Pleasant Valley Farm

  (Tionesta, Pennsylvania)
Real Family Farming in Tionesta, PA
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Please Help! Puff is Missing!

Hello farm friends. Today I'm blogging, hoping for a little help. Those of you who have visited the farm stand have probably met Puff. He's a big, fluffy tan cat who absolutely loves people. He considers it his job to greet everyone who stops by, and is great about letting anyone pet him- young, old, special needs, it doesn't matter to Puff. Anyone can give him a pat or carry him around.

But Puff is missing.

Around the farm, cats come and go. Sometimes it's harder that others, but Puff is one that's a pet, a forever friend. Puff just turned 11 on the 4th of July, and I have known him literally before he was born; I can remember carrying around his pregnant mother and feeling the kittens move before she gave birth. Unfortunately, she was hit & killed on the road when the kittens were just 3 weeks old. I took them and raised them, midnight feedings and all. They all made it; two would find new homes. Puff's sister lived with us too, until she met the same fate as her mother, just on a different road. Puff was my sister Laurel's cat, and she spoiled him rotten while I was in college. I moved home after college to help care for my terminally ill father, and Puff was there. In fact, he spent the last day or so of my Dad's life on my Dad's bed, comforting him. If he stood to jump down, my Dad would place his hand on Puff, and he would stay, so unlike usual cat behavior. I think he knew, somehow, that those were Dad's last hours. After that, I took Puff because no one else in the family had room for him, at least not away from the highway, and Puff has always loved to be outside. I took him into my little trailer before I had even met Dan. Puff put up with my house bunny, not hurting him even when the rabbit would mistake Puff for a female of his own species. (So funny!) When I came to the farm, so did Puff. He adapted well to all the critters and the freedom to roam. We had no idea how social he was until we opened the farm stand and Puff appointed himself mascot & head greeter.

Sure, like any animal he got on my nerves. I spent the morning of my wedding cleaning an infected wound on his shoulder because he got into a fight. I've lost sleep many nights because he was sure the best place to sleep was on my pillow, purring with his tail in my face. When thrown off the bed, he comes back like a furry yo-yo. When he wants in or out, he scratches walls or doors until he gets his way. He does what he wants, when he wants, how he wants. I think he has trained me far more than I ever will him.

Puff comes & goes so much in the summer that I can't remember exactly when I last saw him. Definitely Thursday, maybe Friday morning, but I just can't remember. I didn't see him Friday night, and he missed “work” yesterday. All the kitties were MIA, but my Mom was visiting with her dog. That was scary to the other kitties, but Puff lived with Pepper the dog for years. Puff used to wrestle with our other dog Penny, so I didn't think that was why I didn't see him. I've checked & rechecked every room and building on the farm, no small task. No Puff either. We found the other cats hiding the day away in the cornfield, but no Puff. I've walked the road and checked in the weeds, no sign of his body, no blood on the road, nor any sign of a struggle that might indicate he met a bad end with a coyote. I've called and called, but he doesn't answer.  I just keep expecting to walk into a room and see him curled up napping on a bed or a chair or the carpet in a room he's not allowed to be.  It breaks my heart a little each time I turn a corner and he's not there.  Mom said she dreamed of him last night;  he was just sitting on the porch, waiting to be left in, looking at us all like we were silly for wondering where he was and when he'd be back.

It's so hard not knowing. He is 11 years old, perhaps he was sick, knew his time was up, and went off to die without telling us. But he appeared to be in fine health as always. Perhaps he followed someone, maybe a nearby camper, back to their place. He hates cars and yowls like crazy; I have a hard time believing he was catnapped and taken away, but who knows. If he was, I hope they bring him back, or at the very least give him the love that I did. I've put flyers up around the neighborhood, alerted neighbors, posted a sign on the farm stand with his picture, offering a reward.  I posted to both the farm's Facebook page as well as my own personal one.  Now I'm asking you, my blog readers, for help, too.  I hope he comes back, one way or another, but my heart is breaking because I don't think I'll ever see him again. I worry he's hurt somewhere. I'd want to know, to be able to bury his body, if he is dead. But most of all, I'd just love to hear him purring in my ear again. I love this cat. And as much as Dan isn't a cat person, he is upset, too, but is the one trying to reassure me and tell me not to think the worst.



If you see ANY sign of Puff, please, please let us know. Email at pleasantvalleyfarm@yahoo.com , call anytime at 814-755-3911  or just stop by the farm.  A reward is being offered!

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Opening the Stand

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to see us at the stand's reopening on Saturday!  After being closed for over 3 years, we weren't sure what kind of turnout we would have.  Once the stand opened, everything ran smoothly, but we did have a little more craziness than expected that morning.  Frankie Blue Eyes, a rabbit, has been on the loose for about a month, but as he was doing no damage, we didn't try real hard to catch him.  Of course, Saturday morning he discovered the cabbage transplants we had set out 2 weeks ago and was systematically eating them all. After catching him, which required both Dan and I and a large net on a pole, we had to catch the other 2 boys from that pen.  They have not been out since we put wire on the floor of the moveable pen months ago, but not only were they hopping through the yard, but the cats were chasing them.  Now the cats have never chased Frankie, but the other boys must have looked like lunch because the cats were really being aggressive.  Finally the rabbits are put away, the stand is stocked, and I go to change into something a little nicer than muddy jeans and wet sneakers.  Having a few minutes to spare, I thought I'd go into the barnyard and cut a bit of chammomile to pretty up the checkout counter.  As I, in a skirt no less, am cutting stems, around the corner of the building comes Wilbur, our boar hog.  Now the last thing I wanted was a mud covered 800 pound creature coming to rub all over my nice clean clothes, but Wil thought I might be interested in scratching his back like usual.  I'm not sure he understood my threats of turning him into bacon if he got any closer, but we settled on a compromise...I scratched behind his ears and decided that I had enough flowers!  

I got to the stand and hoped my animal excitement was over for the day.  However, Puff had other ideas.  Puff is a great big fluffy housecat that I raised by hand after his mother was killed on the road.  Puff was 3 weeks old then and is now 8 years old and spoiled rotten.  Puff strode into the stand as if he owned it, and being carried back out several times did not deter him.  He thought about jumping up on my table of sauces, probably because they are all in glass jars and they'd make a great mess if he knocked them onto the cement floor.  Luckily for me, that was too much work for a lazy cat.  Then the people started coming in.  I was excited to have customers and Puff was excited to have visitors!  He lay in the very middle of the floor and seemed quite pleased to have new friends to pet him.  Apparently there were too many new friends because he jumped into the horse drawn sleigh and went to sleep.  After awhile he'd feel more sociable and be back down oon the floor, then back to the sleigh again.  I will be back at the stand on Saturday from 10 am-2pm and I imagine "Puff the Farm Stand Mascot" will be too.  We hope to see you there!

 

 
 
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