A different kind of barn dance

I live on the edge of Harmony. That sounds cheesey but its true …. if I lived two doors down I’d be in Harmony instead of East Tremont. I think its one of the prettiest areas and was lucky to find a spot out here. Its close enough to the village that if gas gets to be a gagillion dollars a liter I can run down on my bike, or even head out on foot. Yet there is still a country feel here instead of that stretched out subdivision look that so many roads around here have descended to.
There are very few downsides to living out here. To be perfectly honest, I can really only think of one thing worth mentioning – we are just close enough, and far enough, to the village that this has been a popular dumping area for pets over the years.
Two of my kitties started as strays. My eldercat, Bear, was either three or four when she wandered in fourteen years ago … and three years ago when we found George he was small enough enough to sit in my hand.
Earlier this winter, one day I saw a little long haired tabby kitten hunting under the bird feeder. She looked so thin and desperate I couldn’t bring myself to begrudge her the bird that she caught. I wanted to help her, so I borrowed a live trap from Melissa, who runs SHAR.
Like many feral kittens, somehow the little ninja knew better than to go in the trap, no matter what I tried to entice her with. I didn’t see the kitten for a few days, so after a bit I admitted defeat and returned the trap.
When she reappeared a few days later, I thought I’d take a new tack and started putting out food for her every morning. For the longest time, I only ever caught glimpses of her until one day I realized I was also feeding an adult cat.
Both the kitten and the cat have tuxedo bibs and almost identical white shoes in front and boots in back, so it was pretty reasonable to assume that this was the momcat. She was a lot tamer than the kitten, and it was clear that she was a stray, not a feral cat. It didn’t take a big leap of imagination to picture the scenario …. someone was too stupid to spay the cat and dumped her when she became pregnant: (((
With the adult’s encouragement, eventually the kitten grew brave enough to come out and meet me. By last week, when I was actually able to pet the kitten, I knew that it was time to try to get them in to get spayed.
As a prelude to that, this morning I was able to corral the two of them into carriers and get them in to be tested and vaccinated.
There was no doubt in anyone’s mind at the clinic that the kitten … who I have named Dora( the explorer) is a true feral. She levitated up on top of the wall cabinet in the examining room and had to be gently corralled with a net for her test and exam and vaccines.
My vision isn’t what it used to be and these days I wear trifocals. For the uninitiated, anyone wearing these finds that when they look directly down, sometimes things get a little fuzzy. It is the biggest adjustment most people have in getting used to wearing bi or trifocals.
Still, you can imagine our surprise when we discovered that the adult, whom I have been calling Bridget, is indeed UNCLE Bridget, and is actually a neutered tom!
Its either just one of those funny little coincidences that they both have the same bibs and boots, or else he is an older brother of the kitten who was adopted and loved until someone moved away : (((
Either way, they are quite devoted to each other and I often see them now playing or just sunning together. It would be mean to keep calling him Bridget, so I have renamed him Oscar, after the androgynous poet.
Dora will go back in to get spayed on the 25th and I will keep looking around trying to find the momcat. I caught a glimpse of an older cat the other day that may actually be the mom but I don’t think he or she is quite ready to be touched by human hands.
I can be patient …. after all, it took from January till now to get my paws on Dora. In the meantime I’ll just keep working on fixing up the barn for my new little barn kitties.

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