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...........Here we tell short sheep stories with a little wit and occasional pearls of wisdom. This area will be changed on a fairly regular basis. The pictures are copyrighted, please do not use them.

..........There is a link at the bottom of the page to go back to the previous tales............This story was written in Jan. '99

...# 11 "Fidget"

Fidget loves her sheep.  She loves the way they look, she loves the way they smell, she loves the way they feel. She doesn't care that they are big, she doesn't care if they burp in her face, she doesn't even care if they drool on top of her head.   Fidget loves her sheep.

And they love her!

Fidget enters the sheep pen and runs to greet her friends, selects someone special, and pours out her affection.  Ladling out long, slow, sensuous caresses to the side of their face, nuzzling into the warm recesses of their chin, she purrs soft little sounds of contentment.

The response from the fortunate sheep is just short of ecstasy, and soon others gather, waiting their turn to adore and be adored.

Fidget is one of our "outside" cats and lives in the hay barn next to the sheep.  A long haired Balinese (description at the bottom of this page), creamy white with gray ears and tail, she has inherited intense blue eyes that are "crossed" just like those of her Siamese mother.     She is about 5 years old and absolutely in love with sheep.  She watches over them, parades among them, drinks water with them, and even eats her snack of grain as the sheep eat their supper of alfalfa and grass.

This summer (1998) one of the little Navajo Churro ewes fell under Fidget's spell, and like a love struck teen-ager, radiated the infatuation.  "Satin" would leave the feeder in the middle of her supper to run to meet Fidget, freeze with head lowered in expectation,  and almost stop breathing with delight.  Her eyelids would droop, and sort of glaze over, as she experienced Fidget's affections. 

And affection it is!  Long slow strokes up the side of the face, often starting from a crouch and ending with Fidget on her hind legs, tippy toe fashion.  Then a silken flow from mouth corner, under the chin, followed by the powder puff softness of a fluffy tail that caresses the nose as it passes.  A quick turn of the body, and the return flow mirrors the tactile joys of the first offering.

With legs braced sideways to enhance her diminutive body, Fidget brushes full length down the side of the delighted little ewe, and then back again.  With eyes closed in ecstasy, nuzzling quickly from side to side into the soft shoulder wool , Fidget stands on hind legs, trying to encircle it's neck with her front paws. 

And then Fidget would move on to the next of her adoring fans, leaving the dazed little ewe standing, immobile for several seconds, with a bewildered appearance.

Jolted back to reality, Satin would run to get back in Fidget's path and then freeze ahead of her,  in the hope of another sensuous session.

Every night for weeks,  Fidget would lavish her attentions on "Satin", then "Pretty" or "Puffers".  After them she would saunter between the legs of the masses that were busily eating, with heads buried in the feeders.  With bellies full, more and more sheep would seek this fascinating feline.  At times, when the competition for her attention got a little too intense, Fidget would pop up onto the top of the feeders to preen, and display to her adoring audience.  Sometimes she would need to make a hasty exit under the fence.

Fidget loves her sheep.  She will wash their faces, walk up and down the back of a reclining mother, purr into their ears, and literally radiates love to them.

It is amazing to watch the ewes absolutely "freeze" when they anticipate Fidget's attention.  Occasionally the "shy and fearful" will be so focused on this little feline, that they will do the unthinkable and trot up and stand quietly within an arms length of me, as I sit stroking and petting Fidget.  They seem so fascinated with her that they do not acknowledge that I even exist.

Happy cats travel about with their tail raised high, but Fidget is careful about where she raises hers.  We have electric fences to control and contain the sheep, and while there is generally enough clearance for cats to pass under the wire with safety....... a raised tail is asking for a real surprise.   ZAP !

Even so, she takes delight in sailing across the pen, her tail raised high.  And soon she will have a sheep in tow, as there is something about the smell or sight of a cat's raised tail that intrigues most of the sheep, especially the young ones. Sometimes I think that the smell of a cat, is to a sheep, what cat-nip is to a cat, they seem to absolutely love it. It is quite common to see a sheep trotting after Fidget, nose lowered to 6 inches of ground clearance,  inhaling the cat's aroma with the ferocity of a vacuum cleaner.  Occasionally a forceful "exhale" (directly on Fidget's bare bottom) will turn her into a startled streak of lightning, leaving the sheep with nothing but dust in the air. 

At this time of year (mid winter) we occasionally see Fidget curled up in a ball, sleeping on top of a reclining (very pregnant) ewe, who is stretched out in the warm sun light.  At times, Fidget will be draped across the woolly expanse, her body rising and falling with the slow, rhythmic breathing of the ewe.

fidget 1.jpg (10970 bytes)

Perhaps Fidget sees a "kindred spirit" in the sheep, perhaps she was a sheep in a former life, or most likely,....

She just loves sheep!

Below: "Satin" and "Fidget" are shown in the first three pictures of the far left column, as well as several other places.

fidget.jpg (74583 bytes)

Goats have a personality much like dogs, but sheep are much like cats.  Both cats and sheep seem aloof, but that is most likely from instinctive fear, and you must earn their trust. Sheep, just like cats, do not like quick motions, loud noises, and the feeling that they are being chased. Each sheep has a specific "safe distance" and they move away from you if you get too close.  They seem to feel best when people sit quietly (a little grain bribery doesn't hurt), so that they can investigate you when they begin to feel safe.

Balinese:  The Balinese got its name because its svelte lines and grace of movement reminded one of its pioneer breeders of Balinese dancers.  The breed has nothing to do with the island of Bali, as it was developed in the United States.   The Balinese type cat is actually a naturally occurring mutation that occasionally shows up in a litter of kittens born of a Siamese or part Siamese mating. 

Hardway.jpg (14078 bytes)This is a picture of Fidget's sister from the same litter, showing none of the Siamese influence.

My thanks to "Shirley" for pointing out that Fidget is Balinese and not Siamese.

An excellent book to read is "The Book of The Cat"  as it contains a wealth of information on everything from breed type to genetics, from history to health, with lots of pictures and absolutely stunning drawings,  ISBN 0-671-44753-X      ISBN 0-671-41624-3 pbk.

You can click on these numbers to continue, or use the pink buttons at the top of the page, or the *Jump links* that are below, to go somewhere else.

#1."Me-sis" #2. "Gem" #3. Short History #4. Stupid? #5. Rule #1 #6. Chris #7. Leonard #8 Lamb Wave #9. You know...when, #10. "Wimps" #11. "Fidget" #12. Invisible sheep #13. "Fraidy" #14. Words

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