed to find a superb home for two of the Greeks, but Archie and his sister Annuk ended up staying at the farm. You can read more about the quartet on Joan's blog.
Archie has a really gentle nature. He loves to bug the girl cats! He can often be found sleeping cuddled up to one of us in our bed.
MIMI Our first black cat! We took Mimi in in on November 3, 2015. Our friends Tim and Arja found her in their backyard, skinny and hungry. Because of allergies, they couldn't keep her, so they asked if we could help. I said sure, I'd foster her until I found her a forever home.
Needless to say, Mimi is now a permanent member of our family. We are proud to have such a beautiful "house panther." She fit in here like it was meant to be and gets along great with all the other cats. She LOVES yogurt and pesters me every morning until I let her lick the yogurt spoon from my breakfast.
Mimi was most likely born in the fall of 2013.
JACKIE & BERNIE In July 2016, we also adopted Jackie the Pekin duck and her boyfriend Bernie. They are two tame ducks who were wandering the streets of nearby Williamstown. The residents were worried about them and were afraid they were going to get run over, so they now live here.
Jackie and Bernie are named after two of our barn helpers!
KEVIN Kevin was one of six goats we adopted through the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA on August 31, 2015. He is the boss man of the herd, and probably father to most of the goat kids we have! Sadly for Kevin, his manhood was stolen from him in December 2015 when we had him and Geoff neutered. The only male on this farm who gets to keep his nuts is Gordon! On the upside, Kevin and Geoff smell waaaay better than they used to. Neutering took away most of their bucky tang.
Kevin is a benevolent leader who likes to be scratched on top of his head, right between the horns. He is an exceedingly handsome Boer goat who is always watching out for his herd.
Kevin is named after my godfather, my Uncle Kevin, who fortunately has a sense of humour.
PENELOPE aka PENNY (with her triplets Annabelle, Luc and Rosie) This goat is truly a star, and she has a special place in our hearts because she has CL (caseous lymphadenitis) that flares up now and then and makes her life difficult. She is also the wormiest goat on the planet, so we are constantly monitoring her fecal matter (lucky us!) She and her five goat buddies were seized from what someone described to me as a "hellhole," and Penny was definitely in the worst physical shape of all the goats (underweight and worm-infested.)
On top of that, Penny was pregnant with triplets when she arrived, and after she gave birth in January, she became quite ill with diarrhea and anemia. But she's a real fighter, and bounced back to raise three of the most adorable goat kids you can imagine. They were partially bottle-fed because Penny didn't have enough milk to sustain them. We keep a close eye on Penny, who has a peaceful, gentle nature, and weathers her misfortunes with caprine grace. Penny has seen it all and is unflappable. She is named after our wonderful human friend Penny.
ANNUK This is Annuk, a sweet little wild thing who has the most pitiful meow imaginable. She milks it for all it's worth! She and her brother Archie were born in July 2014.
We adopted Annuk along with Archie in April 2015. I also found a loving home for their sisters Abbie (formerly Aggie) and Amber. You can read more about the quartet on Joan's blog. Abbie and Amber lived in Ottawa until their recent move to Nunavut, Iqaluit. They are well-travelled kitties.
Annuk is lithe and dainty and tends to run around like a lunatic on amphetamines. She is fiercely independent but enjoys affection. Her favourite hobby is projectile vomiting on upholstered furnishings. But we adore this brave little spirit!
JIMMY Jimmy the blue roan Shetland Pony gelding arrived July 16, 2016. His owners could no longer keep him, so he has come to live with us. He was born in 2001 and has a lovely temperament! He arrived with a two-wheeled cart and a child's saddle... as it turns out, he's great to ride and our friend's daughter has fallen in love with him. He has foundered a few times and still needs to lose some weight, but is otherwise a gorgeous little guy. He has settled in nicely with our herd and has bonded particularly well with Esme and Finney.
Jimmy is our smallest equine, but he has a large personality. His favourite expression is "Hell no, you are not putting that halter on me!" Personally I think he's just trying to ensure my physical health by making me chase him until I can finally get that halter over his head.
I knew we were meant to adopt Jimmy in because he has the same name as my Dad (Jim), who died in 1992. He has the same attitude as my Dad, too...
JULIET & ROMEO This pair arrived in July 2016 too! They are a sweet pair of Runner/Pekin duck crosses who needed a forever home. So here they are. They are definitely the smallest of our ducks, and very cute.Juliet is loyal, but Romeo is a total player. However, when he tries it on with the Muscovy girls, they send this obnoxious little suitor packing.
