A Tail of a Cat and 10 Chickens
It’s a funny thing. Cats normally chase birds, right? Well, when the chickens are in their coop, Gryphon, our cat, lounges on the path around the coop and hangs out with the chickens. As the only cat, he really enjoys their company! Well, then, when the chickens are let out to free range in on our backyard farm, suddenly the tables are turned and the chickens rule the yard!
The chickens will tolerate Gryphon for a while, and then they just decide he needs to give them a little more space so they will literally chase him away, running and with wings a flapping. I have even seen them peck at his bottom once or twice to make sure he knows they mean business! I think Gryphon secretly enjoys being chased, although he has never chased any chicken in return. Gryphon is very sweet and a kitten at heart—not an experienced tom cat. While he likes to play and hunt, he knows to be gentle with the chickens and does not bother them, but I have seen him purposely get in their way by running across the yard just so he can be chased!
I think Gryphon truly enjoys the chickens companionship and is even a little jealous that the chickens have their very own outside house, better known as the coop. Gryphon is known to run from our patio straight down to the coop and run right up the coop ladder into it. He loves to roll around in the sand and be a part of the camaraderie of the coop. If we open the backdoor of the coop, look out! Gryphon comes from out of nowhere and jumps up, flying into the coop! We have been rodent-free in the coop, which may be due to Gryphon’s presence, a blessing.
It’s been a pleasant experience to watch Gryphon and the chickens interact. They’ve been cat nose to chicken beak apart and just stare at each other without altercation. They’re curious, yet accepting of each other—there is that calm, trusting peacefulness—it’s an amazing thing—you can feel it in the air!
The chickens are also very attracted to Gryphon’s tail when it flinches and moves. They are so intrigued, they will watch his tail for a long time, and then sometimes will peck at it. Gryphon’s reaction is to nonchalantly slowly get up and walk away, fluffy tail flitting behind him. So, even though nature and the theory of survival of the fittest would normally dictate a cat chasing chickens, Gryphon seems to be lowest on the pecking order at this urban backyard farm, and for this, we are extremely grateful for his protection and his presence![table “15” not found /]
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