I'll try not to mention the weather too much. Just let me say that the relative warmth of the last two days has given way to the usual deep freeze. It was nice while it lasted and Jack and I managed to soak up some sun. Jack was extremely pleased to be coatless.
Penny the dog was also coatless, a fact of which Jack took notice immediately. He has been "grooming" her green winter coat - he calls it that but it's really intensive licking. Yesterday he slid up beside her and began examing her real coat. He used his nose to massage her back and then decided her tail, which curls up over her back, needed straightening. He used his rubbery upper lip to pull it out to it's full length and seemed perplexed when it sprang back to it's original shape. He repeated the process for a few minutes before giving up, saying he'd get back to it later. The dog was initially and understandably rather sceptical but soon decided he was harmless enough.
On the Sally front, I'm pleased to say she is coming along splendidly. She has used the good weather to commute back and forth to the hay storage/run-in and is enjoying her expanded horizons. She is also developing a great need to play and is stalking bits of hay and shavings and even occasionally pouncing on her own tail, which she pretends is stalking HER. The woman is making her baler twine toys and has started importing bits of feline gymnastic equipment from the house. Today Sally was rolling around in a patch of sun in the barn aisle so I made my way over and offered her a midriff massage. She accepted. Then she sat up and rubbed her whiskers against mine and gently began to bat at said whiskers. I let her, of course. When I turned around the woman looked all sort of misty-eyed and said "Oh Sheaffer, you're such a good donkey!" Gave me quite a turn, I can tell you. I'm much better prepared for her hectoring/nagging persona.
It's worked out very nicely that Jack and I have different preferences on the companion animal front. If we both favoured either cats or dogs we might end up wearing off their fur. As it is, we each think the other is mistaken in their choice but politely accept that it's all a matter of taste and simply can't be explained. We all agree, however, that a barn is a much homier place with a cat in residence.