Ollie & Spuds – Chapter 2

(continued from previous post)   The cat’s name is Spuds.  The old man she’d lived with thought she looked like the color of yellow Finn potatoes.  He’d pulled her as a kitten out from under a bramble—mewing and shaking—on a busy roadside.  He gently stroked her fur with large, rough hands, looked into her gold-green eyes, and took her home.

Spuds had a life of luxury with him: curled up on the rug by the wood stove in winter, lounging on a sunny perch on the screened-in porch in the summer watching red cardinals and blue birds.  Spuds liked the old man, a lot; they understood each other.  But one morning when she went up to his room to remind him it was feeding time, something was different.  She jumped up on the bed and stood on his chest and peered at him.  She could sense him, but he wasn’t in there his body.  She called out to him.  Then she saw him in her mind’s eye, and his eyes were dazzling.  Then he receded and was gone.

Four days passed before anyone came to the house.  By then Spuds had clawed her way through the bag of cat food and found that fresh toilet water wasn’t completely undrinkable.

People came then, many of them, people who had never come before.  They pawed the old man’s possessions, argued with each other, and carried things out of the house.  Spuds watched.  A woman noticed the cat and picked her up, bangle bracelets clanging together, and put Spuds outside.  Spuds sniffed at the air, then turned to go back inside.  The woman blocked Spuds’ way with a well-shod foot.  “You’re free now kitty, go away.”

Spuds looked for a long while at the closed door.  Then she walked down the driveway and before turning onto the road, looked back at the house.  The windows glinted empty and cold in the sun.
Ollie & Spuds will be continued

Chapter 1: https://untoldanimalstories.org/2014/02/15/ollie-spuds-chapter-1/

Chapter 3:  https://untoldanimalstories.org/2014/05/04/ollie-spuds-chapter-3/

Advertisements

Lars

by Keith Barnaby*

securedownloadMy name is Lars. I used to be an outdoor cat. My people would let me out to roam my domain, explore, and hunt. Over time, other outdoor cats came and went in my neighborhood. I was friends with some, especially Shadow, another young male. We played and teamed up to defend against other cats who entered our lands.

One day Shadow disappeared, and his people brought home another cat, an unspayed female. She had many kittens, the kittens had kittens, and their ranks grew exponentially. Pretty soon there were lots of cats. Unlike Shadow, the young males didn’t like me and my life changed.

Now when I crossed onto Shadow’s and my old lands, I was the one being attacked. I fought but was bitten badly. My face swelled and my people took me to a man who made me feel better.

Why I returned to Shadow’s lands, I do not know. Why I stood my ground and fought the cats instead of avoiding a fight I could not win, I do not know, but I did so repeatedly. And this time I was hurt worse than ever before.

Once I healed, my people kept me inside. They made a new room for me on the side of my house with soft walls through which I can smell and see birds and passing cats. One day a cat came too close. I hissed and lunged, forgetting about the see-through wall. I bounced off it backward. The cat was so surprised he ran away. I acted like I meant to do it, and licked my paw in a dignified manner. Taught him!

I don’t mind being an indoor cat. My people put a little swinging flap in the front door so I can go out to my special outside room any kitty DSC01014time. When I see a bird, I crouch low, stare, and think, “One, two, three…gotcha!” Then I curl up and go to sleep.

A 2013 Nature Communications study estimated that outdoor cats kill more than 1.4 billion birds annually.  To protect wildlife—and your cats—please keep them indoors.

*Keith Barnaby owns www.youreldercare.com and helps seniors and their families save money, time, and pain with a flexible, customized elder life plan.