Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

The Nature of Things

Some time back I wrote about BCB (Baby Cat Black) and BCG (Baby Cat Gray). They are the offspring of PC (Porch Ckitty), not to be confused with LC (Elsie, who finally was brought inside). PC has been around for over a year now, since she was the age of BCB and BCG. When they got to a certain age she brought them over to the house from the barn where she had the litter, showed them where the humans put out the food, showed them the bird feeders, and the chipmunk holes, and then, her duty done, promptly started treating them like any other female feral cat does other cats--distant politeness, and an attitude of "you don't bother me, I won't bother you."

BCG is a very slender (but well fed--Meow Mix is her friend) dusty gray. She usually looks like she's been sprinkled with a fine gray powder, her fur has that sort of texture. BCB, on the other hand, inherited her mother's fur--a glossy, dense, black coat so shiny that, feral as she is, still has a luxurious softness and reflects both sunlight and moonlight. She has a slightly cobbier build, like her mother. Both have tawny amber eyes, and fine, slightly sharp features.

During late July, August, and the first week of September we'd look out the window and the siblings would be playing under the cars, laying together in the sun, bookending each other on the front porch steps. One would sit guard while the other ate, then reverse. They made themselves homes under the porches, grew to know just how close the dogs could come to them and be totally oblivious of their presence. Like clockwork they would show up 5 minutes after a car pulled into the yard, but if they were on the porch, or in the yard when we would come home, they'd bolt instantly.

One day in early September (or it could have been late August, but I was coming home from teaching) BCB was laying in the yard, but didn't bolt when I pulled in. So I grabbed my stuff and walked up the path, and spoke to her. At which point she struggled to get up, and dragged herself, using her front legs only, about 10 feet and disappeared under the porch. Even so handicapped, she was FAST!

We couldn't get her to come out, but she was moving around, and BCG was staying close, so we moved the food and water down to where she could creep over to them, and hoped for the best.

Well, the food continued to disappear (1 cat and 2 kittens worth), so we were hopeful. After about a week I came home and she was up on the porch, laying in a patch of sun. I was happy, until she went to run away, and then I saw that she was dragging her right hind leg, useless, behind her. Duchezz speculated that she'd dislocated it, I thought she'd been clipped by a car. Whatever the cause, we continued to see her, sticking close to the house, almost daily. And her movement improved perceptibly each time we saw her. We moved the food back up on the porch, where it was undercover, but made it so she could access it easily. This has meant some very creative pug wrangling, since that means they can get to it as well (it used to be barricaded, much to their frustration). But it was worth it so she could continue to thrive.

Of course, where they are fed is in full view of the window Satin is looking out in the icon I used for this post. Which torments Sam and Elsie no end. This past Saturday, Elsie finally made a successful (as in extended) break for it. We tried to get her to come in (she was perfectly happy to have us outside playing with her, but when she figured out we were trying to "catch" her, she "Later for you. Talk to the tail!" So, while we were off at the spa, Elsie was hanging with her BFFs (after she had explored 6 feet up various tree trunks, the cornfield...well, you get the idea). But, when we finally got home around 10 PM, she was more than ready to come in.

It being fall, the wildlife is out in force. I came home the other day (around 5) to a beautiful doe enjoying the apple tree buffet. Most mornings, especially the foggy ones, we have a family of turkeys that come over from the thicket on the north side of the house and come across the yard--tom, hen, and 5 young ones--and they eat the windfall, and the bugs that eat it. A couple of mornings ago, Duchezz called me over to the back porch door, where BCB was stalking the turkeys. Now, you have to understand that the tom was easily 5 times her size, and the littles are beak-to-tail about her size--but much taller! When one of them turned towards her she thought better of her plan, and high-tailed it under the lilac bush. She was barely hobbling at all. The next day Duchezz described her as "tearing around" the outside of the house. Whatever had lamed her, she seemed to have almost completely recovered!

Today I came home around 5. Duchezz is gone for the weekend, I have the dogs. I was thinking about letting them out, bringing my gear inside. But I wasn't thinking so hard that I missed it.
I got out of the car, leaving my gear inside, and walked over to between the two big maples that edge the road in front of the house. Then I came inside, and just as I had last October, found a big towel and brought it outside. For the first time, I touched that beautiful, lush black fur, that even in the shadows of the trees, shone like it had captured moonlight. I wrapped the small, stiff body in the towel, and then carried it across the road and set it in the high grass near where she was born.

As I came back towards the house, BCG was heading towards the food bowl on the back porch. I came inside, got more food, and went out on the porch and filled the bowl. Once I was back inside and had put the food away, I looked out the window. A small gray cat was eating, but I swear her posture was different--sad, lost.

Tomorrow friends are coming over. I will ask if they can help me dig a hole the right size for a small cat. We will retrieve her from the tall grass, if she and her shroud are still there. We will say even more prayers for her young, brave soul.

She is in a place where the porches all have sunny spots, and there is always cool water to drink. The chipmunks are fat and catchable, the birds bright and just challenging enough to catch that getting dinner is always fun. She never will shiver in the winter's cold, but instead will stalk prey by the light of fireflys--the beautiful little cat, with moonlight in her fur.