Farm Vacation- Cows, Kittens, and Munch

For Munch, one of the most anticipated things of our farm stay was getting to be with the animals. For weeks leading up to our trip, she would ask whether there would be chickens or pigs or cows and so on. I remember having my own week-long farm stay when I was a fifth grader attending school in San Francisco- some sort of agriculture/outdoor education for city kids. Students were hosted by farming families- I recall ours had vineyards and several pigs. Other students stayed at dairy farms and fed the baby calves. After our daily class excursions, we'd have plenty of time to explore the farm we were staying on and classmates would walk over from the neighboring farm to play. It was a wonderful experience and I hoped that Munch's visit would be just as memorable.

Living on my aunt and uncle's Wisconsin farm are several heifers and a young bull. My uncle and aunt do not live there year-round (too cold in the winters!), so his brother works the fields and keeps his heifers there until they are impregnated. Then the cows are tranferred to his dairy farm. Munch's bedroom window overlooked the cow barn, and every morning we'd peek out to catch a glimpse of them. The animals kept their distance for the first few days-
but eventually got used to us and allowed us to pet them. I've always thought that cows were adorable (from a distance), but when they're standing next to you, it's hard to forget that they're HUGE animals.

Living in the woodshed were the other animal residents of the farm- dozens of cats! Some were wild and hid during most of our visit, but a few had been tamed by my aunt. Munch and I were delighted to meet the kittens and after that, every spare moment was spent cuddling them and getting them used to being handled by people.This is one of the tiniest babies, Cole-
This little kitten caught Munch's eye and was so sweet.
Little Annie tolerated all of Munch's random handling, turning into a rag doll in her arms, as Munch cooed baby talk to her.
Within days, we found the kitten waiting patiently for Munch to come to the door in the mornings and lingering in the driveway for us to return whenever we went out.
After growing up with large dogs, it was a treat for Munch to have a kitten to cuddle that was just her size

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