Friday, March 9, 2012

My Aging Tortie Examines the Knitting Board
The amazing thing about this picture is not that my Tortie (short for tortoiseshell) closed her eyes against the flash.  The amazing thing is that she is in my house at all, much less getting close enough for me to get a picture.

My mother fed and provided neutering services for a small colony of outdoor cats.  At one time, there were as many as 20 gamboling around the large yard.  When Mama became bedridden after my father's death, we started feeding them only once a day, and many drifted away to new homes or died in road accidents.  When I was arranging the sale of the property, only this Tortie was left.  I don't know whether she is Ena or Patches (Mama named all the outdoor cats.), but I was anxious to catch and provide for her before we abandoned the property.

Cats understand more than people think.  After I had attempted to get her into a have-a-heart trap and caught a juvenile racoon instead, she walked up to me one afternoon and let me pick her up and put her in a carrier.

I took her immediately to the vet's to make sure she wasn't diseased, and she immediately reverted to type.  The vet had to net her and apply almost as much anesthesia as he would for surgery before he could examine her and pronounce her well.

Her lopped ears are the result of healed hematomas.  She was not used to living closely with other cats and never backed down from a fight.  Right now my big male cats won't challenge her. 

But Tortie discovered something new living indoors - beds, blankets, and other soft places to sleep.  She will sit purring on my bed for hours and comes up to be stroked.  She won't sit in my lap, but she had to come close to see what the knitting was. 

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