Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Unhappy cows.

41 degrees yesterday. That's 106 in old money . Forecast to be hotter today.  On the top of the ridge the last of the sunflowers shrivelling under the constant heat. By the market square the cafe  has put out yet more, unmatching, umbrellas. Four of them are on the sidewalk blocking parking spaces and providing shade for passing pigeons. Only one of them is positioned by a table. Must be a French thing .

For the last two years the cows in the field across the lane have been well looked after. But, recently, the farmer seems to have lost interest in them. This week particularly bad. They've had no fodder and no water for two days. Their drinking trough completely dry.  They moan through the heat of the night. I return with the morning croissants to find 'the font' determinedly hauling buckets of water a couple of hundred metres through the garden and along the lane to their  trough. No sooner is it poured in than the two cows noisily and happily slurp it up. I link five lengths of hosepipe together to make the job of filling the container easier. Within a couple of minutes a car runs over, and smashes, two of the connectors. Back to the bucket relay. 

I call the mayor. Yes, he knows about what's going on . He's seen the poor things reaching up to eat the leaves on the tree branches and has spoken to the gendarmes . They've been to see the farmer who's told them to mind their own business. The farmers also told the mayor that they're his cows and he doesn't want anyone interfering. He'll look after them in his own way and sue anyone who meddles.

'The font' is fired up and all for getting in the car and driving off to the gendarmerie to lodge a formal complaint. '' There are laws about this " . Angus , who is not an expert of French animal welfare legislation, suggests that this might not be the best solution. We don't want him slaughtering the cows simply because they're too much trouble. No sentient being should die simply because they're too much trouble. For today we'll stick with the buckets and work out how to deal with the bad farmers bloody mindedness.

A trip to see the mayor is on the top of this mornings agenda.


  1. Hoping that top photo becomes a Christmas or other greeting card. Also hoping the cows get some food and water on a regular basis...

  2. Well done 'the font' and Angus for not just standing idly by and letting the cows die of neglect. Best of luck with the mayor.
    Cheers, Gail.

  3. Definitely tell the police - or a local version of RSPCA. There are laws that cover Europe :) Good on you Angus and The Font.

  4. The poor things. Thank goodness for you both. I hope the meeting with the mayor goes well. I think there may be a main office of the S.P.A in Toulouse.

  5. We're with the Font! Glad you're hauling water until it gets sorted.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  6. I would do the same thing, and I'm afraid of cows....Good luck!!

  7. Thank God for you and the Font to come to their rescue....I would do the same thing too.
    There must be something that can be done about his neglect of the poor animals. Here we call the RSPCA and they come by and take the animals away, since it's inhumane and very cruel to make animals suffer.
    Continue to give them the water to drink, since the heat is awful.
    Best of luck to you on this new problem, and please keep us posted on the outcome.

  8. Good on “the font” for seeing what needed doing and taking water to the cows.

    As strange as this seems, how about someone in your village taking a bit of food and/or a bottle of the wine to the farmer to find out how he is before more formal complaints make matters more heated. Who knows what circumstances have changed in his life, so that something he previously did well is too much for him now. Animals should never suffer, but sometimes how people seem is not how they really are, and they get backed into a corner by other people criticising them and react in ways (sometimes angry or abusive) that are not how they usually would. Having officials tell you that you are not coping does not help you cope if you are already struggling to cope or depressed. You wrote that he used to look after his cows well, so something has changed. Of course, if it then turns out he is fine and has just chosen to neglect his animals this year then there really is a valid reason for action to be taken.

  9. Sounds like a trip to the cellar for
    a bottle (or two) of champage for a late
    afternoon follow-up meeting with the mayor
    and perhaps the head gendarme will be
    in order. Never a dull moment in your
    corner of the world.

    We have same temps in Texas (with central

  10. I'm for punching the farmer in the face.
    Some times the old ways are best.

  11. Thank goodness for 'the font' and for you helping her! Perhaps the farmer is not able to care for them anymore, but is too proud to admit his troubles? I hope your visit with the mayor ends with a solution to help the cows. Good luck!

  12. thank god for people like you and the font. i would say desperate cows, not unhappy.
    i would be hauling buckets too and accidentally leaving a gate open.
    we just had a case of animal cruelty in our county.
    we have had temperatures in the hundreds every day for months now and nights in the 90's ...
    a cow and a half dead horse managed to escape. the police
    were called... there were three more dead horses and one too weak to stand...
    they'd had no food or water for who knows how long. the "owner" was given a fine.
    he had a court date but now can no longer be found.
    i could literally shoot that kind of monster in the kneecaps... and i could do the
    same to your farmer. when it comes to helpless animals, i get outraged.
    maybe he needs time in a cage out there in the heat with no food or water.
    no excuses for someone like him. NONE.

  13. God bless you. When mother nature fails...these creatures are SO dependent on the aid of a human. When finances or resources fall through ...compassion needs to rise. When neglect turns to cruelty...unfortunately, higher powers need to step forward for the sake of humane treatment - Suffering is an UGLY UGLY state to witness. Hoping for good news.

  14. I feel for the font and Angus hauling buckets in the awful heat, but blessings to you both for caring so much for these cows. Hopefully it will get solved quickly for the sake of the animals.

  15. Better slaughtered than dying a prolonged death of thirst and starvation.
    I'm with Pamela Terry and Edward.

  16. I hope you, the Font, mayor and chief gendarme are able to remedy the situation. There is no excuse for animal cruelty and the way the farmer treats the cows should be stopped immediately.

  17. is that a glimpse of the font in the third pic?

  18. I read this post last night, but was too angry to comment. You really have to be a miserable human being to watch defenseless animals suffer. No doubt, the farmer has a big dose of negative karma headed his way. Until then, perhaps the angry baker can take some of her aggression out on him and deliver that punch to the face from Pamela.

    If that's 'the font' in the third photo, I would recommend a refund for her recent spa treatments! ;)

    1. I was trying to understand that one too .

    2. there is more than one person in the third photo :)

  19. Well don't keep us waiting! What happened? :)

  20. Thank you both for helping the poor beasties.
    People are abandoning their animals here like this. They can't afford them anymore, and there is no emergency welfare system people can go to for animal food and care, or they don't bring the profit they expected and they turn their back on them. It's wrong, but becoming more frequent.
    I feel for you. We had our first day of 10 out of the 100's. 106 to 110, not a breath of cool air at any time of the night. Breathing cool air is not to be taken for granted.

  21. Bless the font for doing what is right. A good heart in a good person.