Saturday, May 15
Unfortunately, people tend to drop off cats on country roads. We are not country, but more just outside suburbia, but the people who drop off cats still think that they can get away with it is the houses are far enough apart. I don't know if they think that someone will take the cat in or if it will learn to fend for itself, and I don’t want to even consider the other possibilities.
Such is the case of the black cat. Last summer I would catch little glimpses of a small black kitten slinking around the barns and in the field. I would see him a couple times a week for a few minutes.
** I will call him a boy since I have no idea how to tell cats apart, even if I could get close to this one.
So he lived, presumably, in the barns on numerous properties on and around our road, hunting for food in the fields and picking up meals where he could. I have provided a tuna dinner or two. But I could never get him to come to me or get near him.
As summer went on, I kept an eye out for him. I feared he would fall victim to a coyote, a fox, or any number of things. He could move on to another area, someone could catch him and take him to a shelter, or he could get into the road and, well, meet an unfortunate end.
Summer turned to fall and I began to worry about him and where he would spend time now that it was getting colder. I knew he would not come to me so there was no chance of getting him into the warm house. So all I could do was hope and keep watch.
I did not see him almost all winter. One day, during a brief winter thaw, i saw him in a neighbor’s field, presumably hunting. I was relieved but still worried. Winter was no over and it was a cold one. He looked so small to me, even though I never he was no longer a kitten.
I had not seen him since that winter day, and it is now the middle of May. To be honest, I had resigned myself to believe the worst. That he had not made it through the winter, one way or another. A way to release myself from an responsibility I felt towards him – to feed him, to try to make a warm nest box for him in the barn, to worry about him.
But today, during the mid morning chicken check and cold frame opening, there he was! Low in the field grass, peeking out at me. I called to him and he just stared at me with bright eyes. He is a beautiful cat now with a secretive personality. Very stealth, like a stalker. Intriguing in his aloofness.
I called to him again and took a step forward and then he was off. Through the field and across the tree farm access road and into the pine trees. I was disappointed, but happy.
He made it.