Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cat With Nine Lives Comes Back From The Dead--?

Living out in the country, you will get the stray animal that comes along, and since we don't have a dog, they tend to stay. Cats mostly. And we welcome these feral cats, and never feed them, as they are too wild and really are patrolling the area for rodents.

Well, we had a dark-striped tiger cat that had begun to show up in our yard. Like all the rest, it ran whenever it saw us come out of the house. But we welcome it to keep the rodents at bay from the old foundation of our house.

Then one day, last week this cat stuck around the picnic table and she seemed hungry. We had just grilled chicken leg quarters, and it had been on the table, next to the grill, and Dennis came out and it ran off into the long grass and bushes that surround our house.

I suggested we feed it, because it seemed hungry. So we kept back skin and other portions that we thought she would eat, and to top it off, Dennis put out some milk for it. And just so you know, my husband is not a cat person, he's a dog person. For him to take pity on a cat was a big leap. However, he is an animal lover and so I've a feeling it wasn't that difficult for him to take pity on a starving cat.

The cat devoured the chicken, and then drank half the milk. At some point she finished the milk.

Next evening, it returned. I saw it licking the ground where the chicken had been left for her. I told Dennis that cat must be starving if it's doing that.

So, Dennis decides to give her a packet of tuna... and more milk. She dove on the tuna, and drank nearly all the milk this time. She didn't run too far and watched him from twenty feet away. So, she ate well again.

Next night, he fed her again. The next day said that he would get canned tuna (cheaper), instead of cat food, just in case the cat doesn't come around again. Because that's been the case with these "wild" cats, who come around for a while and then disappear. Who knows what becomes of them. We have a lot of traffic down this road, and the winters are usually harsh.

The next morning I drive to work and see some road kill. Oh no, it's a cat. A dark-striped tiger cat! In my head I thought that this was a really long way away from our house--maybe a half a mile or so. I knew I had seen another striped cat down this way, and in fact I'd slowed down in seeing it running down the middle of the road before it darted off into the ditch. I thought to myself that cat won't be alive long if it doesn't learn to get off the road when cars, trucks etc. come along.

Later that night Dennis said he'd seen it when he'd gone into town. And this cat--which Dennis had named Katie--had not shown up as was usual. We hadn't gotten attached to the cat. She never let us near it, but we decided to accept the fate of the death of the cat on the road.

The next day vultures were feeding on it. Dennis put it all in perspective that the animal's death didn't go to waste, and fed something else (in other words, it wasn't just a carcase sitting in the road to decay). The idea that nature takes care of things on their own terms is something Dennis and I accept.

This was the second night after seeing the dead cat. The writer in me thought (in a Stephen Kingly way), what if the cat showed up again at our house? The thought haunted me each time I saw the dead one in the road.

Later that second night--Friday--I was coming out of my office when Dennis called to me in a strange way: "You have to come and see this!" He said it low, and like maybe he was spooked. He directed me into the kitchen, and out the window to the picnic table where that cat always liked to lay.

There it was. It looked rather tired, as though it had come back from some long journey. Not a ghost, but Katie, and sure as heck was similar to that dead cat on the road.

I was very surprised, and relieved. I told Dennis about this idea, or vision that I "saw" this exact thing happening: Dennis calling to me and showing me the cat still alive out the window, sort of a deja vu thing.

Dennis chastised her for leaving us and making us worry about her. In fact he refused to give her anything last night. She sat on the table, looking as though she felt bad about it. Even let out a feeble "meow". But Dennis said "No. That won't work on me. In fact, I'm shutting you off." He cranked the window closed and closed the curtains. Talk about tough love.

So, Katie is still with us. Still runs when we come near. She still hunts the chimp monks that have holes around the yard, and make their loud chipping sounds from their high perches. She likes to lie next to a hole out in the yard, as if waiting for one to pop it's head up. I swear, it's like a damned cartoon!

So, Katie, if she has nine lives, she didn't use one up, and she's out there this morning, keeping an eye on the varmints.


  1. Now that's strange!

    My dad was never much one for animals (particularly dogs), but we always had something or another around when we were growing up. We had a cat named Misty that finally really got under his skin, and ended up turning him into a cat person.

  2. Odd how people change their minds as they grow older (^;

  3. Very.
    Katie the Cat is now enjoying table scraps/tuna and milk, and sleeping away under the picnic table. She's becoming less scared of us too.

  4. I was totally thinking the same thing, in a Uncle Stevie, Pet Sematary kind of way!!
    Wait 'til it jumps on the bed in the middle of the night when you never let it in...


  5. The thing is such a scaredy cat of us. He won't let me near it. Dennis feeds it and it's getting used to him more each day.

    But, yeah. That freaked us out that night.

  6. Wow, that is definitely like something out of Stephen King novel! What a strange experience. And you're wonderful for helping a hungry stray, even if it is a ghost. ;)

  7. That's a pretty cool story! I'm happy to hear that Katie is alive. I can only imagine your surprise when you saw her back in your yard! I need a few cats to show up, because I have a major chipmunk problem going on right now.

  8. Very strange, Heather. And doubly strange that my husband would show pity for a cat, but he's softened with age, I guess.

    Justine, thanks for stopping by. This is what we have-chipmonks. I hope a cat shows up in your yard to keep them away. This one keeps her eye on them. But I think the heat got to her yesterday, she slept most of it.


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