☆ November 1, 2016

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been down at the corrals this year. We turned the front yard into an ICU for Sunshine when he was declining in January – the corrals are down a hill and over another hill from the house and we wanted to keep Sunshine close to us. The yard became Sid‘s playpen when he was born this spring, and it naturally became the place where I helped him bond with Daisy, and, at that point, I just started milking Daisy in the yard, too.

So, I’ve only been down at the corrals a handful of times, when we’ve needed to sort cows or tag calves. Just over a week ago, we took Sid, Roxy, Ixchel, and a couple of other calves to the corrals to wean them. Ixchel, Fiona’s calf, is gigantic. She is nursing solely for comfort at this point. And Daisy was producing SO much milk – she is such a devoted mother – that she has become too thin. The more food I gave her, the more milk she would make – she never gained any weight herself. She became so thin, I became worried for her well being in the inevitable cold and decided we must wean for her sake.

Whenever we wean, we put the calves in the inner corral and leave the outer corral open to the pasture. This way, the mother cows can go in and out of the outer corral and spend as much time as they like right next to their calves. They can sleep and eat side by side, see and smell and talk to each other, and the entire process is very calm for everyone. And very quiet. When calves are weaned and immediately taken away from their mothers (which is the norm), the calves and mother cows cry and call out for each other for DAYS.

The morning after we weaned, I walked down to the corrals with Chloe to check on everyone. I happened to arrive just as Mike was driving up with some hay for the calves. I was standing in the inner corral petting Sid when I heard a very loud meow. An urgent meow. Crouched in the dirt, not three feet from where I stood with Sid and Chloe, was a soggy little orange kitten. I called to Mike, but when he came over, the kitten scampered away and huddled under the railings of the round corral. I threw Chloe’s leash to Mike and scrambled over the railings, dropped into the round corral, and crept towards the kitten. It looked awful – I couldn’t tell if it was sick or crazy or just weak. I took off my t-shirt, and while the kitten was focused on my shirt in my left hand, I reached my right hand behind him and plucked him from his hiding spot by the nape and wrapped him up in my tee. And then. And then! When I held the little bundle against me, he started purring!

We zipped over to the vet, and I’ve spent the last week IN LOVE. He is 11 weeks old. He is neither sick nor crazy, he just needed food and care. We don’t know his origin story – my vet believes he was feral, Mike wonders if he was abandoned. I think the stork of souls dropped him in my path. He’s very likely Eli’s kin. To honor this, I chose a name that begins with the “long i” sound that Eli ends with: Ivan.

Ivan and Chloe are pals – Chloe lets him climb all over her and they are very sweet together. Charlie is really calm and submissive with Ivan but Ivan wants nothing to do with Charlie. Mushy is pissed. She has never not been the baby of the house and she is furious. She’ll get over it. Mushy always seemed so little, but she is positively gigantic compared to this kitten! He is tiny. But his paws are not, and he is already noticeably larger than he was a week ago. He purrs whenever I touch him. I have spent so many hours supine because he fell asleep on me…. and I consider it time very well spent. Here are pictures! If the embeds don’t work for you, you can see them (and more) HERE.

A photo posted by Shreve Stockton (@dailycoyote) on

A photo posted by Shreve Stockton (@dailycoyote) on

A photo posted by Shreve Stockton (@dailycoyote) on


57 Responses to “IVAN”

  1. Amy
    November 1st, 2016 @ 9:41 am

    Stork of Souls is right! Reminds me of the Law of Conservation of Matter – energy is never created or destroyed; it only changes form.

    Welcome, Ivan!

  2. Elaine
    November 1st, 2016 @ 9:52 am

    Welcome back Eli ~ unconditional love knows no boundaries in space and time, such beauty fills our hearts to overflowing forever. Love to you Ivan!

  3. JoDi
    November 1st, 2016 @ 9:54 am

    He’s so adorable! Can’t believe I’ve been missing all this cuteness for a week! That’ll teach me to start checking Instagram regularly again.

