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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ladies and Gentleman, presenting...

There is a crow that lives near our farm. I see him flying from the place in the sky where the main county road touches the horizon line - if you're standing in the right spot on our land. He seems to canvas the area and then always retreats to the area where he begins his circling maneuvers. I now realize that his purpose is to guide particular cats to our farm. The conversation between crow and cat can not be relayed to my readers here in typed words, as the computer wizards have not found a way to make symbols that represent the animal language - and I doubt they are anxiously trying.

So I can only assume what the human translation might be - "You, cat, who just got thrown from the car - over here. Come this way. Up that hill. Watch the curve, log trucks. Inside dogs. Don't be afraid of the small goat like creature - strange but harmless. Head for red barn in the back. Wait for sing song woman sounds. She's the one you want."

And so, this giant, beautiful, regal creature has walked onto the farm. By the way he presented himself to me, I could tell immediately he had at one time worked in the theater, and not on a small scale. He also had been loved, and within literally 2 minutes, he was in my arms. He looked a bit thin yesterday when I fist saw him. But after 3 meals looks better. His wounds are minimal, a few scratches, a small hole that is healing. He is definitely part Siamese, as he cries out as only one of that kind can.

As theatrical and noble as he is, this cat was humbled from whatever journey he had just been on. The back woods is one riveting sound after another in the night time - and the sensitivity of the feline ear, together with his sense of smell, must be exhausting for this fellow, who probably sat on a pillow most of his life earning lines for his next off-off-Broadway play. Normally, when a new cat arrives, I let it be for some time. They come to me on their terms. I feed them, waiting at least two weeks of feeding them before I attempt a tramping to spay/neuter them. As he clung to my shoulders, humming, I swear I heard him thinking,"Go ahead, take my manly pearls off, I don't need them and I'll do anything, anything if you just don't send me back to the outback." His name is not apparant yet, as we humans must wait to allow the cat's true name to come properly to the surface. This can take weeks, sometimes months.

Excited to get to the barn this morning, I was disappointed the new theater cat was not waiting for me in the hay bales. I was sure I had expressed my intentions properly and clearly. As I was almost done cleaning the sheep stall, I heard him calling from the outback. He was standing at the edge, with just two front paws into the small paddock, in the same spot I found him in yesterday. A friend mused he might have been a gift from above - this morning I remembered my father had a Siamese when he met my mother. He had to give the cat away shortly after that.

All I know is, I've known him one day, and he is a significant part of the farm.