I have a lot of cute animals and I tell a lot of cute animal stories. Simon’s bray. Lenore’s love. Fran’s marching around with Maria. It is important to remember – and to remind others – that animals are generally cute when we want and need them to be, but the real nature of real animals can be very different. I have often been reminded of that here on the farm, and was reminded it of it again when Simon went after Minnie the Barn Cat, who was rubbing herself against his legs, and he might well have killed her if she had not hissed, clawed at him and gotten away. It was his second attack on her – last week he tried to bite her in the back.
I don’t know Simon’s whole story, but he is very wary around dogs and he does not like it when the cats come around his legs, especially when he is eating. It might be that he is very protective of food, or even that his wobbly legs hurt in the cold. Minnie is an affable creature, and she often rubs up against Lulu and Fanny. I do not blame Simon in any way for going after her. He’s a donkey, not a throw pillow, as cute as his bray is, and he doesn’t like animals besides the donkey’s around him. He could easily kill Minnie if she doesn’t get the idea, donkeys can go after dogs and cats if they are not used to them. Minnie is fine, Maria checked her closely. We will watch them and do what we can, but she is a barn cat and we are not out with them most of the time.
We thought about giving her away – she is affectionate – but she is a smart cat and independent cat, a skilled hunter, and has avoided coyotes, foxes, cars and other predators for some years. So for now, we’re just keeping an eye on it. It is important to be reminded that real animals do not live in a cute world without death and danger.