Tuesday, March 3, 2009

CAT TALE


It's a good day for the neighbor's cat to be out checking his trapline, in and around the rock caves in the breakwall, then under the junipers, sneaking ever closer to the bird feeders. I caught him halfway to his goal, and shooed him away. "Go check the cornfield across the road for mice!"



This cat, when he was a kitten barely weaned, had slipped out the open door past his family one very cold winter evening. My neighbor had stopped by my place to use my computer that night - I rarely have visitors in the evening. When she left, we briefly stood on the front porch, saying goodbye, when we heard the faintest, most piteous kitten cries coming from "over there." We called out, "Here kitty kitty kitty" until we saw the little one come bravely "dolphin-ing" through the deep snow. I picked him up, and he was shivering so badly we took him right inside, and gave him some canned cat food mixed with warm water. My neighbor said, If you can't find who owns him, will you keep him? I told her with four cats already, my best friend had said if I even talked about getting another cat, she was getting everyone together for an intervention! My neighbor said, Well, if you don't find where he belongs, my husband can take him to the Humane Society in the city. Since the HS isn't a non-euthanizing facility, I didn't like those prospects. I kept him in bed with me (with the door shut to keep the other four very curious and alarmed cats at bay) He curled up in the warmest spot he could find (my armpit!) stared at me with his kitten-blue eyes for a while, then fell asleep. In the morning, I learned that the people across the road from me and two doors down had lost a kitten, and were thrilled to get him back. I often wondered how much longer he would have lasted if my neighbor hadn't stopped by at just the right time. Now every time I see this cat hanging around my yard, stalking the birdfeeders - I'm certain it's the same kitten, now grown - the irony makes me smile. Once I tenderly welcomed him in his time of need, and now, I enthusiastically chase him away!

17 comments:

Kallen305 said...

I hear you on the Deborah! I shoo the cats away and do it in a really mean way which is so unlike me because I love cats!

Bless you for keeping the kitten warm that night!

bobbie said...

Ah yes. The neighbor's cats! Don't start me expounding on that subject!

Well, I'm glad you were kind to him long ago. I've been known to protect one in danger myself, even though I really do not like cats in general. Definitely a dog person.

Shellmo said...

Deborah - you are so sweet! And I think sometimes the kitties like the "shoo away" game.

Sylvia K said...

Ah, we are all such softies! and I think it's wonderful! So many animals are abandoned or abused and everytime I read about them it just breaks my heart! We can't save them all, but we do what we can!

Aleta said...

Awww, poor cat. Maybe leave him some food. He probably remembers the loving, warm home that you gave to him and wants to return to those memories.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Cute story, Deb... You gotta LOVE 'em--from a distance!!!! That's kinda the way I am about squirrels (except I wouldn't ever bring one into my house--yipes)... BUT--they are cute to photograph and look at --but I certainly don't want any of them at my feeders.

Hugs,
Betsy

Lin said...

interesting story...from victim to predator.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Ah Deborah, this is a wonderful story. That kitten sure is lucky that you had company that night. Even luckier that you are a cat lover. Lisa

Indrani said...

Lucky kitten to have found its way to a cat lover's house. Sweet story!

Carolyn said...

Nice post and nice blog. Thanks for your kindness to the little fella. Thank you for stopping by and sharing. Smiles

Rose said...

I enjoyed this story...you should see me grabbing my own cats when Mama Squirrel want to visit! Than goodness it is usually only one or two cats out at the same time...I grab them so quick they don't know what hit them.

I wouldn't give up my cats, but I sure wish they had not been so insistent on going outside.

magiceye said...

a heart warming tale.
bless you for having saved an innocent life

hitch writer said...

awww... thats so sweet !

SandyCarlson said...

What a great story. That cat is like a child!

Beth P. said...

Hi Deborah--
Great story--and I love it that you now have to shoo him away. What a natural cycle--you helped save him, now he does what cats do!

You have the biggest, juicy heart!!

Dee said...

Awww- what a sweet story! I live in a neighborhood with lots of feral cats- I do plenty of shooing!

Quiet Paths said...

What a sweet story. Isn't that the way of things? Kittens are cute and cats are well, cats. I can so relate. I love the silhouette of him against the breakwall.