Farm Friday, November 3rd, 2023

Another cat!

Andrew Gaertner
4 min readNov 3, 2023

Tuesday was Halloween. My Morris dance team danced in the nearby town of Menomonie, and when I came home I heard a loud yowling coming from somewhere on the farm. I was instantly scared that I had inadvertently let our new cat Franny out earlier, and I went to look for her.

Instead of Franny, I found a furry tabby in our long barn shelter, crying loudly. Our dog Pippa chased the cat, so I took Pip inside and came back outside to see if the cat was still around. Boy, was he ever! He was purring and rubbing up against my legs, and before I knew it he had jumped up and was on my shoulders.

It was a cold night, and our guest room had recently been vacated by stray cat number one, Franny, so we were all set up to welcome this furry friendly boy into the house. Unlike Franny, he was very skinny, and later the vet confirmed that he has not been neutered, so we don’t think he was dumped by city folks. Instead, we think he just left another farm and found his way here. It happens — especially to boy cats.

The tentative name is Bear because he has big paws with sharp claws. But we are taking suggestions. We are not sure he will stay with us because Franny has to get along with him. For now, he is on isolation protocol, but they can see each other under the door crack.

In other news, we got our first snow on Monday night. It was cold enough this week that most of the snow stuck around until today when the temps hit 50 degrees.

Big week for the farm. The Junior Highers who were here until today hosted two gatherings this week. The first was a party for their parents and the second was a group of 1st-3rd graders. Both went well. We also sent in a bunch of produce on Tuesday — carrots, squash, Brussels Sprouts, mostly.

Halloween stray cat. Bear? — All but one photo by the author
Amazing sunset — photo by my partner, Jen
He made his case by insisting.
Snow! I need to put that wagon away
We made broom corn wreaths with the students last week.
Rhea — checking out PIppa
Dripping off the roof
I love the red of the barn with the snow
The peg loom and a rug in process
Does this leek remind you of anything?
Frozen butternut sap from a broken twig
Beans that we grew in the three sisters' garden. The variety is called Rattlesnake Master
My friend’s Star Wars-inspired costume.
Our Morris dance team
Sunflowers are beautiful even after they start to die
Love the rusty colors
Hanging on
Ice from the top of five-gallon bucket
Our neighbors found a huge puffball mushroom and put it out instead of pumpkin

In writing news, I am pleased to report that in October I had my first-ever Medium Partner Program earnings above $100. Woohoo! I have been writing here for almost three years, and most months are under $20. So this is a big deal, to me.

I have a dozen stories in draft form, but no time to complete any of them lately (have my standards gone up now that I am a hundred-aire? maybe). I am most interested in researching and writing about how Wisconsin seems to be going in the wrong direction on racial segregation and structural markers of inequality.

Thanks for reading!



Andrew Gaertner

To live in a world of peace and justice we must imagine it first. For this, we need artists and writers. I write to reach for the edges of what is possible.