Shadow the Cat Story

Pets and animals in general play an important role in my life, if you consider how much time we seem to invest. And the majority of our pets were in one way or another a rescue.

One day not long ago Jay and I decided we should at least consider what we are paying in pet care. To the classification “pet” we were including the wild birds we feed. Small nations could be subsidized on what we contribute just in bird seed.

We were a bit appalled at the overall total, but we rationalized that it worked in balance. We aren’t big eaters ourselves. And I am near genius in the kitchen with leftovers. I waste next to nothing. I am very good at rationalizing any situation  I don’t want to change.

We also have Zena on a special diet that has helped to both calm her and has taken care of skin allergies. It’s working with her beautifully, but it isn’t inexpensive.

Darwin doesn’t cost much in upkeep, but in attempting to maintain his real estate needs, he requires plenty of thought and planning. We managed to get through this winter without some of the fall-out we experienced last, but we have agreed that this coming year we will once again need to overhaul his habitat.

This week he finally rejoined us after burrowing for two full months. This is his first meal since winter fully kicked in.

Fortunately, timothy hay and pumpkin are not high budget feed.

I would say that we have our hands full, but we’ve recently added to the family menagerie after realizing that a small black cat was actually trying to eat bird food off the ground.

He, or she, we still aren’t certain, would scurry away as soon as we made our presence known, but we’d occasionally catch a glimpse and we thought she seemed very thin and was perhaps homeless.

We started putting food out, and it didn’t take long, of course, to have a hungry cat regularly expecting a handout.

Shadow, as we’ve named the little thing, appears twice a day, morning and evening, to dine on canned food–another expense, but it didn’t take her long to express a preference.

We tried putting some dried food out just to see if she’d come at times we couldn’t anticipate. That didn’t go very well.

You may not be able to tell in a photo taken in the dark through a screen, but that’s a skunk enjoying the dried food.

So we’ve abandoned that practice and now try to be vigilant to the mewing cries of a hungry and somewhat demanding kitty.

Works fine when we are at home, but now I’m wondering if I need to have someone come by the house when we travel to feed a more than likely feral cat?

This is somewhat a developing story. We have no guarantee that we are the only ones feeding her. It’s common for cats to be outdoor pets in our part of the country. It’s warm enough, and in general, many people have cats as part of an informal “rodent abatement” program.

But we like to think we are doing something kind for a hungry cat. I’ll let you know if after a while I find out we’re being played!