This is Lynard: a semiretired barn cat.
He resided in our hayloft for 5 Ĺ years.
He became our house cat when we lost Puddy. (Poor Lynard followed a very tough act.)
He remains as feral as the day I captured and brought him to the house. If we approach him, he runs for cover. He has to come to us. We canít pick him up or hold him, but heíll appear on the arm of our recliners and sit with us as we watch tv.
He has two friends in this world: Gale and me; he has no use for others.
Heís lost two brothers since heís been here.
Here Lynard is shown (foreground) with his brother Skynard soon after adoption. I thought it was likely that they were probably brothers from different litters. They had come from the same farm. Dozens of cats, closely related -- perhaps inbred -- had inhabited the farm for more than a generation. I mused that it was possible that Lynard could be Skynardís father and his brother. Those too close ďfamily tiesĒ inspired the names Lynard and Skynard.
We housed them in this kennel in the tack room of our barn the first weeks. As feral rescues, they hid from us upon release and our contact with the brothers was limited to a few glances for the following year. It was Skynard that befriended us first.
Not a lot of pictures of Lynard in the early days. This is the first photographic evidence I could acquire that Lynard continued to walk among us. Heíd stationed himself in the hay loft and hid in the myriad crevices and crannies of the aging structure.
Skynard was the first of the two barn cats to approach us. He became quite friendly and greeted us every day as we entered the barn to care for our horses and cats. Soon Lynard became curious and started to make more frequent showings at meal time. Skynard craved our presence and spent every moment interacting with us. Through Skynard, we developed a lasting relationship with Lynard.
Skynard succumbed to FIP two years later.
Soon after Skynardís passing, we obtained PeeWee (on right in photo) from the same source. The assumption is that Lynard and PeeWee are brothers from different litters as well. PeeWee lived in our hayloft for about 1 Ĺ years. Last spring PeeWee had a tumor on his left rear leg. After the leg was amputated, PeeWee bravely attempted to recover but died shortly after the operation.
The day that our house cat Puddy died, I captured Lynard and brought him to the house. PeeWee died a week later. Lynard remains as the last cat standing.
Lynard passed away June 21, 2012
We buried him in our small plot by the barn between his brothers and not too close to Puddy.
In the end, Lynard became very much the house cat. Loved t.v. Watched ballgames with me. He was very affectionate. He even accepted our family and guests.
As the months wore on, Lynard became increasingly ill. The same infection that killed Puddy affected Lynard soon after he was diagnosed with renal failure. After the heartbreaking episode we had experienced trying to treat our cat Blanco for FRF, we elected to make Lynard as comfortable as possible until the day came.
To his credit, he made the most of every day until he absolutely couldnít. If thereís not a lesson in that, I donít know where there is one.
After remaining distant and suspicious for nearly four years, Lynard chose to become a member of our family.
He was a great cat. I donít think I can say it better than that.
Lynard won our hearts.
Now we look forward to the next feline spirits we encounter.
Papa Hemingway loved cats.
Easy to see why.