Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bond, James Bond

My boys
One of my boys, and you shall remain nameless because you both deny being involved, dropped off a stray kitten at our house.    

Stray domestic animals are dropped in the country, sad to say, all the time.  Apparently, there's a hobo marker on our mailbox that says "sucker"!  When we had large hunting dogs that ran free, we were seldom aware of the wondering feline traffic.

Our neighbors, transplants from a large urban area, didn't understand the little hobo paw print on their mailbox.  They definitely didn't understand if you once (just once) feed a stray, it adopts you forever.  Or that the first fed stray puts another little paw print on your mailbox post that says "Serious sucker!".  They now have a cast of many they feed and let reside in their shed.

We also have a wandering neighborhood Tom cat - doesn't everyone?  He's almost tame but with the weariness of a cat that's been "shoo ed" away by various harsh methods, he's not about to get close enough to get hurt.  In an area of the country where coyotes run every night, he's one tough wise cat.  To show for his way of life, he has half a tail and one ear that flops flat.  He's big, he's gray and white, has yellow eyes, and calculates.  He understood how a kitty door works, where we keep the food/water for our inside cat and will sneak inside, clean out the bowl and leave as quietly and quickly as possible.  If we catch him, he'll look over his shoulder and casually walk away with cat dignity.

We've had two resident cats.  "J" is our oldest and we got her and her brother to control the rodents when we first moved to the country .  Her brother, Boots, disappeared and we like to think it wasn't coyotes although he had no fear and that's a dangerous attitude for a farm cat.  "J" is weary to the nth degree.  She is a package of instinct and has survived, hunted and been queen of the outside.

Bitsey showed up as a tiny kitten and I rescued her literally from the mouth of one of the hunting dogs.  She lacks instinct but is full of intelligence and personality.  Hence an inside cat.

If you're an animal lover and have lived long enough, pets come and go.  It evolves like friends.  And like friends, they have definite personalities.  It's always a bit of a cowboy ritual when a new animal arrives.  They circle, the smell, they hiss or growl and they size each other up.  Someone comes out as dominate.  If not, they continue the above ritual until they drive their owners crazy.

Bond, James Bond
Back to the new addition.  This dirty, flea infested and utterly clueless little ball of fur has adopted my husband.  He's a dog man and this little kitten has become a member of their team:  Dog, man, and kitten.  First off the kitten is desperately in love with affection - his purr is like a Mack truck in high gear.  Second, he refuses to understand that everyone remotely in his path isn't there for the express purpose of touching him.  And that leads to Man and Dog.  It took exactly one day of touching both of them every chance he got, to wrap them securely around his little paw.

It took another day of his climbing up my back every time I bent down to weed where he would start purring as if I'd invited him to a play day.  He'd jump out to play with my gloved hands and make a game of most every task I'd try to undertake.  Seriously, God must have known if he didn't make kittens so darn cute, there would be way too many strays.  

My husband walks the path to the shed, followed by the dog, who is then followed by the kitten.  What the dog does, the kitten does.  On a chilly morning, they both emerged from the dog house after a night cuddled. 

Me & my shadow
New kitten will be a garage/outside resident with the dog.  Although both are never shy about coming inside given the slightest invitation.  Yes, I knew we had lost the game of pretending we weren't going to keep it when it was officially named  Bond, James Bond for it's gold eyes.  Such a long name he still responds to the ever popular "Kitty kitty kitty". 

Bond has been to the vet, been bathed, been fumigated, has his own water and feed bowls and bed.  Yeah, there's a paw print on our mailbox post for sure!         


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