  4. Marg
    November 1st, 2016 @ 10:10 am

    There is nothing more calming than a snuggled up kitten purring away on or beside your body. They make great therapy animals because they love to just lie still and be stroked. Everyone wins.

  5. Hellohahanarf
    November 1st, 2016 @ 10:12 am

    Stork of Souls made me smile. So does Ivan. Love to you.

  6. Hellohahanarf
    November 1st, 2016 @ 10:13 am

    Also, Stork of Souls is a great band name. Ha!

  7. TJ
    November 1st, 2016 @ 10:15 am

    No question about it…he is a gift from Eli, personally delivered to you when your heart was ready. How wonderful to choose a name that picks up where Eli left off. He will always be his own soul, just guided to you by Eli and you will both be watched over by the best purry angel ever! How lucky for you both!

  8. Susie Brandt
    November 1st, 2016 @ 10:25 am

    Yeah, me too. He will fill your heart like Eli and with Eli’s approval. Purry blessings abound.

  9. Courtney
    November 1st, 2016 @ 10:41 am

    I LOVE the name story – where Eli ends, Ivan begins – the whole cycle of it reminds me that those who we love honestly never really leave us. I’m thinking somehow, in his own way, Eli sent this little ball of fluff to you.

  10. LJ
    November 1st, 2016 @ 10:42 am

    Amy (#1) such a lovely comment.
    Ivan is where he was meant to be, so adorable!!

  11. torre
    November 1st, 2016 @ 10:42 am

    Ivan you are adorable! you sure know how to pick a great home! enjoy!

  12. Alyssa
    November 1st, 2016 @ 10:45 am

    Oh my goodness that floof of a fluffins. Not enough words to describe the “squeeee” when I saw the pics. He reminded me so much of Eli—I love that you chose Ivan as the name.

    And Amy’s note about the Conservation of Matter is spot on. So happy to see this kitteh in the Farmily!

  13. Steph in Oregon
    November 1st, 2016 @ 11:07 am

    Hi Ivan–you landed in the very best place! What a brave one you are. It will be fun watching him grow up:)

  14. Vicki
    November 1st, 2016 @ 11:40 am

    Ivan is adorable! I love seeing your posts with the farmily!

  15. Torchy
    November 1st, 2016 @ 11:45 am

    Once while fostering kittens for the Humane Society, they sent a little of orange tabbies. They were the wildest things. I called them soccer thugs. While the others hung out under the couch to grab the feet of passers-by, these guys are climbing the bookcases and hanging by one arm, and in my imagination they were hooting at girls and riling up the dogs. What intense ones. Hope the same for you.
    Practically gasping at the number of pics. Chloe alone all the time? Charley doesn’t go on walks with you all?

  16. Sheri Nugent
    November 1st, 2016 @ 11:52 am

    Thanks for the full story. I was dying of curiosity. Lucky kitty. Lucky you.

  17. shreve
    November 1st, 2016 @ 12:18 pm

    T- I take them separately, so we all get 1 on 1 time.

  18. bonnie
    November 1st, 2016 @ 12:19 pm


  19. Bruce
    November 1st, 2016 @ 12:36 pm

    Welcome to the farmily Ivan!

  20. Patr
    November 1st, 2016 @ 12:45 pm

    I swear Eli sent you that baby…. Welcome to the fam Ivan.

  21. mj
    November 1st, 2016 @ 12:55 pm

    I’ve always believed, that when the time is right, the animal you need, will find you. Obviously it was the right time and place for Ivan. Can’t imagine a better place for this little guy to grow up and gets lots of love from lots of Farmily members:)

  22. mlaiuppa
    November 1st, 2016 @ 1:25 pm

    Oh, yes. There could very well be some Eli genes in this one. Eli’s grandchild perhaps? Did Eli have big feet?

    It’s funny how Charlie is submissive to the kitten. That could be a tell as well. There may be a certain Eli scent to him that is genetic. My dog knows blood kin to me. He’s never met my brother (from Florida) who visited recently but he knew he was pack.

