A gentleman farmer and his wife lady farmer had two wonderful black and white cats that lived on their large farm alongside the heavily wooded and wetlands of Connecticut. The gentleman and lady farmer owned 30 acres of grassland and over 80 acres of forest and wetlands with many natural animals. It is a land full of deer, rabbits, groundhogs, beavers, foxes, coyotes, giant hawks, birds, raccoons, skunks, mice, moles, turtles and many different insects.
The two black and white cats lived in harmony with each other and all the other animals on the farm and in the forest. The name of the male cat was “Din-din” and the name of the female cat was “Arabela.” They were well cared for by the gentleman and lady farmer, but they were getting along in years. They each lived for 22 years after which they returned to their maker. The gentleman and lady farmer knew that this day would come but always thought that it would not be today. After the day it happened, the gentleman and lady farmer were very sad for weeks. Even the animals on the farm knew that things were no longer the same. They also missed Din-din and Arabela.
One day the gentleman and lady farmers were talking about Din-din and Arabela and the gentleman farmer said, “This farm needs two new cats.” They both believed that the maker would provide since they really loved cats. More time passed.
Then, one day the gentleman farmer had to go to the Farmer’s Exchange to pick up supplies for the week. As he was working with the sales clerk to load his truck with the supplies of food, fertilizer, plants, little chickens, and guinea foul, the gentleman farmer happened to notice a hand written sign advertising free cats. The gentleman farmer asked where the cats were. The clerk indicated that he only had a phone number of the cat owners. The gentlemen noted the phone number and immediately called the lady farmer on his cell phone to tell her that there were free cats available. The lady farmer said, “This is wonderful. Try to get two cats.” The gentleman farmer called the cat owner, also a farmer, and determined that the cats were still available. Also, most of the cats were black and white, ranging in age from 2 to 4 weeks. He asked the cat owner if he could come by to see them. The owner gave the gentleman farmer the directions to his farm.
When the gentleman farmer arrived, he saw an 80-acre open field and rolling-hills with horses, cows, chickens and many very large older cats. The gentleman farmer introduced himself to the owner farmer. Further conversation determined that the two farmers had many things in common. The gentleman farmer asked, “Where are the cats?” The owner’s wife said, “They are eating in the barn.” When the gentleman farmer went to see the cats, he could not believe his eyes. There were about 20 black and white cats from 3 to 4 different litters. They were eating communally in a 20-foot long feeding trough. The gentleman farmer said, “I have never had the opportunity to select from among some many cats. I always had to accept a cat without a choice.” The gentleman farmer asked. “Can I take 2 cats?” The owner farmer said, “Yes.” Then the gentleman farmer began his selection. In frustration, the gentleman farmer said, “I having difficulty deciding.”
As the gentleman farmer was looking around, he looked straight down to his left foot. There was a beautiful black and white female cat looking straight up at him with very big eyes. The gentleman farmer interpreted that the cat was saying, “Pick me, pick me, pick me.” The gentleman farmer said, “This is the first cat.” Then the gentleman farmer closely observed the other cats. He noticed that there was a cat that appeared to be the leader of all the cats running around. The cat also was the oldest cat being 2 weeks older than the female cat he selected. Whatever direction the cat was running, the other cats followed. The gentleman farmer pointing to the cat and asked, “Can I have that male cat?” The owner farmer said. “Yes.” It then took 30 minutes to catch him.
The gentleman farmer put both cats in the cab of his truck. The cats immediately huddled together in friendship, which the gentleman farmer interpreted as a good omen. The gentleman farmer said to the owner farmers, “I would really like to take all these beautiful cats but I can only take two. I want to thank you folks for the privilege of visiting your farm to get these two fabulous cats.” The owner farmers said, “You are very welcome and welcome to return again, even it’s just to visit.”
The gentlemen farmer left in his truck, eager to return to his farm and the lady farmer to show how very graciously and privileged the maker had given them these cats. They both pledged to care for these cats for as long as they were allowed. The gentleman farmer placed the cats upon the land and they took to the farm like fish to water. At first, they ran around cautiously but later confidently. The lady farmer asked, “What are the names of these beautiful cats?” The gentleman farmer said, “Lets observe them for a week before we name them.”
After a week of observation, it was very clear what names the gentleman farmer wanted for their cats. When he picked up the female cat, she would totally relax all her muscles and melt like butter. He held the cat above his head and said, “To give you the longevity of Arabela and because you relax when handled, you shall be called ‘Butter-belle’ pronounced ‘Butter-bell’.” He then picked up the male cat and held the cat above his head and said. “To give you the longevity of Din-din and because you run like a pony, You shall be called ‘Pony-din’.” The lady farmer agreed. Even the farm animals and the forest animals agreed and all were happy again because of the harmony that they would enjoy with these two new cats.
Every morning at 5:00AM, Pony-din and Butter-belle would jump upon the bed where the gentleman and lady farmer were sleeping. They would walk right up to their face and tickle their face with their whiskers. If that did not wake them up, they would lick their noses. This always worked. The gentleman farmer would say, “Good morning Pony-din and Butter-belle. Yes it’s time to do the farm chores.”
For weeks, Pony-din and Butter-belle played on the farm. They would run, jump and wrestle with each other. They would play games of “attack the prey.” They would alternately take on the role of hunter and prey. Sometimes, they would both take on the role of hunter with a 40-foot distance between themselves.
They would charge toward each other and when they met, they would jump three feet into air, hugging each other and come down wrestling in play. Then Butter-belle would get up and run at full speed over the grass up the big hill and Pony-din would chase after her. At the top of the hill they would wrestle together in play. The gentleman and lady farmer noticed all this play.
The gentleman and lady farmer noticed all this play. The gentleman farmer with his arm around the lady farmer while both watching the cats at play said to the lady farmer, “This is good. Happiness is best when shared.” The lady farmer said, “Yes. And harmony has return to this farm again.”