Someone, awhile ago, wondered what had become of the stray cats I had written about last June...
Mila...Miraculously recovered after being run over by a car in the parking lot of the cafe, she showed up a month or so after the accident, seeming not too much the worse for wear.
But then, not long after her miraculous reappearance, she just...disappeared. We suspect she was spirited away by one of the new tenants of the building next door. That is my fervent hope, anyway...
Orangie...has a bit more complicated story...
Searching the archives for my original story about Orangie, I was surprised to see that it was almost a year ago that I wrote about him. Since then, I'd seen him only rarely, and briefly. And when he saw me, he'd run away. There was a stretch of several months when I saw him not at all. I wondered if he had become the "coyote lunch" I had so feared, or if our horrific winter had been too much for him.
About three weeks ago, he reappeared. Once again, he began spending a great deal of time in my yard. Sleeping on the fence, creeping out from under the bushes. Looking in the windows. Still, when I talked to him or tried to get near him, he'd run away.
But I knew I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't at least put out some food for him. Though my past efforts in that direction had met with no success.
I put a bowl of kibbles out on the shed deck (my shed is about ten yards from the house, and it has its own little "deck" in front of it.) To my delight, I caught him eating from the bowl. And it seemed as if he had actually been waiting for it. In the next couple of days, he came to the bowl several times.
One evening, I decided to kick his dinner up a notch...I added a scoop of canned food to the kibbles and mixed it around. Then I sat on the deck outside my back door to see what would happen.
He ate. He bathed. He laid down next to the bowl and took a little cat nap. I talked quietly to him. Told him how pretty he was. Asked if he had enjoyed his meal.
Then he did something extraordinary.
He looked me in the eye. Started meowing.
And walked right up to me. Meowing all the way.
With a minimum of coaxing, he sat down next to me. Leaned on me. And rubbed his head on my back.
As if to say, "Thank you, lady. That was really good."
I petted him and made much of him for about fifteen minutes. Then he wandered back to the bowl, finished off his dinner, and went off on his "rounds."
Leaving me astounded. And grateful.
With a tear in my eye for the sweet cat who has had a hard go of it for the past year. But hasn't completely forgotten how to trust. And love.
His name may not ever be "William." But if I have anything to say about it, he will not always be homeless.