They don’t judge us or question our motives. They trust and depend on us, their world revolving around us. As I look into the faces of all of my animals, that same love is reflected in all of them, independent of species or gender. People often claim to have preferences. You have your dog people, cat people, bird people, or whatever the case may be. But I myself am an "All Animal" person. When you have a close relationship with such a large variety of animals like I have, you cannot play favorites.
However, I want to touch on one particularly illusive, mysterious, and special creature, or, in our case, three of them. That would be our friendly felines. That’s right, I could talk all day about my feisty lions. The proud, majestic beauties of Cloverfield Ranch.
It all started with a horse trailer. We had bought a four-horse stock trailer from a person that lived in town and we went to pick it up. When we got there, though, we found it filled to the top with furniture and obviously being for storage for quite some time. We got to work and started unloading. Out of nowhere, we started hearing weird noises amongst the dusty chairs and tables. Catching only glimpses of white and black amongst all the furniture, we continued to work while trying to figure out what it was inside the trailer. After removing more than half of the load a sudden appearance was made. It was small, fluffy, and scared. No more than 4 weeks old this small little kitten braced itself in the back and hissed. He was probably born in the trailer and completely unaware of humans or the outside world. We closed the door behind us, and slowly moved towards the kitten, but before we could get to her she darted into the lining of a couch. We carefully moved it and adjusted, trying to coax the small thing out. To our sudden surprise, a kitten popped out, but not the same one, then one more darted out, followed lastly by the original fluff ball. Three tiny, amazingly cute, but obviously terrified kittens. We worked together and caught them. They resisted and hissed out of fear, but once wrapped up in a blanket and put in the truck, they settled down. We got our trailer and brought the little fluffs home with us. Two girls, Layla and Helen, and one strong boy, Heisenberg.
Years later, they have grown up on the ranch, and are now strong and independent. All three are amazing hunters and catch mice on a daily basis, and eat them, for make sure to leave reminders of their successful hunt on the kitchen floor in the morning!
They spend days basking in the sun and playing outside, prowling the whole property that is their home. They climb the inside and outside of the barn and surrounding buildings, and we will often see them suddenly dart from somewhere and run up a pole, hanging there for a while before coming down. Then, at night, they come in to eat and enjoy our company. They spend most of cold winter days inside snuggling up with us.
Though they came through the same process, their personalities are completely different. Layla is outwardly shy and flighty, fiercely independent, but in the secret lair of privacy is an intense love bug. Helen is the definition of a couch potato. She is the only black cat out of the three and will melt into her surroundings, finding the most cushy and comfortable places she can find. Helen is a marshmallow. You can pick her up, carry her like a baby and do completely what you want to her and she will happily enjoy the attention. Heisenberg is a lion. He is big and powerful, and he struts his stuff like he owns this ranch, which, in his defense, he does. He forces his sisters into rough housing and is constantly outside exploring. Heisenberg is also a very vocal creature. He lives to meow, and he knows that its effective. At 4am he follows me around the house, calling for me to feed him. In the bedroom changing, he is rubs on my legs meowing loudly for me to bend down and pet him.
They are all so playful and loving. I couldn’t imagine our home without them. They add so much life and love to it. Even when we are busy working, for them it is the perfect time to come and demand love, or, in Helens case, chase the mouse cursor across the computer screen.
Cat love is all about kneading, purring, chirping and even biting but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It is a spiritual experience to snuggle with a cat. They look into your soul and melt into your heart. I’ve loved my little fur balls since day one, and our love for them has only grown with the years, and will keep growing for many more years to come.
My name is Sam. I am a proud native born South Dakotan. Born in Rapid City, South Dakota. I could describe myself as many things; Artist, free-spirited adventurer. But the titles that I am most proud of are Manager and Co-Founder of Cloverfield Ranch and Ranch Mother to all of our happy furry and feathered critters that call this place home. As a open minded Entrepreneur I am always looking for new, fun and interesting ways to support our growing ranch and grow our dream of making Cloverfield Ranch a refuge for all animals that can become an local attraction and entertaining environment for everybody to enjoy.