Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Animals know where to go for help

Although it's happened many times in my life, it always surprises me when an animal comes to me and lets me know there's a problem they can't solve alone.  If you've been around animals much, you've experienced this, I'm sure.  It's very touching, and in some ways, I consider it an honor.  
Dogs seem to know they should go to their masters when they're hurt or ailing.  Even cats, independent as they are, know when they're in need.  
When I was fully nine months pregnant with my son, there was a very wild cat in the barn on my parent's place where we were renting a mobile home.  She had new kittens, and I went out and looked at them sometimes.  Mother Cat, of course, jumped out of the nest and kept her distance.  
The second day I went out to see the kittens, a tomcat was in the middle of killing one of them.  I was frantic with worry over this situation, and I took the three remaining kittens into the house.  The mother followed me at a distance; I opened the door, got back from it and laid the kittens on the floor where she could see them, and she came on in.  I then spread a blanket on the couch and put the kittens there; Mother Cat jumped up and started nursing them.  
I was already past the due date for my baby to be born, and I realized I was going to soon be in the hospital for three days, and when I got home, I'd have my hands full with a baby; I hoped against hope the tomcat wouldn't come back again, and took the babies back to the barn that evening.  
The next morning I opened the door to go outside and there was Momma Cat with two babies:  she had carried them to me, to be taken care of.  I told her I was sorry, that I just couldn't do it, and took them back to the barn.  We had started with four kittens; now there were two.  
Before the day was over, the tomcat murdered the other two kittens, and in my pregnant, hormonal, emotional state, I cried for hours.  That cat asked me for help and I had denied her.
Several years ago we had a couple of Limousin cows.  They were huge, beautiful cows, and they had lovely, big babies.  However, I quickly found out they didn't want me messing with their calves.  One of them had twins in 2004, and while the calves were newborn and easy to handle, I wanted to check and see whether they were male or female.  That cow butted me down a hill fast enough to make my head spin.  Not long ago I related this tale to a local farmer; he said his daughter raised some Limousin heifers for 4H, trained them to lead and showed them at fairs.  They were absolute pets, he told me.  "But you couldn't think about getting close to their calves."
Well, mine weren't pets.  I'm not even sure they liked me.  
However, when one Limousin cow's calf figured out how to get through the fence to the neighboring property and she couldn't follow, that cow bawled and bellowed until she got my attention, then followed me back to the house until I got some help.  You can read the story in my old journal HERE.  
So it was no surprise to me yesterday that Bonnie left her calf and came bawling to me; neither was it a surprise when I started walking toward the back pasture and she took the lead and led me straight to her baby.  Animals know where to turn when they have no other place to go.  
That's more than I can say for a lot of humans.  
"This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; He saved him out of all his troubles."  Psalm 34:6


madcobug said...

Animals seem to know that people will help them or at least most people will.


What a sad, sad story about the cats. If I'd have seen that no-good TomCat he'd have been a goner. What you said about animals in need is so-oo true.I have had dogs and cats throughout the years and if they've had a problem, they let me know. Sometimes I can help and other times I have to defer to my hubby.

patsy said...

why was bonnie needing help? i don't know if janets new van gets good miles or not even if it does she will just drive it more.

Midlife Mom said...

I would have bawled my head off too and probably taken an aim at the old tom cat! I remember one day a cat was killing all the baby rabbits one at a time in the barn. My mother couldn't stand it any more and went out and grabbed the cat by the neck and killed it. We called her the Burlington Strangler for years which she didn't appreciate!
Love the pictures and video of the new calf. Glad Bonnie took you to find Max before he got into more trouble.

small farm girl said...

I've noticed my animals doing the same thing. Sometimes when my dog is not feeling well, she can absolutely get on my nevers sometimes because she will not leave my side.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It is so true. Animals are smarter than we could ever know. Some call it instinct but when it comes down to it I think it's more than that. Help is always there when we need it, we just need to know where to look. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

darev2005 said...

Our little dog, DJ, is very expressive and vocal. When she wants something she will sing and tap dance and spin in little circles until I get up and get her what she needs.