A strange encounter this morning that brought a smile to my face. #Cats

I woke up early this morning and decided to get on with some writing. I got to the bottom of the stairs, and thought I was seeing double.

Some years ago I bought a rather regal black cat figure for my mother, which resided on the fire surround, and seemed to watch us wherever we were in the room.

When my mother died we took the cat back to Madrid with us where he went on to star in Tales from the Garden. When we returned to Ireland he came with us, and is now inside our hall, by the front door, as a welcome to visitors. He is tucked into a corner, with just his face visible through the glass surround.

However, this morning, he had company.

 

When we first moved in to the house last June, and were decorating, we would leave the front door open to air the place out. One day a black cat walked in, and as we stood watching carefully, he or she, inspected the downstairs of the house, and then left again. As it left, it looked at us both as if to say ‘You’ll do’!  Since then I have seen him (he is quite big and beefy) a few times, but he has run off into the bushes if I have approached him. However, from time to time I catch him checking us out.  A few weeks ago I looked out of my office window to see him sitting watching me through the glass for several minutes before wandering off. He looks well fed but my guess is that he has been feral for a long time, and well able to catch his own dinner in the farmland around us.

Clearly he had caught sight of my stone cat and was checking it out, probably for gender! I slowly moved my boy around to face the window, and went off and collected my camera from the office. I returned and sat on the bottom step of the stairs and watched to see what would happen.

I took several snaps of the two of them and then decided to try my own luck with our visitor. I went and got a saucer of warm milk, opening the front door carefully, only to see him darting under the car. However, once I was back inside and had resumed my seat he crept back out, and emboldened by his new friend, finished the offering with much relish and licking of whiskers. I think it has been a long time since he had enjoyed that delicacy.

 

 

I believe black cats are lucky, and in fact I like all cats. David is allergic to them so we have not enjoyed the company of a house feline. However, over the years, a number of feral cats have seemed to find me, and in our last house in Ireland, I discovered a dying cat under a bush in my garden. He was Henry who starred in Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story, and went on to father two kittens with a young floozy who turned up in the garden one day.

Henry and Sam were great pals but the cat would never come into the house, preferring to sit on my lap in the sunshine having a brush or lying on the sunbed with me. He was completely feral and would disappear when strangers arrived and bless him, he did have a particularly pungent aroma.

Sam checking out Henry’s grooming (or lack of) habits.. ‘Mate, you need a bath’

Sam and Henry taking advantage of the Irish sunshine

The black and white Floozy and Henry’s offspring.

The Floozy would not let me touch her, but when I arrived home one day from work, I found her two kittens, who were a few weeks old at the time, on the front door mat. They both had their eyes caked shut with infection, and I looked around to find their mother under a bush watching carefully. I picked both the kittens up (with strong gardening gloves as they were spitting and scratching hellions) and with Sam overseeing the operation, I gently washed their eyes with warm, lightly salty water. I then put them back out on the mat and she collected them.  This went on for a week until one day there was just one kitten who still had a minor infection. His mother and sister watched from under the bush until I put him back down again and he was collected. The next day there was no kitten for me to tend to but they would follow me around the garden at a distance as my guard of honour.

As you can see from the photograph they lived to grow into strapping and healthy cats. We lived on a couple of acres down a farm lane and there was an abundance of rats which provided them with plenty to eat. I did however supplement with scraps and also popped in some anti-parasitic herbs and worming tablets regularly. They would often leave me a gift on the doormat. Usually a very dead and large rat and I was not sure if I was supposed to cook it for them or for me!

I usually rewarded this gift with their favourite treat which was raw liver…

Anyway, I will be interested to see where my relationship with the black cat develops, but I will keep our stone cat facing outwards, and I suspect that he might be back to visit his new friend, and for a saucer of milk again tomorrow.

©images sallycronin

 

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48 thoughts on “A strange encounter this morning that brought a smile to my face. #Cats

  1. I enjoyed this story, Sally. Stella (our cat) was born out in the bush. My wife grabbed the mom and litter (five kittens), got the mom spayed, and bottle fed the kittens. The mom returned to the wild and the kittens all found homes.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is a very sweet story, Sally 🙂
    I do never feed my cats with milk, because they get diarrhea because of the lactose. Instead I have given them a mix of cream from milk production and mixed it half and half with water. This doesn’t give any problems.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is such a full, rich story, Sally. I thought it would end at the regal cat statue, as that in itself was a very good story. But no, there were more cats and tales in which to delight. I am stunned that a mother cat gave you her sick kittens to nurse. Fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like you may have been adopted by the black cat! My cat is a a little black one. Her owner is leaving the country so we offered to rehome her. She has settled well and seems to think she can train me to do her bidding.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The ferals find us as well. We have managed to trap and neuter one family (mama and three kits) but this year a new family has evaded us. Mama is very feral … and was pregnant again by the time her current lot were leaned (the father of both litters is trap-savvy as can be). The two kittens from the first litter are becoming more and more friendly; we plan to trap and neuter them as well. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are a brave soul to pick them up. They are handsome cats.
    We recently had six feral kittens on our back deck with the mother. A volunteer cat lover came and captured them to have them neutered and treated with immunization and ready for adoption. John wanted one but I am not a cat person. I like dogs but don’t want to have one since we travel and would have to find someone to take care of it. I had three dogs, one cat and lots of fish when my kids were young. Now we just have fish. 💕Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am not sure I would want to catch the one that has adopted us.. he is a big guy and even with a trap it would be difficult. I will see what happens with him… We have not seen or heard any kittens but we have dogs each side and behind us and they are always in the gardens which would deter a mother cat from picking our garden.. We have farmland around us and there have been signs of mice and rats… if Blacky is catching those I am more than happy.. hugs xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. LOL! Staring at the inside cat, that’s too funny! We have a paper mache cat, black and white, which the grands have all loved and played with. It’s residing in the storage unit for the time being. But wherever I put that cat in the house, I would forget, and end up talking to it or jumping when it ‘moved.’ So realistic. It also frightened our cats when they didn’t know it was in a new location. Hmmm. Seems like I could really capitalize on this..great story Sally! Hugs. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a wonderful post today. I love cats, and have two of my own. I also love black cats. The one at your door, had such green eyes. I’ve been seeing a cat the past few weeks, and I’m trying to catch him. He’s been looking thinner lately. I was walking my dog, along with my sons, and this cat which is pure gray, walked up to the dogs without fear, and starting rubbing against them. They were so shocked they just stood there. I’v never seen anything like it before. Take care Sally.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely story Sally. I also believe black cats are lucky and nothing happens by chance. Perhaps it portends great things….
    Oh is that the phone?
    Hello?
    Yes.
    Oh…
    Yes certainly. Could you just hang on a second?
    Thanks very much…
    Sal.. it’s Pierce. He read yer book!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A love tail.. um, tale, Sally. You have a kind heart. I grew up in a cat family and people used to drop unwanted kittens off at the end of our driveway. Our old male cat, Big Red, would go get them and carry them inside. 🙂 Great pictures of Sam in the pool and the cats in the flower pot!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great story Sal. That cat looks pretty darn fat, lol. Hasn’t missed too many meals. I’m also allergic to cats and besides that, they don’t like me. I’ve been corner, jumped on, lunged and hissed at by cats of friends who say, “My cat doesn’t even like people and will leave the room, don’t worry” ya right, they’ve all seen another side to their cats when I’m around, lol. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Ancestry DNA Results, Ultimate Bucket List and Black Cats | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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