On our dog sitting and cat care ventures, we had the opportunity to visit an 80 acre ranch in Durango and care for some “beauties” and some “beasts” — Willow, a black lab, Abbie, an English lab, Kiki, a silver bengal cat and Sammy, a shy tuxedo cat, plus feed around 20 feral cats being housed in a stable adjacent to the guest house where we stayed (well, the feral kittens were cute, but some of the older ferals were a little “beastly!”)
Willow and Abbie exemplify what everyone loves about labs – affectionate, playful, well-behaved (because they’re eager to please), athletic, and great companions. What a great environment for them – 80 fenced acres to run, roam and explore, interesting other characters to interact with, such as the 9 cows on the pasture land, the cats, particularly the young ones that sleep in the stables and wander the property, the deer that amble around close to the house, even a skunk (that one occurred before we got there — predicatable ending to the story, hope there isn’t a repeat).
Haven’t had many experiences with feral cats before — these were being quartered because of the generous good nature of the homeowner, who inherited the first few when they first purchased the property and then had to deal with a couple of wild litters before all the original cats were able to be neutered. The last batch of kittens were about 5 or 6 months old when we arrived, and were very used to human contact, having been extensively handled by the property owner throughout their kitten-hood. Extremely endearing — love to play, love hanging around people, hanging around for walks with the dog, even jumping (unexpectedly) in your lap, always wanting to check out the inside where the people go. In terms of pet sitting, particularly cat care, a little bit of a challenge (especially keeping track of them), but a very unique experience.