Vale “Bionic Bubby” the Barn Cat

I still love to read real print books. I own a Kindle and have even published a couple of books on Kindle, but I still like the feel of a real book.

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I purchase all of my books through Kindle, but if it is a beautiful or touching book, I then go ahead and purchase the print version.

I was in a book store a few years ago. I was passing time before a job interview. Scanning the shelves, I was drawn to the book spine with a red and white checker background pattern, like a picnic tablecloth.


I picked it up and opened it to a random page. One word jumped out at me. “Bubby”. This is the name of my younger cat. He had just turned 11.

I read the text and immediately decided to buy this beautiful book. When I was called for my job interview I was engrossed in the book. Maybe they don’t like bookworms because I did not get the job.

The book is “The Bucolic Plague” by Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Don’t you love the title?

It’s the story of how two Manhattanites, Josh and Brent, became gentleman farmers. It starts at the very beginning when they saw the house and were immediately drawn to it. We learn about their life in New York and we follow them as they make the mad choice to purchase the beautiful old house and then attempt to pay their mortgage.

This is not a shiny story that is intended to inspire us but actually makes us feel inept. This is the real story with all their mistakes and triumphs.

But back to Bubby. He was “the number-one mouser at the farm….He didn’t tolerate anything smaller than a foot long within a hundred-yard vicinity of the barn. He was known to sit high in the hayloft door, watching for approaching intruders in the surrounding fields. Within a split second, he’d run down the hay conveyor belt, leap onto the split rail fence, and race down the pasture, reaching his victim before it even knew it was in a war zone. We were pretty sure it was Bubby’s remarkably bright goldenrod-yellow eyes that gave him his super-fine x-ray vision.”

A few years before the boys moved in, Bubby had been hit by a car. The owners at the time spared no expense for his treatment. As a result, he was “perhaps the only barn cat in the world with his hip held together with an intricate patchwork of titanium rods. His nickname was “Bionic Bubby.”

He evidently appreciated the effort and expense, because when he came home he was “the world’s most grateful and loving barn cat.”

I devoured this book in a couple of days. The language is straightforward and honest, easy to read. Josh and Brent’s doubts, regrets, and, yes, their arguments are documented.

The residents of Sharon Springs, New York are lovingly described in detail, helping the reader to really get to know them.

I was inspired to plant vegetables in my garden. Bubby would sit on Josh’s shoulder as he prepared the ground. My Bubby hasn’t quite learned how to do that. But he doesn’t need to, he can sit on the wooden borders of my raised beds. Much more stable. I’m sure Bionic Bubby would love to sit there too.

You might like to see the memorial on the Beekman Boys website. While you’re there, have a look around the website. There are countless beautiful images of all the gorgeous Beekman animals. Meet Onder, the gorgeous doggie.

Vale Bubby the Barn Cat.

Thanks for all your years of being chief mouse hunter and gardening supervisor!

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