Monday, April 12, 2010

New Tenants?

Sunday April 11, 2010
About 7pm.
Minutes after I managed to get a shocked, bleeding Maggie into her stall, Muscade darted out of the barn barking and growling. Still shaking, I left Maggie briefly and tore after the dog. She was already halfway across the lawn and hot on the heels of a black, furry animal with a puffy tail. My first thought was that it looked like a cat. In fact, it looked very much like our cat, so as Muscade came back with her tail between her legs (I had yelled at her), I rushed to the front door to see if I'd left it open in my earlier panic. The door was closed, and through the window I could see Ruffles sitting sublimely on his "tree", so I knew it wasn't him.

So what was it? A skunk? Doubtful, I didn't see any white, and Muscade had returned without any trace of the eye-burning odour. Perhaps a raccoon? It moved awfully fast for a raccoon though. No, it really looked like a cat. But where would it have come from? I put it out of my head and went back to nursing Maggie.

A bit later, with the calm beginning to return to my brain, my mind flashed back to a scene from 12 hours earlier. Dave let Muscade outside Sunday morning and she streaked off after something. He didn't see what it was, but assumed it was one of the fat crows who bounce around the lawn in the morning hours. Now I started to think that perhaps it wasn't a crow after all.

Sunday night, with Dave back safe from his flying lesson, we got ready to do a final check on Maggie. Dave went out first while I dug the ice packs for Maggie's legs from the freezer. He was back a moment later: "I saw it, it was laying down in front of the sheep barn (no, we don't have sheep). It looked like a cat, but it took off as soon as it saw me. It definitely was NOT a raccoon."

We both wondered where this cat may have come from, but we didn't think about it too much as Maggie was still the priority.

Monday April 12, 7:15 pm
I've just come in from feeding the horses and caring for Maggie's wounds. I plop my tired behind into the living room rocking chair to check my e-mail. Suddenly, Ruffles leaps onto the windowsill to my left and starts "cackling" and meowing. I lean back to look, but don't see anything. Then he jumps down and runs toward the front door. I get up and look out the kitchen window. Our new "tenant" is sleekly gliding up our walkway. For an instant a mostly black, tabby face looks up at me, then it turns tail and runs toward our crab apple trees, spraying every bush in between. Mystery solved. The animal that's been hanging about is indeed a cat-- likely a lookin'-for-love male.

A half hour goes by, then Ruffles stands up in the window and meows invitingly. I look out. This time, I see the tabby in the driveway, and he's not alone. His companion is a mostly white cat with a big black or grey spot on its back. The two cats are crouched, facing each other. They dance around each other like boxers preparing for a punch, then they stop and crouch again. I leave the window for a few minutes and when I come back, they're gone.

There's no sign of the cats as we head outside for the late-night check on the horses. But, shortly after we return to the house, as we're brushing our teeth and getting ready for bed, we hear a string of mournful yeowls coming from the backyard. After a minute or so, it's quiet again.

I hoped I might get a glimpse of our feline friends again today, since Ruffles is an indoor cat, I wouldn't mind having a few mousers around. But so far, the cats haven't come back.

1 comment:

  1. We had a similar friend in Saint John. We met him in the winter. A pretty black cat who came to our door so much we almost took him in. Henry named him Mr. Snuggles.

    Spring came around and he used our back yard as his love den for every female cat in the neighbourhood. His name was apt.

    "Daddy, what's Mr. Snuggles doing to that cat?"

    "Um....... playing."