On a chilly night in the fall of 2013, a kitten of about 6 months old showed up on Bill’s porch looking for food. Bill’s cat was not about to share, so the little guy went on his way. There were more sightings of him for a few more days before he meandered his way up Turtle Hill. When my dog didn’t chase him off figuring he was just another of his little charges, the kitten decided this might be a cool place to hang out.
I called my neighbors because he was a dead ringer for their mamma cat, Oreo, who had had several litters before she was fixed. When they came to take a look, they said he was too young to be one of Oreos. I asked if they would take him anyway because it was likely he would eventually become a “Snack” for the coyotes. The neighbors took him home and left food on the porch for him next to Oreo’s. But within a day, he was back up here with us.
Snack loves the outdoors. His hunting skills are honed having had to depend on them for the first few months of his survival. He prances through the woods, pounces on mole mounds, climbs trees and stalks butterflies, leaping high into the air and doing back flips to try to catch them. He occasionally catches a field mouse or chipmunk, but, thankfully, has not yet gifted us with one. He is long, lean and independent.
Although, Snack also knows how to appreciate the good life. He loves the INdoors, too! It didn’t take more than a week or two for him to find the dog door and venture in to explore, take a hidden nap in the back room and cautiously introduce himself to the other 2 cats. At first, he respected their age and experience in domestication, but as he got more comfortable among us, he learned which buttons to push and can now be seen teasing them, batting a swishing tail, trying to eat out of their bowls or take over their beds (even though he now has his own!)
One minute I will see him out the window over my desk, laying in the sunshine or playing ‘mighty tiger’ under the bushes. The next minute, he’ll bound through the dog door, trot across the room, leap up to spread his velvety body across my lap, and purr like a Mac truck. Perfectly content to be loved up, stroked or left alone til he’s completely zonked out, or even removed so I can continue on with my work. But genuine physical affection from a human at least once a day seems to be what this little love bug was longing for in his other life.
Although Snack will use a litter box if he must, he prefers going in the dirt outside. He’s a very tidy cat, often doing the traditional yoga poses to keep his coat as soft and shiny as it is. A dog door allows him to go out to hunt well before I’m awake, and come back in for his afternoon nap or to get out of the wet, cold or wind. Sometimes he’ll start off on the walk with me and the dogs, but eventually, he turns around. Roaming far from home is not something this one wants to do.