We opened the door of Zip’s crate this morning and out he came.
Then he went right back in.
It took him a moment to understand that he was allowed to walk around wherever he wanted. As affectionate as he is, he proved himself as a barn cat almost immediately by finding a hole in the haybales and crawling into it.
I lured him out with some treats then he began exploring the barn. We watched him for a while then left him to explore his new home.
I came back a half hour later. He came when I called him, his head covered in dusty cobwebs.
A couple of hours later Jon and I both went to the barn but couldn’t find him.
We were just about to give up when he popped his head out of his haybale house. But it wasn’t until he eyed the pigeon that I knew Zip had made the barn his.
The pigeon, obviously distressed at having a cat in the barn flew to the nest over the door where another brood of pigeons are getting ready to hatch. She flew around the barn, trying to distract Zip from her nest, then up the hole in the barn ceiling that leads to the loft.
Zip hopped up on my snow tires piled under the hole in the floor, his neck extended, ears and eyes focused. He sat watching, his black tail flicking back and forth.
Zip abandoned Jon and me without a thought when he saw the pigeon. As much as he likes getting his ears and back scratched, his hunting instincts took over.
I imagine, like Flo, he will eventually discover the wooden ladder nailed to the barn wall that leads to the loft. But the pigeons, even the fledglings when learning to fly, stay high off the ground. They perch on top of the ladders and hanging chairs before graduating to the loft.
By then, Zip will be exploring the whole farm, not just the barn, and hopefully will have plenty of small rodents to hunt.
But I don’t think the pigeons will nest on the first floor of the barn next year.
I do believe the two weeks that Zip spent in the crate in the barn got him used to being here. I’m no longer worried that he will leave.
It already feels like he’s made the barn his home.