I awake to the thunderous sound of hard rain against my bedroom window. I bolt upright, for once not having to shake off a sleepy fog. I’m alert and already throwing off covers and jamming my feet into tennis shoes. My thoughts are of whatever small animal has managed to get caught in the trap I set last night. Poor thing! It must be drenched already, and I’m trying to remember if I had hidden the trap far enough in the underbrush to protect whatever got caught. I brush my teeth, don’t bother to drag a comb through my bed-head hair, and keys in hand, head out to my car.
All the while I’m driving in the rain, I think about Timmy cat. I am half hoping that mission is accomplished and he’s been successfully trapped, and half hoping that NO poor, unfortunate animal has been trapped and is now, forlorn and scared, in a cage. Exposed to the rain. Mother Nature is not cooperating this morning. It’s hard enough for me to scrunch up my courage to fight the thick underbrush, fearing poison ivy and all creepy crawlies….and to tentatively approach the trap in the dead of night with only a sliver of moon shining through deformed branches and eerie moss hanging from dead trees. My footsteps crunch along a bed of dry, fallen leaves…magnified in the silence of a quiet night. Any manner of wild creatures could hear my approach and there goes any chance of trapping Timmy.
My Timmy is Jack’s Boy…and that’s a whole story in itself. Timmy, like Jack, just showed up in my backyard one day and I have been feeding him ever since. No, I am not a crazy cat lady…but apparently I am a woman who can’t turn her back on a stray waif who is obviously hungry given their pitiful meows. Oh no, I am not that woman. So, after forming a mutually meaningful relationship and gaining his trust, we bond. (Believe me, that’s easy to do when the first time I pick little Timmy up for a cuddle, he wraps his small paw around my neck and oh boy, there goes my heart). Welcome home I whisper into his soft fur as we snuggle.
So, needless to say, Timmy becomes part of our household. Did I mention that my household already has three other cats? Oh, what’s one more for a good hearted, cat lovin’ woman? Introducing a new cat into our home has not been without it’s challenges. Especially when one of the other cats has been the alpha male. (There’s actually another male, Boots, but since he’s much smaller, he had no interest in asserting his male dominance and is quite happy to chase butterflies in the backyard). He leaves all the manly cat activities to the big O. (That’s O for Orange cat in case you’re wondering). Things that Orange is actually quite adept at, stalking and killing squirrels being one of his particular skill set. (And there’s a whole other story right there).
So back to my Timmy. When he missed several days of free feedings at my house, I began to worry…soon worry turned to activity as I began to walk my neighborhood at all hours calling his name like a fisherwoman. When that didn’t work, I took to driving around in the car, banging his food bowl with a spoon outside the open window. (Sorry, neighbors). I expanded my searching by prowling around at all hours of night with only a small book light for a flashlight. (Why is there never a real flashlight when I need one?) I ventured into places unknown and probably only ever inhabited by little woodland creatures. I leave no bush unturned.
My dear and good friend Lorri came to help with cat reconnaissance. Hence the Have A Heart trap. We have spotted him and know that he’s hiding out in the yard at an abandoned house. I have called and cajoled…he knows the sound of my voice but is too scared to come to me. He is injured. I saw his little body silhouetted in the glare of headlights as he was trying to run, hobbling along on three legs and holding his front paw up in the air, unable to put any weight on it. I don’t know which is worse, to catch glimpses of him like this, knowing he needs help, or to think of him being vulnerable, and easy prey. I long to capture him and make him safe. I long to pick him up and assure him I will always keep him safe and far from danger. I want so much to cuddle him and whisper welcome home.
Until next time, friends…