Saturday, May 31, 2014

My Cats Should Star in a Lifetime Movie!

by Mary Kennedy

                               Clyde and Eliza: Together at Last.

Seriously, this would make a good Lifetime Movie wouldn't it? Let me give you the backstory. Clyde was a large "battle-scarred" orange tabby I'd been feeding. I never managed to lure him inside but he enjoyed sleeping on the deck, and enjoying meals of cat food and diced chicken breast. I never could pet him and never managed to trap him, he was far too shrewd for that. My neighbors called him "Fighting Cat" because they felt he was responsible for several neighborhood brawls. After one particularly awful fight, his temple was slashed open and I knew he desperately needed surgery, but I couldn't catch him.

Enter Eliza, a sweet little tuxedo cat who I'd never seen before. Clyde turned up for dinner one night with his girlfriend trailing shyly behind him. (Yeah, he's a cheap date, he brought her to MY house for dinner!)
  • I put out extra food but Clyde was too jumpy to eat. It was pouring rain and he stood guard over Eliza while she ate. The whole time he was watching the woods behind our house, I'm sure there was some "critter" out there, perhaps a fox, and Clyde sensed danger. He let Eliza eat her fill and then he nudged her shoulder and the two of them ran back out into the storm together. Now I had TWO cats to worry about.
       The next day brought new problems. Clyde was MISSING.
       Days went by, weeks went by, with no sign of him. I was frantic. I learned that an animal rescue group had done a "sweep" of our neighborhood. I called around, asking about a "battle-scarred" orange tabby with a massive head wound. No luck. Meanwhile Eliza turned up for dinner every night, and one day I managed to trap her on the sun porch. She was upset, but quickly settled down. Now that she was up close, I noticed she had gained a LOT of weight. All in the tummy. Could she be...was it possible? Yes, Eliza gave birth to a litter of kittens 24 hours later on my sun porch. (still no sign of the "baby daddy.")

 And then, nearly another month later, who comes strolling along the deck but Clyde! He was immaculate, well-groomed and his massive face wound was healed. You could still see faint scars from the stitches, but he was safe and sound! And more social than before. He strolled onto the sun porch and was "home."
And here's a little postscript to the story, I managed to rescue Calpurnia, Eliza's daughter from an earlier litter. I think Clyde is the father. The whole cat family is reunited and doing well. True love conquers all!

       Mary Kennedy