Thursday, April 27, 2017

14/30 Stray

I used to have a home. If you could call it that. There was a lot of noise all the time. When they do not think you understand what is happening you pretend you do not know what is happening. When the one with long fingers left, the food bowl would be empty more than not. Water was plentiful when the toilet seat was left up which was often when the one with the long fingers left. I was always grateful for the door flap. They called it a doggie door but I am no dog, I am a cat. The first day the one with the thick fingers forgot to put food in my bowl, I was OK. There are always things left lying around, not enough to fill an empty belly but to sustain. The box they liked me to use became so pungent it hurt to breathe in the air around it. The second day would be harder.

By day three, I used the doggie door, even though I am a cat. It was early in the morning and the grass was wet. I never liked walking in wet grass but I was hungry and my instincts drew me to the woods behind the house. I heard so many things, all of them sounding like something to eat. I crouched to listen closer. When the mouse ran by I pounced. I had never pounced before. I learned that day what my claws were for, why my teeth were shaped the way they are shaped. I wondered while I ate what I had been eating? No part of this meal was crunch or cold, but warm and blood and filling. I ate it all in one feeding. Licking my paws clean after, was a celebration.I feel asleep in a dapple of light with the knowledge that I could feed myself better than the one with long fingers..

By day five I ventured so far away from the doggie door and encountered so many delicious things I had no desire to go back. I couldn't go back to the crunchy cold meals, when I had the feeling of slicing open prey coursing through me. I dined on rats, birds, chipmunks and other things that might not sound as appetizing. I fell asleep every night in a new place belly full and satisfied.

I didn't meet my first dog until week two, that day I learned to climb a tree. It's quite a thrill to learn and master something the first time you try it. He barked for almost an hour. I thought, I could sit in this tree all day, but I watched him. I like to watch dogs their bodies give up so much information. Not like us cats, you never know what we are thinking but mind you we are thinking. All the time.

I find dogs fascinating, their aggression is very much over the top, it's almost like they fear me so they become louder in an effort to convince me that I am the one afraid. I fell for it once, ok maybe twice, but after surviving 3 years in this neighborhood the dogs don't bother me anymore. They know I will wait them out, I have never met a dog prepared to strike first. For split muzzle and hell no.

It is a lonely life sometimes. I do not have people to stroke my fur or listening to my purr, like the one with the long fingers.  I take comfort in knowing that even though she left me, I have survived.

I had a partner once, she did not understand about the dogs, when they barked, in fear she struck out, they smelled it, her fear, and fell on her. I watched from the tree, until they calmed down. I buried what was left.

Every once in awhile some pretty house kitty decides to walk on the wild side, she in heat and me paying attention. It is a loud affair and brief, but, it wouldn't surprise me to know that there are other cats out there who look like me.

Surviving is what I have done best. I have learned how to avoid the cars. I look both ways before crossing, always. I avoid or stare down the dogs and sometimes the men with nets and leashes. I feed myself.Go where I want. I love the feeling of dappled sunlight and all this freedom. But every once in awhile I dream of the one with the long finger. If I ever saw her again, I wonder would she know it was me? Would I remember her?

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