Sometime last year…
We had another stray cat show up. A big, beautiful, black and white male. He seemed friendly, but as my wife quickly realized, you do not reach out to touch him. He clawed her, drew blood, and left a whopping big bruise on her hand.
There has been a time or two that I have had to teach the cat manners. This normally includes stomping my feet on the porch, and speaking sternly to “El Diablo”, as we came to name him. Most times he jumps a few feet away and then turns back to us, almost as if he understands a wrong action.
So, we added him to our mixture of animals to feed and watch over. Birds, cats and dogs. We drew the line at the raccoon’s and possums! And the deer have plenty of green to feast on – and somewhere out there are bears, cougars, lynx and coyotes… We do not leave food around for them to investigate. Our animals are fed just enough to get them through to their next feeding schedule.
Still, Diablo would disappear for a few days, or weeks, and then show back up to reestablish himself as the owner of the front porch. Our yellow stray cat, Buster, now stays on the back porch and seems to be scared of facing the devil on the front porch.
On those early days of return, Diablo would be scraped and scarred from obvious tussles he had gotten himself into. He’s been gone for nearly 2 weeks and showed up last night. As I went to feed him I called to Brenda to come see – he had obviously been in another scarring fight. It made our hearts go out to him – but still, you cannot touch him!
In fact, we keep a broom by the front door to help corral him from the food dish as we pour in his daily ration. He has come to love the broom and uses it as his scratching and rubbing post, and will follow it as we lead him away from the empty and soon to be full food dish.
Still, you cannot touch him.
He comes running when the front door opens, but do not dare to reach down to him…
I have yet to fully grasp why we attract animals like this. Brenda and I have made home for many strays over the years. Mostly dogs. Some are intimidating and aggressive – we shoo them away. Others know how to wheedle into your heart and they become some of our best, and normally short term, friends.
Most strays seem to be on their way somewhere else. It has been recorded of dogs and cats traveling great distances to return home when they are inadvertently stranded miles from home.
I wonder, could this be the same for people also? Do we always end up back “home”? Where Is Home? Or, are we simply passing from this point to another, and look for a friendly front porch to connect with for a while.