On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on January 12, 2021:

This last week provided lots of material for a serious post about the state of our society and our country, but I decided to write about something more fun – Kitty. The title doesn’t mean that David and I have adopted more cats. But we have had several feline visits recently, possibly with the thought of becoming the next Brendle household fur baby.

The first applicant showed up in mid December when a nocturnal visitor left a few tufts of fur and sand on the front porch glider. Shortly after the first discovery, David startled a small gray cat that had apparently taken shelter from the cold wind and rain. Of course, I had to post a picture on Facebook, and my cat-loving friends offered suggestions of how to meet the needs of our new friend. He looked pretty well-fed, though, and we believe that providing food to a wild animal does him a disservice by interfering with his natural hunting instincts. We did, however, decide to offer him Kitty’s bed – first, it’s softer and warmer than the glider and second, Kitty prefers our bed.

Our gesture seemed to be appreciated, and sandy fur appeared in the bed on a regular basis. Kitty didn’t pay any attention to the visitor except for spending a little more time than usual in the front window.

We continued to see signs of our feline visitor, and then on Thursday afternoon I caught sight of an orange and gray cat curled up in the bed. I decided she and the gray cat had worked out some sort of time-share arrangement, and she had the day shift. By the way, I don’t know the gender of either cat, but the gray looks more masculine, and the striped one looks more feminine. Besides, pronouns make it easier to write about them, regardless of how politically incorrect it may be.

Shortly after the first sighting of the striped cat, we began hearing occasional meowing. We’d usually see the gray prowling around one of the porches, and it wouldn’t be long before the striped cat would show up. Then we began to see both cats on the front porch at the same time. She would be in one of the rocking chairs, and he would be on the floor, almost as if keeping watch while she slept.

On Friday morning, the gray cat ventured up onto the back porch, stretched out, and put his front paws on the sill of the dining room window. That was too much for Kitty and she exerted her territorial rights, making guttural noises that I’ve only heard once or twice before when she discovered a similar incursion. Finally they reached a détente of sorts and sat staring at each other for a few minutes before the gray went on about his business.

Both cats are becoming a little more comfortable ith us. Once or twice we’ve been able to open the front door quietly and snap a quick picture. And Saturday afternoon, Kitty and the gray actually had a peaceful nose-to-nose meeting (with the storm door between them) before he took off.

Word is apparently getting around that the Brendle house provides relatively safe shelter from the elements. Sunday afternoon while I was fixing lunch, David saw a small black cat slip up the back stairs for a quick look around, but when Kitty hit him with her best death stare, he hightailed it back to a safer area.

Snow began to fall before I got lunch on the table, and while we were eating, the striped cat appeared from the back of the property headed for the back porch. She was trailed by a solid orange cat who didn’t appear to be the brightest kitten in the litter. The striped cat approached the back step, dropped onto her belly, and slithered under – apparently there’s a way to get under the house from there. The orange cat was distracted by something in the woods and didn’t see where she went. He spent the next several minutes frantically scurrying up and down the stairs, sniffing around the edges, his head swiveling from side to side as he tried to figure out where his companion had gone. She must have eventually stuck her head out to show him the opening, because he finally scooted out of sight.

Apparently, he found the underbelly of our house less than hospitable, because he scooted right back out. He moved a few feet away and sat with his tail wrapped around his feet for about fifteen minutes as he stared at the entrance. The cold and wet finally overcame his fear and reluctance, and he went back in.

There were no further cat sightings for a couple of hours, and then, just as I was settling in with my laptop, I heard a loud noise. I went outside to see if a branch had fallen on the house or one of the vehicles. As I rounded the back of the house, I met a three-cat train emerging from the “basement.” They all did a quick about face when they saw me. Hopefully, they crept back to the warmth of the front porch later.

Kitty seems to have accepted the presence of the other cats pretty well. They’re entertaining to watch, and they don’t bother her food or bedtime snacks. And as long as they don’t cause any damage or bring too many friends, David and I won’t try to run them off. I just hope the gray cat and the striped cat aren’t a couple. I don’t know how strong my resolve to maintain uninvolved co-existence will be with kittens. They’re awfully hard to resist.

Blessings,

Linda

Kitty’s Story

Fallen Angel Salvage

Tatia’s Tattoo

Comments on: "Kitty has new friends | by Linda Brendle" (2)

  1. Gloria Moore said:

    I had thought about getting Juliette a friend but she recently had an altercation in the front yard with a cat I had never seen before. I opened the front door and territorial behavior was getting the best of them. When the newbie saw me she took off and Juliette was close on her tail. Juliette has been spending more time in the house and I kind of like that.

    • Yes, when Kitty was outside part of the time a tom got after her even though she had been fixed. He bit her on one of her hind legs and it abscessed. Thankfully an antibiotic shot was all it took to clear it up. But that and the fox I saw take down a rabbit were the deciding factors in her becoming and inside cat.

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