Back on January 28, I shared that Barnard had dared to enter the house one morning as Ulani went out. Since then, Barnard's brief visits have become more frequent. But she only stayed a few minutes before growing uneasy and standing at the door to depart.
Well, this past week things changed.
It began in the middle of the night in the middle of the week. I was having trouble sleeping, tossing and turning and worrying about how tired I would be in the morning. Around 1:30 I heard one of those awful sounds I always fear -- something was shaking a screen on one of my living room windows. Was someone trying to break in?
I jumped out of bed, raced to the yard light switch and turned it on.
"Mew! Mew!" Barnard hopped right up on the back step and demanded entry. So I let her in. I was so relieved that it was not a burglar but Barnard!
Ulani thought it might be a game for Barnard to be inside at night, and Luke was clearly disgusted. But I just went back to bed and slept about three hours until once again I was awakened by "Mew! Mew!" Barnard wanted back out. After I opened the door for her, I got one more hour of sleep.
The following night, around midnight I once again heard the screen sound. Sure enough, there was my little princess. This time she slept through until I got up in the morning, then went back to the barn.
Understand, I know a thing or two about training animals. I realize that my opening the door is a tremendous reinforcement of Barnard's behavior. And I am not about to be getting up in the middle of the night every night.
So on the third night, when it was bedtime I said to Ulani "let's go get Barnard." I went into the barn, swooped up the barn cat and brought her back into the house. Placing her in a comfy chair in the living room I explained "now it's bedtime. We'll get up at six. Sweet dreams!"
Worked like a charm.
And I think we've all turned a corner. Today (Saturday) around 4:30 in the afternoon, I went to visit in the barn and when I left, she followed me back to the house.
Where she's made herself right at home on the spare room couch!
Heavy lake effect snow began overnight, and continues. As I observed the birds enjoying sunflower seeds from the feeder, John Rutter's composition "This is the Day Which the Lord Hath Made," which he wrote for the marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton, played in the background. And I thought to myself, I will rejoice and be glad in it.
I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion. -- Thoreau
There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall. -- Colette
I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other. -- Rilke
As innocent as a new-laid egg. -- W. S. Gilbert
Raising children is like being pecked to death by chickens. --Anonymous, but my mother gave it to me!
Language...has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone. --Paul Johannes Tillich
Life begins when you plant a garden. -- Chinese proverb
The great omission in American life is solitude...that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit. --Marya Mannes
If you were born lucky, even your rooster will lay eggs. -- Russian proverb
When the superficial wearies me, it wearies me so much that I need an abyss in order to rest. --Antonio Porchia
Cocks may crow, but it's the hen that lays the eggs. -- Attr. Margaret Thatcher
I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. -- Henry David Thoreau