Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, on a cold and stormy night, of which we only had two or three, Loretta and I heard a cat meowing on the front porch. My first and somewhat panicky thought was that Fancy Pants, our never-once in-seven-years-been-outdoors cat, had, for some reason, decided to see what life is like on the other side of the door.
Then, almost at the same time, Fancy ran over my feet, headed for the stairway as fast as her legs would work, laying paw rubber as she tried to gain traction on the hardwood floor. She used more energy and as many steps to cover a distance of 20 feet as she would have used to run a mile on a less slippery surface but when she got to the stairs, it was “thumpity-thumpity-thumpity” as she disappeared into wherever it is she hides when anyone or anything other than her immediate family comes on the place.
Fancy is actually a very beautiful Maine Coon but she is not sociable with anyone other than her housemates and goes to great lengths to be unseen when we have company. All of which is another story for another time because this piece is supposed to be about a cat of an entirely different color.
So, I flipped on the porch light and there, huddled up and shivering sat a half grown, multi-colored, half-starved and obviously very hungry cat. We went out on the porch and discovered that it was also starved for human attention and affection when it began, still meowing, rubbing up against our ankles.
We decided it must belong to one of our neighbors and had simply gotten lost in the thunderstorm. In retrospect, I should have known that none of our neighbors would allow one of their pets to become so starved that you could count every bone in its body, but we told ourselves that we’d give it a meal, put a pet carrier with a warm blanket out on the porch so it would be out of the weather and that it would probably go home the next day. Now, we are convinced that some irresponsible, good-for-nothing, low-life, numbskull drove by and dropped her off in our yard.
A week later Loretta had called every animal shelter within a 30 mile radius and been adamantly informed that there was no room at the inns. We’ve boasted about how friendly she is to dozens of people we know to love cats, but nobody wants this one, nor has any animal shelter been willing to take her off our hands. We are still trying to find her a home and I am reasonably sure that, after my discreet examination, she is, in fact, of the female persuasion.
In the meantime, and as you already know if you regularly read this column, we are plagued with varmints that are destroying or lawn. We previously thought the despicable creatures were moles but the unwanted cat who now calls our front porch home has proven in very certain terms that they are voles, just like Mountain Eagle Editor Ben Gish told me they were at the onset of the plague, last October.
The cat, which I have taken to calling Cooney because of the rings around her tail, has killed three of them and presented us with their carcasses in the last 10 days. I’ve seen blood on her front paws a couple of other times that did not involve a present which I now believe to be indications of successful vole hunts even though we did not see the results. At first I thought she might have cut herself, but we could find no sign of wounds.
I actually witnessed Cooney make a kill last Friday afternoon. She was stretched out on the top porch step sunning herself when all of a sudden she sprang into a stalking crouch and ever hair on her back was sticking straight up.
She literally slithered down the porch steps and out onto the lawn. I quickly glanced around to make sure she was not setting out to attack one of the numerous robins that are normally hopping around the yard during day light hours, but I actually saw no sign of life other than Cooney.
Suddenly she pounced, snarled loudly and began vigorously shaking the vole in her mouth. It was dead before it knew what hit it. I thought to myself that Cooney was finally earning her keep for the cheapo, Dollar Store,10 pound bags of Everpet cat food we’ve been feeding her. Rest assured that Fancy Pants would never touch the stuff but Cooney loves it.
Still, I don’t have $100 and change lying around to have Cooney spayed and we simply do not need another cat. As far as Loretta is concerned, Fancy Pants is, already, one cat too many. So, If you are looking for a very friendly, proven vole slayer who would, most likely be a top notch mouser given the right circumstances, give Loretta or me a call at 859-925-2105 or email [email protected]
Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Ike Adams at [email protected] or on Facebook or 249 Charlie Brown Road, Paint Lick, KY 40461.