Sunday, January 27, 2013

Aiken Cats!

Eventers may flock to Aiken for the horses, but 24 hours into our trip, and Aiken is all about cats!  My mom, Katchi, Schmoe (my cat!), and I made the 10 hour drive yesterday and we were all thrilled to arrive to 56 degrees (when we left Maryland it was a bitter 19 degrees!).  Phillip arranged for us to stay just down the road from his farm - but he failed to mention the horse farm is a cat farm!!!  The barn (which is beautiful!) must have more than 20 barn cats - and no detail has been overlooked for their comfort,  convenience, and care.  It's a barn cat dream come true!  

A short ladder lives next to the saddle rack - to let the kitties easily  arrive on the grooming rack divider rail.  Would hate for them to have to jump too high or risk falling trying to hop down!

What this fluffy orange cat has hidden behind his back, hanging from the ceiling,  is a mouse toy in a noose! 

After spending the morning getting Katchi adjusted to his vacation home, riding, cleaning tack, and playing with the kitties - my mom and I headed into historic Aiken.  Unfortunately, we forgot that Aiken sleeps on Sunday - except for one antique shop.  While they had some beautiful items, my favorite was the basket of "lucky horse shoes" for a mere $1.50 each.  I wonder what my farrier would say if I came home from Aiken with a "lucky horse shoe" for him as a gift?!?!

Digging through "antiques" I was relieved to discover this 5th place ribbon from Jumping Branch did not have a price tag.  Apparently it was store decoration.  Though the used nylon halter for $20... well, I didn't buy it.  
Though Aiken was sleeping, my mom and I had the best time checking out the Aiken Cats!  The Cats are all over the city, painted by artists, and to be sold to benefit the reconstruction of the Gaston Livery Stable.  We had so much fun walking along the closed store fronts, being surprised over and over again by a new cat!  Of all of them, my absolute favorite is the blue racing cat "9 Lives" - he's all decked out in a saddle and bridle!  If anyone would like buy this $5,000 little kitty for me, I promise to display him proudly as the chief barn cat in my new barn!!!  Check out the page of all the cats - they are awesome!

The Hunt Master

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