Six years ago this week, this coming Saturday to be exact, a one pound cat came into my life, out of the blue, on a rainy rural highway. She leapt out of the bramble as log trucks were coming from both directions. My heart almost stopped. She somehow managed to avoid death, and as I pulled off the road, she sat waiting for me, in the middle of the highway, as if the yellow divider line was made especially for her as a guide.
I was on my way to an appointment and had Huck in the car. I remember thinking,
I do NOT need another cat. I can not bring this cat home.
At that point of Apifera, we had 25 cats. We had arrived in 2004 to the farm, and were immediately greeted by a little orange tabby tumbling out of the hay bales. That was Gus. He was one of five, and Mama Kitty was busy getting pregnant, by none other than Big Tony. By the time I could trap/spay/neuter the kittens, Mama had another litter who I also trapped/spayed/neutered. It took me two years to trap Mama, and she had a third litter but moved them to a neighbor's barn. In between, other cats just seemed to arrive, hearing perhaps that the accommodations were good. And they were. Samuel Noel, Mr. Bradshaw, One Eye, BW, Tomentosa, Miss Prairie Pussytoes and of course, Phinias T. Barnum. Oh, and Miss Peach.
I turned the truck around with this kitten on my lap. I was sure she was going to freak out, and driving with an unknown cat, uncaged, was dangerous. I had had trips to the ER because of working with feel kittens. But she sat on my lap, calmly, occasionally uttering her infamous,
I took her to my vet to see if they could take her but they were full up. She was only 1#, skinny, bad eyes and we weren't sure if she would make it. When Martyn came home that night, I greeted him at the door.
"I was minding my business. But I had to bring her in," I said.
He later told me he assumed I'd brought a raccoon in the studio or baby skunk. But when he saw her that day, he said, like he was looking at a newborn baby,
"Of course you had to bring her home."
This the man that courteously told me-many eons ago-he could not tolerate cats. He and Itty were bonded from day one. She immediately favored Martyn and we used to joke that I saved her, but she would choose him if forced to pick. He loved that cat. I'd catch him cooing to her, or talking to her like an old school chum. Itty was very independent but each night, when she chose to come in from her Big Etta world, she would venture to Martyn's side of the bed.
, I'd hear, in her faintest form of "meh". And he'd put her under his covers.
So the sign you see here had a real meaning when I made it way back when. No other sign at the old Apifera brought more delight to visitors. To me, it has no meaning in the present day at the old farm, it's a novelty item now and I should have taken it down in honor of the beautiful story of 25 cats that all lived there once. I wish I had. It had a function then, to warn the delivery people and other trucks coming up the road, that, yes, there were indeed cats falling from trees.
So, here I am asking you to once again partake in Itty. That darn little cat. I am making one final push, in her honor, to get funding for this book. We have 10 days left.
If you can honor her, and me, with a pledge, I thank you. And I am grateful for the 90 current pledges, and tot he people who have upped their pledge, and shared the story with others.