    I think the kitten will warm up to Charlie eventually, but may be aloof, tolerant and Alpha to him, just like Eli was. Perhaps someday they’ll all nap together like Charlie and Chloe used to do with Eli. It’s awesome he is a major purr machine too. And naps on you.

    I know you’re using the long i sound for EYE-van but I’ll be reading it with the long ee sound for ee-VAHN in honor of Eli. Had a student who pronounced his name that way. Never mind me.

  23. Nicole Daniel
    November 1st, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

    I am in love now too. Oh my god.

  24. Anonyplgrim
    November 1st, 2016 @ 2:29 pm

    I have my own little one who keeps me pinned down on the couch because he’s purring and sleeping. I hope Ivan continues to bring you smiles for a long time.

  25. bp
    November 1st, 2016 @ 3:05 pm


    and Ivan is THE name for him.

  26. Theresa Szpila
    November 1st, 2016 @ 3:26 pm

    Ah, wonderful….I’m purring, myself, just reading this. Ditto to all said above.

    Sending hugs and blessings to all!

  27. Alice
    November 1st, 2016 @ 3:27 pm

    He’s adorable! I love him already!

  28. Alice
    November 1st, 2016 @ 3:27 pm

    He’s adorable! I love him already!

  29. Janet M
    November 1st, 2016 @ 3:51 pm

    Sweet pictures! He is totally adorable.

  30. Karen
    November 1st, 2016 @ 4:54 pm

    The Instant Purr– bliss! Congratulations on your new, furry-purry farmily member. He’s a doll.

  31. Mimi
    November 1st, 2016 @ 4:55 pm

    Those are some big ol’ paws! He’s yours Shreve. That’s why he came…

  32. Lynne
    November 1st, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

    Talk about divine intervention! Ivan is exactly where he belongs, as are you! I start every day with your sites and the photos and have done so since the very beginning. Usually once is enough but since the arrival of Ivan, I find myself going back throughout the day, hoping for the great surprises you share. Love the story and you…thank you so much for sharing your life!

  33. Lindsay in Oregon
    November 1st, 2016 @ 5:32 pm

    How precious!! What a cute little guy! I love the tribute to Eli.

    I re-read the story of Sunshine’s passing. So devastating! I hope that time has dulled your pain. Losing family, even the four-legged kind, is so hard.

  34. Ginny Fitter
    November 1st, 2016 @ 6:13 pm

    Eli would be so proud!! Have loved hearing Ivan’s story and checking for new pictures of him on Instagram each day. Thanks for taking him in. The video of him attacking the antler is too much…..He walks away, letting the antler develop a false sense of security and think the danger has passed……then BAM!! HA!

  35. Jane Cashion
    November 1st, 2016 @ 6:20 pm

    How amazing to open this and read about your Ivan. My Ivan passed away unexpectedly this morning and I got the news from my friend who is caring for my cats while I’m out of town. My Ivan was a huge big guy with a graveley meow. He had no tail because he had been hit by a car when he would young and out fending for himself. His tail had to be removed to save his life. Ivan and I had been together for many many years and we both loved each other so much. I can hardly stand to think of going home and Ivan not being there to greet me. Home is going to be empty even with all my other critters. Ivan was a one-of-a-kind guy. Thanks for sharing your story and I wish you many many years of love and antics with your Ivan.

  36. Liane B
    November 1st, 2016 @ 6:32 pm

    Love, love, love that Eli sent his son to you. The kid is adorable. Thank you for making the farmily come alive for us, wherever we may be.
    Welcome, Ivan.

  37. wright1
    November 1st, 2016 @ 7:47 pm

    What an adorable addition to the Farmily. Glad Ivan is off to a great start and that everyone else is adjusting to the new arrival… one way or another.

  38. Lisa K.
    November 1st, 2016 @ 9:11 pm

    Eli!! You live on!

  39. Alyxx
    November 2nd, 2016 @ 9:03 am


    Welcome, Ivan, to a farmly of love.

