It is funny that there are times when we can be reminded of how the simplest things in life can provide the most satisfaction.
Take the image above, for example.
These two balls of fluff spent the first four months of their young lives outdoors as feral kittens. They came to us, because their mother spotted a source first of clean water and later food. Yes, I plead guilty to being the source of both. It was a warm summer and the four kittens we saw together in the bushes outside our front door looked like they could use a cool drink. Mom was occasionally around, but for the most part, these kittens were on their own.
So, I took pity and bought a bag of inexpensive kibble at the local grocery store to share with them. We already had one indoor cat and she was curious about the kittens, to say the least. Downright excited at times. (Belle came to us as a re-home from Craigslist, keeping our pal Cruiser company for the last year of his time with us.) But at that time, we had no intention of adding to our little household.
As the days passed, these kittens and another tame cat all came to water and feed at our trough. I think after Mom left the litter, the other cat took up the role of surrogate watching over the bunch of them. (I suspect she had been abandoned at some point as she was not skittish around us, as most feral cats are.
The kittens became accustomed to us and would wait outside for the time of day when either fresh water was forthcoming or the once a day feeding of kibble. The smallest of the four would be the first at the dish when kibble came out. She would growl as she ate, signalling to the other three that they were going to have to wait their turn. But once they had all eaten, they would come to us for attention. We didn’t threaten them by grabbing or rushing after them. As time passed, they were well socialized.
I am not sure what happened, but the four became three and then three became two. One afternoon, our neighbors had some friends visit, and the friends brought their dog to run about the back yard. The gate to the yard was only about three feet high and this dog could easily look over and see the kittens with us and it was more than a bit interested. Having seen their numbers deplete, I decided we wouldn’t take any chances and brought the two remaining inside the house with us.
They have been inside cats ever since. This summer will see the calendar turn seven years since that day.
Chessie (the runt of the litter) and her sister Peake are named for the railroad kittens of the C&O (Chesapeake and Ohio). As with good indoor cats, we are the staff, attending to their needs as required at all times of the day and night. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
When weather is nice, the bench in the photo is placed behind the safety of the secured screen door and becomes a perch from where the passing panorama can be viewed. Everything from birds and other animals (so far skunks have not been annoyed in passing) to the postal delivery people and our current neighbors children, all have become items of long fascination as hours may pass with the two cats sitting there taking it all in.
Yes, the feline version of people watching. From this perch, the view maybe takes in some ten feet or so on either side of the door. And for the most part, the cats are just fine with that. As long as no one tries to invade their inside territory, they are okay with that. On a couple of occasions, they have received inquisitive visitors at the door in the form of other cats. Meows may be exchanged and occasional growls or hissing can be heard. Yet, in all this time, the two of them are somewhat satisfied with their indoor life. Not to say there have not been escape attempts by both, but safety first and they came right back inside, under protest at times.
Give them some peaceful moments as seen above, and they are both happy with the situation. At least, I hope they are…
Indeed, matters of perspective.