GEOFF Geoff is another of the six goats we adopted in August, 2015. He is Kevin's younger, smaller sidekick, and he loses all the arguments! He has some really cute white spots on the back of his brown neck, and has a Buddha-like personality. He too lost his manhood in December 2015 to a scalpel-wielding man in a red-and-blue jumpsuit. (I'm looking at you, Dr. Smith!) Spay and neuter your pets, people.
Every time Geoff thinks he's about to score with a lady goat, Kevin pushes him away. Life is tough.
Geoff is named after my cousin, the son of my aforementioned Uncle Kevin.
GENEVIEVE aka GENNY (with her twins Debbie & Hawkeye) Genny is a pretty Boer/Nubian cross. She looks all sweet and innocent, but when we tried to get her to accept orphaned goat Bert on her udder, she bucked like a crazed bronco, and even with two of us, it was hard to hold her down. This is why Bert was switched to Bambi for a surrogate mama, even though Genny has a more beaudacious set of teats. I don't need more scratches and bruises than I already have!
We believe Genny may be psychic, as she will run like Secretariat if you even THINK about catching her for a veterinary exam. She is an excellent maa-maa to her kids, and has already taught them her human-evasion techniques. She's named after our wonderful human friend Genny.
KEATON Keaton, aka Catman, was born sometime in 2013. He showed up at our farm in July 2015, looking hungry and wary. I started putting food out for him, but it took a long time before he would even let us stick around while he ate.
The rule around here is that kitties who show up get to stay, but no one gets to keep his nuts! So we live-trapped this boy and had him fixed and vaccinated. He has become super affectionate and friendly and is an excellent barn cat. He's very chatty and has a deep, funny meow. He also purrs more, and more loudly, than any cat we've ever known. His purr is musical and sounds a bit like a babbling brook. He's a big boy with a big heart, and he loves to be loved. He has also learned to be polite with the other cats instead of slapping them out of his way as he charges the food bowl.
SAUL You can't really call Saul a rescue; he belonged to neighbours of ours down the road, and was loved and well cared-for there. They have a wonderful herd of donkeys. His owners would have kept him forever if necessary, but Saul and the alpha male donkey there weren't getting along, and it was a pain keeping them separated, so his owners had Saul gelded and were looking for a new home for him. We were happy to take him in! Saul was born in 2011. We paid a nominal fee for him; his owners were concerned about the possibility of him being sold at a livestock market. No worries there!
You can tell Saul had been loved and treated well because he's very gentle with an incredibly sweet nature. And even though he had a thing for chasing cats when he arrived, Saul has now been charmed by both Emerson and Keaton. When Emerson and Saul see each other across the paddock, they run to each other, and much nuzzling ensues. Keaton loves to hang with Saul too.
Saul enjoys tipping over wheelbarrows that have just been filled with manure, stealing hats, and nibbling gently on the tails and ears of his feline friends. He is definitely the brain-trust of the paddock!
THE GOAT STARTER-PACK On August 31, 2015 we adopted six goats in various states of pregnancy (two got pregnant here before the bucks were neutered... long story!) from the SD&G OSPCA. At the time we knew absolutely nothing about goats. Now we can't imagine life without them!
DAPHNE This exquisite specimen of goat loveliness is Daphne. She is a "dappled" goat, mostly Boer. She has somehow risen to the top of the herd to claim the spot of "herd queen." Mess with Daphne and you'll get a head-butt. She is smart, pretty and strong. Definitely our flashiest goat! She is also incredibly crafty. Once when the vet was here to see her, she waited until we were all busy chatting, then put her head down and bolted out the door of the granary to sweet (but temporary) freedom, ripping her lead rope from my hands. If you think you can outsmart a goat, Daphne will make you think twice.
She can most often be found at the top of Goat Mountain, oozing superiority over her minions.
BAMBI (with her twins Pierre & Emmeline) Bambi got her name while in foster care, and it stuck. She has gorgeous big brown eyes and a thick fawn-coloured coat. She is a robust Nubian with excellent mothering skills and a bountiful supply of milk. She was not disbudded properly and so has scurs (deformed horn remnants) that need to be trimmed once or twice a year by the vet so they don't grow into her skull.
Bambi always looks pregnant, even when she isn't. If we offer her a bowl of feed and hold her collar, she will let Bert the orphaned Alpine kid nurse off her without kicking him in the head, which is more than I can say about Genny.