  40. Deborah
    November 2nd, 2016 @ 9:05 am

    That’s the sweetest thing I’ve read and seen for days. Congratulations on your precious gift from the Stork of Souls (what a great name!) and the Universe.

  41. Annette Quale
    November 2nd, 2016 @ 9:07 am

    Adorable. What happened to Eli? I miss him. Wonderful cat.

  42. Maryanne
    November 2nd, 2016 @ 11:31 am

    Oh those pink jelly bean toes! What a sweet baby.

  43. Jenny C
    November 2nd, 2016 @ 12:23 pm

    Oh baaaby… what a darling boy-kittie. Yummy little poses, yumtious big paws. He does indeed seem to carry Eli’s genetic bits, especially if Charlie has been deferential from the start. Nothing like a cat to make it obvious when they’re miffed, hehe. Mushy will decide in her own time when she’s ready to allow her fam back into her royal sphere. All these dear ones… big piles of thanks for sharing with us!

    So sorry you lost your Ivan, Jane (35). Hugs to you.

  44. Felyne
    November 2nd, 2016 @ 1:16 pm

    Ivan the Red!

    Cuter than evan little Ivan is just how smitten with the kitten you are.

    Kittens: solving the worlds problems one rule of cuteness paw pad at a time.

  45. taffy
    November 2nd, 2016 @ 1:18 pm

    He’s marmalade, tangerine and ginger (sweet and spicy) all in one and in such gorgeous markings! And a lucky kitty on top of it.

  46. Kay
    November 2nd, 2016 @ 6:23 pm

    I am so happy this little kitty came into your life. He won’t take the place of Eli (who was a wonderful, truly admired, and well loved cat), but he will become more and more special in his own way. He is a beautiful kitten, and he has found a wonderful home. I think Eli would approve. :)

  47. JaneK
    November 2nd, 2016 @ 8:07 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh. He is awesome!!!
    Carson at the7msnranch.com took in a “feral” barn cat through a barn cat adoption program. He is orange like Ivan and , as it turns out, is not really that feral :-) there is something about those orange kitties :-)
    Congrats on your new addition!

  48. Bev
    November 3rd, 2016 @ 8:20 am

    Just precious! So glad you two found each other (with Eli’s help). Ivan has the best home and farmily ever.

  49. Kathleen
    November 3rd, 2016 @ 12:41 pm

    So much squee! Your farmily is growing and changing (in a wonderful way!) and I lose track of some of the characters. It would be great to see a farmily photo album to show who’s who!!

  50. Miranda
    November 3rd, 2016 @ 7:04 pm

    A feral kitten would have been taught by mom or knows by instinct to stay away from a coyote or be eaten. Seems very natural it avoids Charlie.

  51. Sharon Z
    November 4th, 2016 @ 9:02 am

    The picture of Ivan laying on Chloe is so cute and funny. Good for Ivan that he found you.

  52. shreve
    November 4th, 2016 @ 2:13 pm

    K ~ I have been meaning to do this – thanks for reminding me!!

  53. Mark S
    November 7th, 2016 @ 6:09 pm

    Congratulations! The universe decided it was time for him to come to you. Sometimes things just work out the way they are mean to. I remember the story of how you got Charlie. For some reason rather than being killed that day he was spared and brought to you. Now it was time for this little one to find a home with you. As always, thanks for caring for them like you do.

  54. kelli graves
    November 8th, 2016 @ 8:23 am

    I think your soul sings loudest when you are in this role of discovery, protecter and giver of unconditional love. what a lucky little fuzzball.

  55. Janey
    November 10th, 2016 @ 7:30 am

    These photos of your beautiful new boy make me wish for an Ivan calendar….

  56. Deanna
    November 12th, 2016 @ 11:33 am

    Seems like it’s just always the best when they come to you when you weren’t looking at all. Eli reincarnated. Oh Eli! Oh Ivan! I bet Ivan gets to liking Charlie. I wonder if he will ever boss Charlie around like Eli did. That would be a hoot.

  57. Cat
    November 16th, 2016 @ 1:07 am

    What a beautiful gift. My face is now very messy.

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