December 28, 2013 – I tossed and turned all night, my mind peppered with visions of cats dancing in our chicken run; black cats, white cats, and black and white cats. Orange cats in colander helmets snoozed comfortably in my nest box while money cats counted change inside of potholders. There were bashful cats who hid behind the feeder and daring cats who swung from a crystal chandelier. There were kittens on Vespas and bobcats in lab coats; tiger cats, Angora cats and extra furry cats from Maine. I woke in a start, sweating profusely against a racing pulse.
“AGHHHH!!! AGHHHH!!!” I screamed, causing the other hens in the coop to panic and fly into one another in the darkness.
“HAPPY! WAKE UP!” Wilma screamed in my ear. “YOU’RE HAVING A NIGHTMARE!! SNAP OUT OF IT!”
I knew I wasn’t dead because I could smell the scent of dried blueberries on Wilma’s breath. Someone hit the light switch and I was blinded by the intrusive rays. When I finally managed to keep my eyes open, I saw six dumbfounded and disheveled chickens staring back at me.
“Are you alright?!” Sawyer asked, clearly concerned with the status of my mental health.
I didn’t know. My wings were clammy and my heart was tripping over itself. Betty, Waffles and Hattie brought me a cold compress and a baloney sandwich. Tim wrapped his lambswool blanket over my shoulders.
After a few minutes, I regained my composure and my breathing returned to normal.
“I must be dwelling on the new kitten,” I sighed. “I’m supposed to hate cats, but I like her. What does that say about me?!”
“It’s says that you have a heart, Happy Feet,” Sawyer answered. She hardly ever calls me by my full name. “And… it proves that each of us should be judged on our character and spirit alone. You’re a good hen, and Holly is a good cat. There’s nothing wrong in acknowledging that.”
Sawyer is a very wise soul. I’m surprised she wasn’t born an owl. Once I take a nap, we’re going to bring Holly a “welcome to the family” present. It’s a stick on a string, since cats like to whack things with their paws. Sort of like Wilma pecking us with her beak. Hmmm… maybe we are more alike than I thought.