We’ve had a sweet little female feral cat for 13-14 years, Patti. She was a runt that got abandoned on the roof of WMBB and when the operations crew went up to run her off, she jumped off into the shrubbery. She was pulled out of the shrubbery and dropped into a large box. What a little fighter! Bill called me to come get her and she went straight to the vet for shots and spaying. Even when released after recovery, she stayed around. Since that time I think she’s been captured maybe three or four times for shots. We finally just left her alone to find her place on the fringe of the Byrd household, living among the shrubbery and under the tool shed, ranging as far as the next door neighbor’s yard if the action in our yard became too much for her.
She stayed close around but allowed no human contact. She’d nuzzle our indoor/outdoor male, Squeaker, and we often saw them hanging out together. She stood at a respectable distance while we put their food out twice a day and Bill and I would talk to her as if she were as much a part of the family as the others. We had discovered in the last couple of years that at night, after the dogs went into their crates, she and Squeaker would come in and spend the night on the sofa or other places of their choice. This past week she had apparently been sleeping in the guest bath sink, if the hair in there is a trustworthy clue. Bill would flip the floodlight switch a couple of times as we went to bed and in 3-4 minutes we’d hear the pet door flipping as they came in. It was as accommodating a system of family care as she would allow.
She had begun to look a bit ragged the last 2 years- thin, slower, and with a coat that had lost its luster. .
This afternoon I got a call from our neighbor that one of our cats was dead in her yard about 4 feet from our chain link fence. . I went over and there was poor little Patti lying on her side. There was no sign of trauma. She may have simply had a heart attack as she jumped over the fence. I gathered her body and took her to our vet, Dr. Bo Bergloff, who had been the only other caregiver besides Bill who had touched her. We will miss our little perimeter dweller….she watched us and allowed us glimpses a time or two a day. It may take a few nights to realize we don’t need to signal “all safe” to her anymore. She’s safe now with no need for the cautious distance and hasty exits.
I wrote earlier today about our kitty, Patti, who died. She’d come to us from WMBB. I just remembered that her friend, our little male- Squeaker, also came from WMBB! He was a stowaway under the raised floor of the control room. One of the night guys kept telling folks there was a cat under the raised floor and no one believed him until one day someone else saw him. That resulted in them having to dismantle a part of the raised floor to catch him. He was going to be sent to the shelter and if not adopted, would be euthanized. Bill would not be the one responsible for that, at all. So he told them we’d take him. So off to the vet again for shots and neutering. When he was recovered we released him in our yard and he shot off like a rocket toward the woods. We thought that would be the last we’d see of him. But a couple of days later he turned up at the edge of the yard, watched other animals coming and going through the pet door, and after about a day and half. shot in through the pet door and jumped in my lap, scaring me half to death! He’s been here for 11 years now, though never again in my lap….He’s partial to Bill and took up with Patti and Abbie, our previous canine baby before the current crew. We’ve had some fun times with our fur babies through the years. God seems to bring them to us……never have to go looking for one. We’ve got a diabetic dog, a one-eyed cat, stowaway Squeaker, and two dogs that have been pass-along adoptees from our grandchildren when family issues developed with them.