I know what some readers must be thinking today "Come on, Bean. Sheep yesterday, a cow story today, and tomorrow is Tater Tot Friday? When did your stupid blog turn into The Petting Zoo Daily?"
Stay with me. Thing One: There is a good reason to bring up Betsy, one of our cows today. I wrote earlier in the year that she had been briefly ill with a respiratory infection. We treated it with regular injections of a strong broad spectrum antibiotic and she recovered nicely. We thought her well on the road to recovery as she seemed engaged again, more active and her appetite returned.
Sunday morning she did not want to come down to the barn for breakfast. She was lethargic, wasn't interested in eating, and was obviously not feeling well.
We've made some progress with her since then, finding out that she's always in the mood for apples and pears, plus we switched her straight alfalfa with a mix of alfalfa and Timothy grass. So far so good. But we are still looking into maybe getting her down to Oregon State University next week for a more thorough physical some x-rays.
But why the sudden change in her health?
Now Thing Two:
We live on a small island and it is not unusual to see the names of people we know in the local newspaper. Unfortunately, they sometimes appear on the obituary page. That was the case in yesterday's weekly edition of The Beachcomber. Some highlights:
"Edith Williams, 90, died June 8 at her home after a long life of political, educational and community leadership. The last surviving granddaughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, Mrs. Williams was long active in the Republican Party at state and national levels. She seconded the nomination of Richard Nixon in 1960 and supported Sen. John McCain's presidential bid in 2000. For almost all of her adult life she promoted the educational and commemorative programs of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, headquartered in New York...."
The obituary notice goes on to tell more of the story of this fascinating woman but one part of her life that did not make the paper was her long, close relationship with a beloved pet that was born on her property. A pet she kept for twenty years until Mrs. Williams' failing health made it necessary for her to find a new home and a new caretaker for the animal.
That day came about four years ago, the day that Donna and I drove over to Edith's house and met Betsy for the first time. We have cherished her ever since and consider her fully a part of our family but I can't help but wonder if somehow, some way, Betsy and Edith might have still been connected on some level. Is it possible that a cow could feel some disturbance in The Force on the day the person she lived with for two decades passed on?
I have heard of stories like this before. I know a dog that cried for a week when the dog he used to live with died, over a thousand miles away. I am not going to try to explain that simpatico and I wouldn't blame you for laughing out loud and then mocking me for the absurdity of the whole idea.
I'm just sayin.'