If you can’t tell by some of the things I’ve written, I love animals. If I had the funds, I would have some form of animal sanctuary. As it is, I have our two official dogs and one indoor cat. I have the two kittens that once ready I hope to find a home(s) for. There is also the cat colony out back. This in itself can be overwhelming at times.
Bella and Molly are the two dogs. They are shepherd mix and have two very distinct personalities. Bella is my big brave girl who is up for adventure, ready to take on the world and to protect us from anything she thinks is out to cause harm. Molly is the lovable goofball who is afraid of leaving or being left alone. She fears the usual and the unusual such as the wind. But she loves us with every fiber that is her being.
Cricket is the official indoor cat. She’s fourteen and very much the diva. Molly adores her, Bella tolerates her. Cricket does not allow any other cat in the house. She doesn’t like it when the colony gather on the back steps. She really doesn’t like it when one or more invite themselves inside the house. The hissing and spitting, from a safe distance, very audible. The members of the colony who dared enter her kingdom usually just stare then turn to follow the food.
Mojo and Moxie are the rescued kittens that I’ve been trying to nurse back to as good health as possible. Tucked safely in a room where they are separated from big dogs and arrogant cat. Mojo really looks good, Moxie will have very limited vision. Otherwise they are your playful, loving, mischievous babies growing and learning those cat things that take hold of your heart.
The Colony is exactly that. A gathering of feral cats that have taken my back yard as their home. It all began about two years ago when three cats appeared on my back steps and I, yes, I fed them. Their numbers immediately grew. The three became four, then five. The problem with living in a rural area surrounded by woods, is that predators live in those woods. One can only do so much to protect feral cats. Especially when one has dogs themselves. With my front yard fenced, and cats smart enough to remain out back, eased some of those fears. Another problem with cats, feral or otherwise, they make babies. Lots of babies. So I was introduced to a gentleman associated with an organization that traps, neuters and returns feral cats. They also get their shots and an ear tipped to show. This helps to a degree but, cats being cats still wander and once out of their safe place there is no guarantee.
By now you may be asking, is there a point to this? Yes, there actually is a point.
With the kittens growing and beginning to make more noise, it is impossible they be kept secret. There is also the fact we have been bringing them out to play. Cricket has seen them. Cricket, the arrogant, Cricket, her royal highness of the house, stood watching as we loved on the kittens. There was no posturing. There was no hissing. There was a quiet acceptance and understanding that these are babies that are in need of care. Otherwise, she ignores them.
As the temperatures have dropped and the nights been much cooler, Cricket has been sleeping under my bed. Before this, she slept in various places in the living room. Bella has always slept in my bedroom, either at the foot of my bed or on the floor beside the bed. The thing about Bella, once we call it a night, once the lights are out and all should be in their respective beds, no one, is supposed or allowed to approach that bedroom door. The door is left open and a baby gate across the doorway. Not because I think Bella would wander, but because Molly has developed a habit of leaving her spot and approaching the doorway. The ugly growls wake me and I send Molly back. (She has now taken to sleeping on the couch.) But Cricket, the cat Bella barely tolerates, when she jumps the gate and slips under the bed, Bella simply ignores. Even the past two nights when Cricket has awakened me by strolling across my legs, Bella has ignored.
That point? If animals can get along, if animals can adjust and learn to tolerate each other, why can’t we??