Venus and the crescent moon were still high in the pink sky. Coyotes were yipping in the gully this morning. They’ve been coming down from the mountain for a few days.
Last November they came down the gully, yips yaps and howls. That’s when my pretty Kitimis disappeared.
I looked for her for weeks, though I knew she was really gone. She had been my kitty and gardneing helper ever since my elderly neighbor was taken away to live in a Senior Home by the ocean in California. She asked me to feed ‘the cat’ since her daughter wouldn’t let her take it to California. She gave me the food she had left, and she said, “and then, the cat will just go away.” Isn’t that strange, to think that way?
I had Kitimis (I named her that) for five years. She was a good kitty. I taught her not to run up my leg with her claws out. She was a skilled mouser, and delftly dodged my dogs. She came into the house and ate all the leftovers in the dog’s bowls. She liked to sleep in the garage. She pounced on the garden hose and liked it when I sang her little songs. She rolled on the ground and demanded head scratches when I had the hose in my hand. She was small and agile and somehow didn’t get wet.
She napped in the flower box on the porch rail. Dogs couldn’t bother her and she could see everything in her domain. Before my neighbor had her, she had been abandoned by someone else. It was gratifying to see her comfortably established where she knew she was home.
It was her love of hunting mice and birds that led her outside the fence. She often left her prey on the grass and I had to remove it before the dogs could find it. So, my neighbor was partly right, the kitty went away. Though it is a sad way to go, I don’t begrudge the coyotes their meal, I wish Kitimis had not been outside the fence.
There has been another feral cat in my yard. It lives in the shed. I have seen little grey paws under the roses. For a while last winter, this kitty had an empty tape tube around it’s neck. I guess it figured out how to get it off. I couldn’t catch her to help, it’s just off now.
A few days ago, I made a tasty pasta salad, with garden tomatoes and fresh parmesan. I planned on having the leftovers for breakfast the next day. The grey kitty has been coming in the back door at night and cleaning out the dog’s bowls, so I have left the door open. The grey kitty got brave and she had her head in the bowl of pasta salad, which didn’t go well with my husband, who chased her out.
The chickens got to have the best breakfast. They gobbled it up in a flash. I have been leaving a dish of kitty food on the back porch, and it is cleaned up, very quickly… meow. Is it life number two?