We had two Jersey milk cows.
Jerseys are small, light brown, gentle cattle.
With enormous, soft brown eyes.
They are a joy to work with.
Easy to milk.
Patient and quiet.
Our two cows came to our family ready named.
Okay, the names weren't all that creative, I will admit.
Still, they stuck.
The taller cow was Bunny. The one a trifle shorter? Kitty.
The two of them gave us enough milk to supply our needs.
As well as the dairy needs of half the countryside.
We drank the milk.
Separated out the rich cream.
For three years, we lived in Jersey Heaven.
Enough background . . .
I had a friend who travelled about the area cutting hair.
Her skills were required at our farm every six weeks.
Obligingly, she showed up.
Scissors in hand.
To cut an endless parade of shaggy heads.
On one occasion, I was busily churning a batch of butter.
My friend was working in one end of the kitchen.
Me and my butter were positioned in the other.
As she worked, she kept one eye on what I was doing.
Finally, she had to ask. “So, where do you get your milk?”
I smiled. “From my Bunny,” I said.
Her eyes got big. “From your . . .?”
My daughter interrupted. “No, Mom. This milk came from Kitty!”
“Oh, yes.” I looked at my friend.”From my Kitty,” I amended.
Her eyes got bigger as she stared at the enormous amount in the butter churn. “You actually . . . milk . . . a kitty?” she gasped out.
For a moment, we stared at each other.
“Yes . . . I . . .” I stopped, suddenly understanding her confusion. I laughed. Not a real kitty,” I said. “A cow, named Kitty.”
“Oh,” she said, relieved. “For a minute, I wondered.”
I had a sudden mental picture of trying to milk a cat.
It wasn't pretty.
Then I glanced at the two gallons of milk in the churn.
Yep. I understood my friend's look of astonishment.
That would have had to be some cat.