I’m constantly telling our team how important it is that every animal on this farm have a purpose in order to make running a complex and integrated farming system like ours possible. If they dont’ serve a purpose in helping us balance the ecological needs then they kind of need to hit the road. Sounds harsh…but anything short of useful is a drain that will make us eventually dislike farming. The barn cats are no exception they got a job to do. We can only really afford the time for one pet on this farm and thats Todd Chester our dog. He serves a role but its more of the spiritual sort. That’s a story for another time…
So back to Tobias the cat (pictured) who was brought here with the intent of being a rat and mouse catcher in the barn. Which he is not. For the first few months all he did was sneak into my office and rip up paper towels. Occasionally he would attack baby barn swallows that fall from their nests. So Tobias earned the reputation of “lazy opportunist” and had no real marketable skill. His days here were numbered and I was thinking maybe he needed to find a job in the city. But then, of course, something happened… but not what I or anyone else expected.
Since my office is in the barn it occasionally gets over run by flies. It was so bad in there one day that the buzzing noise made it hard to concentrate. They were all over the place hitting me in the face…so I walked out and took my work elsewhere. But when I left, I accidentally locked lazy Tobias inside. A few hours later I returned and was disappointed to find Tobias sitting in my chair. I began grumbling “what did you rip up this time Tobias?”. He stared at me with that blank lazy look and as he did I noticed something different about the room. No buzzing noises… no flies. It would later be proven time and time again that Tobias was in fact a great hunter of a different sort. That day he had captured and eaten every single fly. Now he gets ushered around the barn moving from office to office solving the most annoying pest issue that we have no natural answer for… until now. Purpose served…..Tobias – The Fly Hunter.