Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

When old cats just stick with you

I'm so glad I went back and got Miss Spring at the shelter. She had come in at some point during the weeks I was dealing with the inevitable for Laci, and not long before we lost Maxine, both very old, frail and thyroid issues. I felt I needed to hold off, not only to absorb the vet bills, but to give my heart a brief rest. But she was still there a couple months later. I'm also a sucker for Calicos, ever since Mama Kitty back in Oregon gave us years of kittens in the old barn. We could never touch Mama, only once did I, but she lived well into her 14th or older year, and came to the front porch to die in a basket, something I was touched by.

So, I finally went in to to see the calico needing a home. She had lived with someone who loved her who passed on. The cat, and her dog friend and one more cat were in descent shape, and a neighbor knew about the animals so alerted authorities when the woman died. All the animals have homes now. It turns out it was a hoarder situation, and they had to really look to find the cats.

The first thing I loved about her is she squeaks. This is reminiscent of Itty. She also does a half 'Meh' much like Itty. Just one more way that Itty Bitty lives on, both tormenting me and also comforting me. I named the elder Calico, "Miss Spring" in honor of the season, and the name is perfect for her. For not only did she arrive in the season of her name, but she is very agile and springy, leaping from table to ledge quite gracefully. The other cats do too, but I was surprised to see how far she jumps, considering her age. On a side note, watching Papi jumped is pretty comical, due to his large...um...girth. [We love you Papi].

So this cat stuck with me. I'm glad. Sometimes, an animal presents itself, and I feel the immediate need to rush to it and help. Other times, and I've had to learn this, I stand back a bit and ask if I am the one to take this creature on, am I doing it with pure motives? With Miss Spring, I was just feeling I did not have energy to take her at that moment and if she was meant to be here, it would happen, and it did. The shelter here is a very good one, the people are great and I knew the cat was fine there. Now, looking back, I'm glad I did not wait one day longer.

I have thought of bringing her in the house. We are catless in the house since Big Tony died. I have his cat basket all ready for a new cat, sitting in the window that looks out on M'Lady and the gardens....but we have not gone further at this point. We will. And I wonder if she might be a good candidate. The thing is, she seems very content in the Elder Cat Suite, and they do form a network in there. She has her windows that sit right in the woods, letting in dappled sunlight at morning and dusk. In time, they will be able to roam in the upper loft-a project that keeps getting pushed aside but will happen at some point. They all seem very content. I love each one of them and am grateful for the people that send us cat food and care about what we are doing here.

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