The Boys

noun. Self-proclaimed protectors of the barn, lethal killers of all things mouse related, and merciless hunters of string and baler twine. Although I have never seen them catch a mouse, I haven’t had any mice in the barn since they arrived – so I suspect they may be in cahoots with the local rodent population. 

In August of 2021 the Antigonish Chapter of Cat Rescue Maritimes (CARMA) was able to provide me with two recently trapped feral cats as part of their Barn Cat Program. Both cats were neutered and their health checked by a vet. After treatment for several minor issues the lads arrived at the farm to spend the first few days getting used to their new home before they were given full run of the place.

Marko (in orange) and Pie (stylish in black and white) have fit right in and patrol not only the main barn but also the chicken coop, keeping the property free of rodents.

The Barn Cat Program

Like many cat rescues or shelters, CARMA operates a barn cat program where suitable candidates are located to farms in need of in-house mousing skills. The farms provide shelter and safe housing for the cats throughout the year along with feed and medical care. In exchange the mere presence of cats is often enough to dissuade most of the local rodent population with the cats themselves dealing directly with more persistent threats. 

The cats in this program are NOT provided with the intent they become pets as CARMA Barn Cats are the focus of the trapping, neutering, and release of feral cats to eligible farms. That being said, most cats are smart enough to recognize a good situation and with enough love and attention you may end up with a little farm helper or two – or in my case, two lazy bums who love being showered with attention by visitors.


The Visitor Experience

Both boys are very friendly and actively seek out guests for scritches and petting. Marko (the orange tabby) does have some sensitivity about being petted on his belly but Pie (the imitation land whale) will gladly flop over for belly scratches. Just be advised that like most cats, they do not respond well to guests who may be overly loud or make quick movements.

  • Interactivity


Don’t be silly – they’re cats. Aside from companionship the only thing these lads do in quantity is fill up their litter box.

Share This