Thursday, January 19, 2012

Van Gogh, Part 2, Living a Feral Life

Got some news, and am doing OK


Update
As it turns out, Van Gogh had to be renamed Vanna Gogh.  Yes, we finally peeked.  However, the other day, Hubby spoke to the  owner of the farm up the street and discovered that our stray feline belongs to them and her real name is Pop-Pop's cat.  She is about 20 years old and has lived as a barn cat.  She means quite a bit to them as Pop-Pop passed away three years ago at Christmas time.  They said she had been missing for days and they thought the worst. Little did they know that she has been traveling back and forth between their house and ours for the past six months.  However, I could go out any time of the day and she would come running over to me, so I guess she just kind of settled down where the food was more gourmet.  She had only eaten dry food before and here we were giving her Friskies and treats.  We also sat and played with her which might have gone missing since the demise of her owner. 

Hubby also asked about the other cats that have been coming around in the last month or so.  Yes, they all belong to the farmer and must have smelled the tuna fish on Vanna's breath.   They were all once feral cats that wondered onto their farm.  About 8 years ago, animal control came by and and spayed and neutered them all.  By that time they had over 20 of these felines that kept producing more and more kittens.  These types of cats do not live long as they succumb to many elements, but were mostly done in by the  cars speeding along the winding, narrow roads of our area.  Vanna though, I mean Pop-Pop's Cat, beat all odds and is a fat happy old girl, way past her prime.  She looks pretty good for being around 97 (according to the cat-years calculator). 

I think how I was almost ready to try to catch her, put her in a carrier and take her to a vet to be checked over and given shots.  That nonagenarian would have been traumatized and the outcome may not have been very good.  Not knowing her past and thinking that she was an abandoned stray,  I was concerned about what was the right thing to do.  I agonized over it and thought about how she would  survive the winter out there in the woods.  Her coat is very thick as Mother Nature knows how to protect her creatures, but I wanted to make sure she was safe.  I am so glad we found out about her owners before we did something foolish.

So today I looked out my window into my yard and saw my friend sitting on the field stone in front of the woods, taking in the sun and looking contented.  If I went out, I knew she would come to me and I did not want that. Her constant traveling between the houses could do her in and I should not encourage her to come visiting anymore.  However, it is hard as I have become attached to her, but she does not belong to me and she has lived a life of freedom and doing what she wants.  She has survived on her own wits for a very long time and she should be left to be. 


May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.

 Oh, I know, I am just an old softy who is a little sappy around the edges.  All animals, though, tug at my heartstrings especially those that seems so vulnerable. 

Now, about the farmer's cows that come a-callin' every now and then, well, that is another story for another day.

41 comments:

  1. Yes, I understand the feeling. I, too, am an animal lover. It seems Vanna is a bit attached to you as well. I wish her well. Hugs! Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a sweet old girl. (the cat I mean)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you meant, Delores. Vanna and I are both two sweet old gals, me being the younger.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. At least I know that she will have someplace to go when the snow comes this weekend.

      Delete
  4. Vanna is doubly loved, and that is a rare thing for a wandering cat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She really is such a sweetheart and very loving, so unlike most feral cats.

      Delete
  5. Pop Pop's Cat? The cat-name police obviously missed that one! Vanna is so much more sophisticated, and she looks like a sophisticated lady.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess barn cats are lucky to get any name. I do remember her late owner though, and Pop-Pop was a very sweet man.

      Delete
  6. I have the giggles about the cows. :-) Aw, it is nice that she has a place to call home and she is so lucky that she has neighbors like you to visit. The best of both worlds!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The farmer's cows get out "often" and like to come over to graze every now and then. It is usually after a drenching rain and their footprints go deep into my husband's prized grass. Big cows in my front yard, angry husband - more than I want to deal with.

      Delete
  7. What a little survivor, and still so loving. There's a lesson in there somewhere. ;) How cute is that at the top of the slide. Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dear Arleen,
    How wise you were to wait and ask questions. When you first posted about Van Gogh/Vanna Gogh/Pop-Pop's Cat I suggested that you go to the vet and do all those things that you've now discovered could have harmed her. I applaud your wisdom. I tend to do things on the spur of the moment. Very spontaneously. With little thought. I need to learn from you.

    Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 20 years is a very long life for even an indoor cat. She is a very lucky lady. Somehow I feel the need to sing "Born Free".

      Delete
  9. I agree - I think that is the right thing to do if you can catch her! sandie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully, she will be safe and live some more years free to roam.

      Delete
  10. Pop Pop's cat knows which side her bread's buttered and she knows who to 'butter' up. Arleen you have a very kind heart

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ah, kind of sad, but for the best I suppose. You did the right thing, regardless. Better to be kind than to ignore an animal that might be in need.

    ReplyDelete
  12. There's not a darned thing wrong with being an old softie who's sappy around the edges. Matter of fact, I can't thing of a better way to be.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello Arleen:
    It is difficult sometimes to know what to do for the best in these circumstances and taking a back seat can be a very hard thing to do. However, in this case, as she has been used to living a feral life, then we agree with you that she must be allowed to roam free and live as she knows best. It is hard to watch, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being free and being fed are two of the best things life can offer. Vanna seems to have had it all. I have to admit that I did look for her today when I went outside but she was nowhere to be found. The farmer might have brought her in for awhile.

      Delete
  14. Hi Arlene,
    Your story of Vanna reminded me of a picture book I read to my students every year called, "Charlie Anderson". It's about a cat who travels between two homes, and is well loved in both! It's a fun story, as the ending is a surprise.
    I'm glad that you discovered Vanna's double life, and that she still comes calling. It's good to know she is being taken care of, as much as she allows!

    ReplyDelete
  15. HI arlene. I read what Sandi said and remembered a book we had called "Six Dinner Sid" - pretty self explanatory! I think you're acting the right way with the old cat, ecxcept why not play with her, if she is 19 she may not have long to go but she deserves some fun! It is not for me to interfere, but wouldn't the farm folks be glad that she is being played with even if it means she spends a little more time with you?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Arleen -
    What a great story - I can SO totally understand how you feel. We have stray kittys that come by all the time. Of course we feed them because we cant stand to think that they are hungry. Sometimes we adopt them - and then they go missing and we fret - then maybe 2 months later they are back again. I think it is the same situation as you have - they travel between two houses.

    I think you should go on taking care of her - you cant make her go back to the other house. She is where she wants to be~~ oh well - I do hope it all works out - great - now I have something else to worry about! Keep us all informed!!

    Vicki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not seen her in a few days. I think her owner may be keeping her home for awhile.

      Delete
  17. ps - I am in love with your beautiful blog header!!

    Vicki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Vicki,

      I took this today after our first snow storm of the winter.

      Delete
  18. Aww the poor old dear...I hope she goes back home where she belongs and stays safe. Letting her go is the right thing to do if she means that much to the farmer. Maybe they'll start feeding her the 'good stuff' and that will make her stay home :) Love your header with the Cardinals in the trees! I hope you're enjoying a nice quiet weekend.
    Maura :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Maura, I am having a nice wintry weather weekend. It really is beautiful out there. There is even better news ahead that all this will disappear quickly and we will be back to temps in the 50's.

      Delete
  19. Replies
    1. I took it thru the family room window with the zoom on. I knew there were quite a few cardinals on the tree, but was surprised to see how many - and that was just the males.

      Delete
  20. have you thought writing a book my friend?
    just a thought x

    ReplyDelete