When we sold the farm last year and moved back to the city full time many of our animals had to be placed with families we knew. We just couldn’t bring all 10 of our cats to live with us in the city. Some of them were born in our horse stables and had lived their lives among the mares, newborn foals, and colts.
I moved some of these cats to our dear friend Frank’s stables in Tennessee to live. Frank has been a great daddy to these adorable kids, and the cats love being in heaven with the horses. Ally, our calico cat, became the talk of middle Tennessee. A horse trainer from Kentucky brought his prized colt to Frank’s stable to stay for a few days while he showed him at a local horse show. The colt did not like his surroundings and just went wild in the stall. The trainer could not calm the horse down and neither could anyone else. Everyone was trying to figure out what was wrong with the horse and what they could do about it. He would not eat, would not calm down, and was climbing the walls of the stall.
This valuable horse had to be ready in two days for the horse show. They were holding a meeting in the barn office when one of the groomers yelled for everyone to come to the colt’s stall right away. All the men jumped up and walked to the stall. They all stared in total silence.
The colt was eating his grain and sitting inside the feeding tray was Ally eating the grain with the colt. She was purring and rubbing against the colt. The colt was rubbing his nose against Ally and loving her more with every bite of grain he ate. The horse finally stopped eating and from pure exhaustion sat down on the floor of the stall. Ally immediately jumped on the relaxed colt and decided to sit in a ball, still purring, under the colt’s chin as they both rested.
That was it. From that moment on they were a couple. If the cat left the stall the horse went wild. The groomer would pick up the cat, place it in the stall, and the horse would immediately calm down and be docile. It was hilarious. The only way they could get the colt out of the stall was for someone to hold the cat close to the horse and walk with the cat in their arms while the horse followed the cat down the hall of the barn. They could saddle the horse and ride it as long as the horse saw the cat. As the day wore on it got more hilarious. The colt had a perfect gate and did great as long as he could have the cat close.
On the day of the horse show, the trainer was at his wit’s end. He decided to have the groomer carry the cat into the horse trailer so the horse would follow the cat into the trailer. It worked. The man held the cat in the back of the horse trailer beside the horse as they drove to the horse show. The colt was demure and happy. The horse went into the show ring and did beautifully as the man held the cat beside the ring so the horse knew Ally was there. Word had spread about this horse-cat couple so everyone was laughing and enjoying the adorable spectacle.
The next day the colt had to return to Kentucky. The trainer tried to load the colt but the colt would not leave the stall. The horse was bucking and freaking out because Ally, the cat, was not there. Frank found Ally and the horse calmed down immediately. The trainer asked Frank if he could borrow Ally for a couple days. He wanted to take the cat with him so they could get the horse safely back to Kentucky. They would chauffeur Ally back to Tennessee once the mission was accomplished. The plan worked and Ally is now safely returned back to her new home in Tennessee.
The folks in middle Tennessee still laugh about the “odd couple,” and share precious pictures and stories of the beloved pair.Tags: dr. kathleen hall, friendship, mindful animals, mindful living, unlikely bonds