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  • Tami Hagemier Head Cat Whisperer - Lanthier Winery

A Cat's Tail

Last week I wrote about Muffin and dog treats. This week it’s about the winery cats. By way of introduction Lanthier Winery has three in-house cats. There’s Gandloph and Pussaroo who arrived in the last two years but the grand old dame Skanky AKA Fraulein AKA Baby Girl came to us more than 10 years ago.


She’s older now than when she was a feral cat, mating with anything that came along and abandoning babies in the garden for me to bottle feed. She was the world’s worst mother cat and was pissed off with a capital “P” when we finally trapped her and the kittens. I honestly think she was furious because she was stuck at home with the kids and couldn’t go “out on the town.” Eventually she graduated from Skanky the feral cat to Fraulein the calmer, spayed house cat that still loved being outside and stalking lizards, birds and baby bunnies. She was Lanthier’s only cat at the time but that changed when Gandolph arrived two years ago. If you’ve been to the winery you’ve met him. He’s the one who sits on your lap or beside you expecting to be petted. Eventually, Faulein aged to a sweet loving, elderly lady who likes lap pets but still stalks garden lizards. Learn about more WEIRD cat behaviors

But then there’s PussaRoo, another young, calico, feral that surrendered to us over the cold days of winter when she dashed inside and ran upstairs to the Loft Gallery to hide for several days. We placed kitty litter, cat chow and a snuggly blanket on the bench Gandolph hadn’t already claimed for himself. She and Gandloph enjoyed each other’s company and to this day will often share a cat bed near the staff office. But Pussaroo and Baby Girl – that’s a different story.

Even in her old age, Baby Girl is one tough girl. Her feral start still resides in her heart and she is a fierce fighter who won’t back down, even to a younger and meaner Pussaroo. There’s no hiss and holler between these two. It might start with a loud warning scream but it moves quickly to a rough and tumble biting, kicking match. When we say the fur flies that’s exactly what happens once it falls out of each cats mouth. As the dominant female at Lanthier Winery I take great offense when one of my subordinate ladies tries to abuse a fellow underling I can get ugly.

One day, we heard a horrendous ruckus, ran upstairs to find Pussaroo with a mouth full of fur and Baby Girl trapped under a table. Consequently, the staff found me chasing Pussaroo around the facility, hissing, growling and giving my best imitation of a cat scream.

I ran from the loft to the tasting room to production and eventually to the loft above the bottling line chasing Pussaroo. The staff surely thought I’d lost my mind, but in the end she learned who could and couldn’t pick a fight. Check out more information on aggression between cats It lasted 3 days. Apparently my hissing, growling, screaming skills need work.

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