After Mr. Dog passed we decided not to have any more pets for awhile. As is often the case, the universe had other ideas. A black tom cat had started hanging around our yard. We ignored him, he ignored us, we were all happy. One day, the cat, who we alternately called Blackie, Captain Midnight, and that black cat came “home” looking very bedraggled. I started to share Mr. Dog’s food with him. I just couldn’t stand to see him looking so bad. The black cat inherited the month’s worth of homemade dog food that was stocking our freezer. Meanwhile, a tortoiseshell kitty also would drop by to visit. She was sleek, well fed, and obviously used to people.
The black cat is feral, he is in better health these days though he does stop by every morning expecting some cat chow. Turns out he also visits my neighbor Linda, who noticing his sorry state of health had been feeding him antibiotics mixed with cat food. Blackie makes it very clear that he doesn’t belong to anyone. He peers at us with narrowed eyes, I think he is wise to my plan to eventually trap him and send him to the vet to be fixed. Sometimes, we don’t see him for a couple of days and I worry that evil has befallen him.
Meanwhile, the kitty started to make herself more and more at home. She would spend time on the terraza staring into the kitchen awaiting an opportunity to come inside. One day, we heard a noise in the kitchen and found her sitting in one of the large frying pans on the stove, daintily cleaning bacon grease from her paws. We started calling her TK, the kitten, but avoided her efforts to win our affections. She already had a home, and we didn’t want any more pets, even though we were regularly feeding Blackie. Blackie likes to sun himself in our yard midday but he seems to have found a place to sleep at night, if he is sleeping and not doing what tom cats do.
TK is now a young cat, and she hardly ever leaves our yard. We think her previous owners have abandoned her. When she started to look thin, we began to feed her too. She is still not allowed in our house, but she comes up to us and complains about the lack of food in her dish. She also allows Husband to pick her up, encouraging him to pet her by purring. She thinks that she is training us.
Last week, we came home through the back gate, there on the brick side patio, we found TK holding a tiny black mouse in her mouth. We gave into fate, and accepting that we now have a cat taking care of our property. Like most caretakers, she gets room and board. She has her favorite chair on the patio where she sleeps, we feed her cat food and give her the occasional table scraps.
Husband mentioned that we really need to give her a name, so after considering and rejecting various options. We settled on Taffy.