|Hunter the Kitten, going after a fresh venison skin|
Anyway, so we have this really big, really hairy cat hanging around our house now. Living out in the forest we do get a lot of stray animals wandering by. And usually, that is all they do - wander by. They generally won't let you near them, but will sneak up and eat food when they think you aren't looking.
Not so with this girl, who we promptly named, "Big and Hairy" (our family is not particularly clever with words). She came right up to you, wanted to be held, and purred, my goodness.
|Please note that the injured left paw is now completely healed|
So, she hung around, and we began to get used to her. Then, on November 17, Nevin called me from the road. I've gotten these calls before. We live out in the country, but our driveway comes off a state road that seems to get it's fair share of fast drivers. He just wanted to let me know that, "Big and Hairy is up on the road."
Well, shoot. So, I get dressed, get a bag and an old towel to wrap the body in, and head up. I see her lying in the road, right between my driveway and the neighbors. I am thinking about how I really don't feel like digging a cat grave this morning, and pondering different means of disposal.
And she turns her head and looks at me.
So I run over and check her out - one paw all bent over, blood on the eyes, nose and mouth. I assume she has some internal injuries and is probably getting ready to die, so I wrap her in the towel and take her home. I clean her up and wipe her face. No more blood. Hmmmm, odd. So, I sit with her in my lap for a while, just rocking and waiting to see what happens.
Now, some of you may think I am cold and callous because I didn't get the kids up and dressed and drive into town to a vet to do immediate exploratory surgery. I am going on the record as saying that I am, truly, a cat lover. However, if I rescued every stray cat that wandered past the homestead, I would need to take a second job to pay for it. In the country, cats come and go with a fair regularity, and that is just the way it is.
Back to the story. Nothing is happening with the cat, but she smells really bad, and I do have other things to do. So I wrap her in the towel on a rug by the back door and let her sleep in the sun. Meanwhile, Vivien, my Princess indoor cat, is losing her mind. I am not sure that Vivien understands that she is a cat, just like the ones outside, but whoever she thinks she is, she was NOT happy.
Big and Hairy slept for approximately 15 hours. That night I moved all Vivien's food and litterbox out of the schoolroom into the laundry room, and put Big and Hairy in there for the night.
And she is still with us. She looks sort of Persian, so I named her Esther. She has completely recovered, with only a very slight limp when she runs. She has made her home under our shed. I tried to set her up in a nicer place, put blankets and food in a doghouse, but she wanted nothing to do with it. She lives under the shed. Every morning she is out on the front porch with the other cats, waiting for breakfast. When she hears me outside during the day she comes running to be picked up. She loves to be held and petted. She has managed to acclimate herself to the other cats as well.
We have since learned that in her previous life, her name was Ashley, and she is 13 years old. I cannot imagine a cat living out by us that long - between the road, coyotes and stray dogs. But there she is.
And now she is Esther. Nevin says she looks like an Ashley. She might look like an Ashley, but she is my Esther. So our family has expanded to four cats - Daisy and her son Hunter on the front porch, Vivien (Daisy's daughter) inside the house, and Esther the queen, under the shed.
|Vivien, the Princess inside the house. She does not mingle with the riff-raff on the front porch.|
|Esther, always ready to eat. Notice the left paw.|
|Esther and Hunter have learned to live together in harmony.|
|Daisy looks on in disdain. She is really the one who thinks she is royalty around here!|
Mice and vermin, beware!