Since I am living the dull life of one who appears to never be well again, and being home-bound, I have decided to dig back in my memory – and believe me, that’s harder than you’d think, when you get to be middle-aged – to come up with some interesting stories of ‘long ago’. This is the story of The Cat Who Saved Me
Many years ago ~ it seems like a different life ~ we purchased a home on an acre of land. It was a tiny, shoebox of a house in a low-end subdivision of all one-acre plots… long before we bought the home, I think this little subdivison was seen as someplace ‘poor folks’ could raise livestock and grow their own vegetables, or something… since those days, a lot of homeowners have built on, remodeled, moved up…while some other homes look hideous. But, I digress. The point is, we bought a house where I could keep my horse in my very own backyard, and I was ecstatic. The sellers moved out and left behind a pack of feral cats. I called the wife repeatedly to come and pick them up, as we were building a fence around the backyard for our dogs, and it seemed rather mean to fence the cats in with my dogs – the cats lived under the back deck. I guess she finally got sick of me calling, and came to pick up the cats. We’d had 2 litters of kittens by then, of course…but, I had found homes for all the kitties. She packed them up in crates (after much time, effort, and bloodied arms) and off she went to dump them off, somewhere south at a friend’s farm, to be ‘barn cats’. After some time, one of the cats returned. By then, the fence was done, so this little cat took up residence under our front porch. Well, I figured if she’d made it all that way back, then my home was her home, so I ‘adopted’ her. I bought some dishes and fed and watered her out there. She was a long-haired tortoiseshell, with no tail. She was quite skittish, but longed to be loved. I would sit out on the egde of the porch, and she would put her front legs on my lap and let me pet her. She never climbed all the way up, and if I moved suddenly, or even sneezed, off she’d go, down under the porch. She eventually trusted me to the point I could at least shift my feet and she’d remain where she was. She’d usually only take off if someone or something was coming down the road. Late one night, Alan was gone, as he was working swing-shift. I was sitting outside petting Calli. I didn’t see or hear a thing, but suddenly she got very stiff, stood bolt upright, and stared off into the shrubs just below my bedroom window. (which was just a few feet away from where I was sitting.) After a moment, she plunged down under the porch. I felt suddenly creeped out, so I got right up and went inside the house, locking the door – and double checking it – behind me. I went and stood in the hallway a bit, then went into my bedroom. I didn’t turn the light on, because I thought I would just peek out my window and see if there was a cat, or stray dog, or even a coyote, or something outside that had frightened Calli. I walked in the darkness over to my window, and peered out…at that exact moment, a male face popped up directly in front of me. On the other side of the window, mere inches from my face!! I screamed at the top of my lungs, as loud and long as my breath would let me. It was just my gut reaction. After that, I dropped to the floor, shaking. I don’t know how long I sat there. When my wits came back a bit, I crawled out of the room (I was petrified that if I stood up, he could see me) I crawled to the kitchen phone and called the police. They came out pretty quickly, but of course by then the guy was long gone…in fact, when I explained what had happened, the policeman said the guy was probably in the next county as I’d probably scared him to death! Well, his eyes and mouth were huge and round as I screamed! I mean, he was probably trying to ‘peep’, and didn’t expect screaming 6 inches from his face! After it was all over, I kept thinking about Calli. What if she hadn’t gotten frightened and skittered off? What would that guy have done? …I mean, I was sitting there, just feet from him, all alone at my house… From that time on, Calli got extra-special yummy treats, not just plain old cat food. Because, she was my hero.