Black Cats . . .

Once upon a time, an older man in our neighborhood suddenly got deathly ill and his daughter placed him in a hospital . . . and he never returned. He left a legacy that his daughter did her best to take care of but the magnitude of his ‘bequest’ to her was impossible to totally resolve. The man had taken in and fed just about every stray cat that came his way. He must have had 30 cats of all sizes and colors in and around his property. We would often see him on the front lawn spending time with his cats. I met up with him at the grocery store one time and his cart was filled to the brim with tins of cat food.

When his daughter tried to clean his house, she also called the shelter to come take the cats. Well, trying to corner and catch half feral cats is no easy chore. We found this out a few weeks later, when four, little waifs showed up on our doorstep. Before our trial by cats was over, we topped off at having found homes for fifteen cats. We got down to the last three and someone in 29 Palms said he would take the two kittens and the one grown cat. We got one of the kittens and the grown cat delivered but one of the half-grown kittens just disappeared from the earth.

Two months later, Fresh (named for her attitude!) returned and demanded food. The people in 29 Palms were filled up with nine cats so we kept looking around for a home for Miss Fresh. Hard cat to place as she was part feral and liked it at our house, thank you very much! That was over six years ago and she is still
queen of our garage, comes in the house to visit but rules our garage and yard and leaves us the occasional dead mouse or half-eaten gopher to express her gratitude. Taking her to the vet for shots and checkups are memorable occasions in our lives.

Being rather small for a cat and completely black, she can be hard to find and she is good at slipping in and out of the house often startling us when we come into a room and she is just sitting there. I’m the only one who has ever been able to hold her but even then, you have to know to the second when to put her down. I’m in charge of giving her the canned stinky food which ranks me somewhat higher than the rest of the household.

The other evening, we were trying to get the young lady into the garage for the evening and my husband opened the front door and complained she was being stubborn and wouldn’t come in. He stalked over to the door out to the garage to see if she would come in through the big garage door. As he walked away, I saw Fresh sitting right next to where he had been standing! I hurriedly got her cat food ready and she followed me out into the garage. I told my husband to close the garage door now before the cat got out again. He testily stated that she wasn’t in the garage while all the time I’m looking down at said cat who was sitting between the two of us bobbing her head back and forth as we talked like watching a tennis match. I kept trying to say that she was in the garage but he had his opinion set in cement as he said he would have seen her come in the front door. I finally walked over to her food dish and she happily hunkered down to eat. My husband had some strong words and never quite believed me that she had slunk past him when he opened the front door. Fresh finished eating, came over and rubbed against my legs, seemed to grin at my husband and, went to bed.

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