The only word that fits yesterday, start to finish, is the F word. FRUSTRATION! After listening to Bessie bark until my teeth were on edge, I went out armed with a leash when it was barely light enough to see. She was circling the big oak by the drive, looking up, so whatever the bad thing was, it was a tree climber. Try as I might, I couldn't find any movement in the branches or see an outline on a limb, but I wasn't going to stand under the tree for any length of time and push my luck, so the source of her panic will remain a frustrating mystery. Bessie was exhausted and covered in burrs.
Down in the barn, Ruth was suffering frustration of a different sort and pretty darn vocal about it. That happens in a herd of does without a buck. Sheila. Oh, Sheila. You haven't been ignored until ignored by a goat, and Sheila has mastered that game. I finally gave up on ring-around-the-rosy and left her to swell up like a toad.
Back in the house, I tackled Bessie's burrs. Pearl suddenly demanded attention, in my face and getting between the brush and Bess, making the job impossible. She is normally an aloof cat and this behavior was definitely out of character for her, but in line with the rest of the day.
Clint Bowyer did not win at Martinsville.
At sundown, Ruth refused to go to her room and stood looking over the hills as if waiting for Lochinvar to come riding. Knowing that the night thing could be out there (and Lochinvar wasn't), I had to get her into the barn and safe. I waited, I coaxed, I yelled, and finally I got a rope around her neck and brought her in.
Frustration, start to finish.