Thursday, July 15, 2010

THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER

...and her son
Maggie and Mikey have been on my mind ever since I released them after having them spayed and neutered. I wrote about them weeks ago and admitted I hated to release them back into the neighborhood, but I felt it's what I needed to do. Maggie seems friendly, though still skittish, but Mikey was born under a neighbor's shed and will not allow anyone to touch him. If he perceives I'm going to try to touch him, he bolts. I was only able to catch him once, after a night-long vigil and a few cans of cat food and tuna. He's the only survivor from Maggie's two feral litters. A neighbor family promised to catch her and have her spayed after her first litter was weaned and I made the mistake of trusting them to do it. I offered my humane trap and told them I'd help any way I could. They didn't follow through and Maggie became pregnant again. That's when I took over and made sure that was the last litter she had.
I'd been seeing Mikey around the neighborhood and he seemed to remember me, but I hadn't seen Maggie since July 3rd. People in my neighborhood were setting off loud firecrackers that evening and I assumed both cats feared the noises and went into hiding. Mikey came out of the woods after a couple days, but Maggie didn't. I'd see him sitting on a neighbor's porch and he came down here to eat a few times, but there was no sign of his mama. Unfortunately, I've never learned how to stop worrying about things I can't control, so I've been fretting over Maggie and wondering where she could be. Was she still frightened? Did she decide to move on without her son? Did someone harm her?
Last night Maggie came back to visit. She saw me outside talking to a little gray cat that came to feed and began mewing as she came running toward me. I was so relieved to see her I could hardly hold back tears. I didn't have the camera with me and was afraid if I went to get it she might be gone when I returned, so I just sat on the porch and talked to her while she ate. She was very hungry but looked wonderful. Her fur was smooth and clean and she had put on a little bit of weight, which was good. She had been so thin after being spayed. Maggie allowed me to hold her for a few seconds and then she was off and running down the street. She kept stopping and looking back and I continued to talk to her until she was out of sight.
I was finally able to fall sleep without worrying so much about Maggie and Mikey. I need to embrace the fact these cats may live short lives, but maybe the old adage is true - to an animal, one day of freedom is better than a thousand days in captivity.

9 comments:

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

I am so glad you have seen them both and know Maggie is doing fine. I'm sure she'll pop in from time to time to catch up with you :)

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

I am glad you got to see both of them and that Maggie let you hold her even for a few seconds...her looking back might have been her way of saying "thanks for caring about me"...lets hope this continues.;)

Cat Haven Crafts said...

What a special time you had with Maggie! She is a beautiful girl. Glad Mikey is doing well, too. Perhaps Maggie will start staying closer to your home now and you will be able to visit with her more often! Thanks for caring so much about your feral cats.

Marie said...

I am so glad that Maggie came back. That is sweet.
Love,
Marie

QUILTING IS BLISSFUL, DI said...

I think you need to add something to the end of your saying at the end of your post--"and when a cat can be loved and worried over by a human--that cat will become an angel in heaven and live forever with a smile in his heart"
Hugs, Di

Linda ★ Parker's Paradise said...

Your story is so heart-wrenching. I have always had a soft spot for abandoned animals. My kids dragged home more dumped dogs and feral cats then anyone can imagine. We lived on a country lane and people always think it is okay to dump an animal near a house. It does get expensive. We still are on a hot line to help find homes for abused dachshunds---and more often than not--other breeds, too.
I admire your compassion.
★Linda★

Carol/Firecrackerkid said...

Aww Kady, I'm so glad she came back to you. We worry about our kitties like that too and if we don't see them regularly, hubby goes out on foot and in auto searching. LOL. Did you see our new addition? I posted about him on my blog.http://firecrackerkid.blogspot.com/2010/07/our-new-fur-babies.html
He is similar to your Maggie:)
Hugs~Carol

Whimsey Creations said...

And good care, kind words, and a pet or two is something they will always remember no matter how short their lives are. Bless you for doing what you do.

Sandra said...

Here at Thistle Cove Farm, we have all manner of feral cats. I try and gentle and then catch them up by the scruff of the neck, put them in a cat carrier for a vet trip, spaying/neutering and shots. Then, release them back on the farm. It takes a while but they, eventually, gentle down again.
Don't let people tell you what's right for you; that's between you and God. Once upon a time, a woman living in Las Vegas berated me because I let my cats go outside. Heck, some of my cats go for walks with the dogs and I.
That's what's known as My Business. It's between God and me and no one else.
Go thou and do likewise.
Pax.