We knew there was a feral cat hanging around, so we started leaving bits of food out for it………..chicken and turkey skin, bits of gristle and fat from beef and pork…….things like that when we had it. I got a bit of dry food from a friend , thinking that if the cat liked it, I’d get some and leave that out. I was sitting on the deck one day when I saw a small black cat, obviously young and very frightened. I got the food and shook it in the dish. The cat would run close, then scurry away, frightened, but OH SO HUNGRY. I set the food a ways away from me on the deck and sat quietly ,watching it. Its hunger finally overcame its fear and it started to feed. About halfway through the food, it stopped, came to where I was sitting and twined around my legs, rubbing me and purring loudly. I didn’t have to “talk cat” to know it was saying “OH thank you, thank you. I was sooooo hungry.”
“IT” turned into a young female, not feral, but a stray someone had dumped. Young, ribs and backbone prominent, terrible frightened and hungry and coming into her first heat. She was Liddy, then Mariah, then finally , Sweetie……………..which fits her to a T and what I kept calling her…..”come on , Sweetie, here Sweetie.” The toms wouldn’t leave her alone and I didn’t want more kittens bred to starve or be eaten by owls and coyotes and to live a short miserable feral life, so I took her and had her spayed and got her her shots.
She spends most of the day sitting on a chair on our back deck, facing the door, watching my comings and goings inside. I look out often to see just a dark smudge in the chair, as she is pitch black, with the most incredible yellow eyes, watching me………..like a miniature black panther. Every morning she comes in for her daily treat of wet food and when she’s done, she jumps up behind me , onto the recliner back and purrs loudly and head butts me. Eventually she’ll jump down and play field hockey with her little toy mousy and scraps of fabric. The contortions she went through in and out of an empty box one day had me in stitches.
A big gray tom occasionally comes around and she hates him. She sits by the patio door and from this small body comes the most primal, gutteral, terrible yowl-growl-scream, like nothing I’ve ever heard. It literally raises the hair on the back of my neck. It is fierce and ferocious.
She reminds me of my daughter’s cat, Tuxie. Independent , loving on HER conditions, doesn’t like to be picked up, though one day she surprised me by jumping up into my chair and tucking herself under my arm for a few minutes. She prefers to be outside , watching me from “her” deck chair. After 18 years with no pets, I’ll take what she gives. She is becoming more lovey, playful and trusting as she lives with us. She has gained weight and her fur is like plush velvet. She still startles quickly, ducks if I try to stroke her head ( did someone cuff her and make her cautious?), but she’s doing better. As I write this…………….that black smudge is in the chair again, watching me with those most incredible yellow eyes. For she is not my cat…………..I am HER person.
Author of this blog entry is my mom.