Dakin Alum Named Barn Cat of the Year
by Danielle Cookish
Sophie-Jane is a six-year-old cat with a lush gray coat, bewitching yellow eyes, and a job to do. Every day.
She lives at Thomas Dairy Farm in Sunderland where she works as a Barn Cat, on patrol for unwanted guests. Her excellence has landed her the title “Barn Cat of the Year,” as bestowed by the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF).
“Sophie-Jane exhibited the qualities of an excellent barn cat,” said MFBF Promotion and Education Chair Meg Gennings. “Not only does she keep rodents out of the barn, but she is also extremely affectionate and an excellent napper. Those qualities are what make barn cats popular.”
“She’s so unexpectedly friendly,” stated Laurie Cuevas, who runs the farm with her husband, Jim. “She follows me everywhere, and I’m her person. Jim always says if he can’t find me, he looks for Sophie, and I’ll be there.”
Laurie and Jim adopted the award-winning feline through Dakin’s Barn Cat program, which places cats who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to live comfortably in a cozy, indoor setting. They may have:
- A strong urge to live outdoors
- Litterbox issues
- Discomfort being around people
- A preference to live only among other animals
Or a combination of these or other factors, which makes it difficult for shelters to find living quarters for them.
As barn cats, they are given shelter in barns, warehouses, stables, garages, outbuildings, wineries, or breweries to keep the rodent population down. Their adopters provide daily food and fresh water, as well as regular veterinary care. For those adopting a barn cat from October through April, a heated area is needed. In Sophie-Jane’s case, she has access to the barn’s warm room, where their baby goats are raised.
Laurie said, “We’re so lucky to have her. She brings out the best in us. Every morning she runs up the driveway to greet me and is a little ray of sunshine. She brings me such happiness.”
If you know someone with a barn or other outbuilding that needs patrolling, tell them to sign up today to join our barn cat waitlist. They will be notified when a barn cat becomes available. Adopting these cats is truly a lifesaving act To sign up, click here.