Life’s tough for stray cats
Now those of you who know me well enough will know my affinity for all animals; especially cats. While we have three dogs too as part of our furry family, cats will always hold a special place in my heart. I just adore them and that’s all there’s to it. Our six at home are pretty safe and well looked after. However, where my dear wife keeps her beautiful horse, there are a number of strays and many of those have now become our extended cat family. There is Fluffy, Granny, Smokey, Lucy’s mum, Jet; then a few other unnamed, like Jet’s sister (now christened to Jezz by consensus), the ginger cat and the white/tabby that has the flat and damaged ear lobes who is very skittish. Lucky for Granny she was taken by Pip, who owned the property next door and moved south near Bega. Fluffy hung around for ages and Pip was asking us to feed her and keep her safe so that we can later catch her and give to Pip to keep as another pet cat. Smokey is a gorgeous grey male with a white collar and paws. Lucy’s mum is a tortoise shell and is very cute and fluffy. We think she is our Lucy’s mum because their mannerisms are similar, the half-colored face is similar as are the big, round eyes. She is a little sweetie, though not too friendly other than tolerates our presence next to her while we put out the nightly food. Last night (12/09/2010) was actually the first time she meowed to me and let me pet her and keep petting and she absolutely loved it. My heart was melting. Their offspring are Jet (who is all black, fluffy and with similar markings to Smokey) then there is (sadly now was) Jezz who is white with tabby markings. They are both about eight months old now.
Apparently stray cats live tough lives and are not known to survive for long. Usually, if they are lucky, just a few arduous years. They are tested by the elements, by the indifference of mankind and whatever else is thrown at them. Our little Lucy would have been like that had we not have taken her a few years back when she turned up on Pip’s door meowing with her little, high pitch girlie meow and won our hearts. She is the lucky one, and our Tom whom we had for over six years now and he lives happily in retirement as an old, ginger boy.
This morning, when I was approaching the property where our horse Buddy is agisted, I saw a small shape on the side of the road, still on the tar, but near the edge. My heart started to beat like crazy and I was expecting the very worst thing. As I slowed down I made out a small, fluffy and very lifeless body. At first I thought it was Lucy’s mum then when I stepped out I could see the tabby and white of one of her offspring; Jezz. She just lay there lifeless. I am a very sensitive soul and have enormous love for the creatures around me including these wonderful stray cats. Seeing her like that and knowing that whoever hit her didn’t even bother to stop to see what happened, but chose to selfishly just leave her there, made me boil inside. But that could not overcome the devastation, the crush to my heart that I could feel there and then. It’s now six hours later and the devastation and the crush are still there. I cannot function because I am simply thinking about little Jezz, her short and hard life and the fact that only two nights earlier she and her sister Jet were watching me put the coats on Buddy at night before feeding them. They were by my side as I was preparing the food, ever so curious and having given me their trust, which took months to obtain. I felt privileged, but that is nothing compared to the pain I now feel. I found a nice quiet spot in the bush near the big dam and gently placed Jezz’s small and now very limp body into her final resting place. Rest in peace our little munchkin.
This little story is dedicated to all the stray animals out there in the big wide world. Be strong and live long.