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A casual blog highlighting my life with kids, grandkids and kitties...Also an avenue to show some items from my etsy shops.


**Please note..The other half of my life is dovoted to helping feral and free roaming cats in Walnut and the surrounding areas. You can learn more and follow our activites there at Walnut Iowa's Feral Cat Program! **







Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Alley Cat...



The "house cat" watches the "alley cat"

Toby

This is my Toby, my "Alley Cat". Several weeks back I read an old Golden Book to my grandchildren call the Four Kittens. Very cute story, about a litter of kittens who were born in a barn and the mama helped them figure out what kind of cat each was. Each one ended up differently: one a farm cat, one a ship's cat, one house cat, and one an alley cat. We had such fun with the story. They knew my 3 kittys were house cats, and they got to meet my "alley cat" Toby.

I don't know how Toby got to be living on the streets of Walnut, all I know is that one crisp fall evening in 2003, he was sitting on my back steps, looking very hungry. He was more than shy, he was feral and in the five years that followed, Toby came to my house for a bowl of food and warm milk nearly every day...sometimes twice! I touched him once. It took him by surprise and he jutted off. Not too far off though and he did come right back. Winters were hard, for me at least. I tried rigging up different "beds" for him. One was a old wicker table, turned on its side and wrapped in a blanket. I put it on the most protected side of my porch, but he didn't use it. Lately I have had a large plastic basin in the same corner of the porch. Its all padded with batting and blankets. Someone has been sleeping there, not sure if it's Toby or not. I took to sweeping any snow, sleet or ice off the steps before feeding him. I would warm a tea towel before laying it on the step, so his little feet would at least have a warm dry place to rest while eating. But being a true Alley Cat, he would most normally stand to the side of the towel, feet in the snow. I'm pretty sure the winters were worse on me than on Tobs....he most likely had a warm, protected place all his own somewhere.

I tried hard to "tame" him. I would sit on the back steps and talk softly to him, but he would just sit and watch me, until I went into the house. In five years the closest I could get to him was about a foot, but if I tried to reach out, he would leave.

When several of us cat lovers decided to form a small community effort to spay, neuter and release our ever growing population of feral and stray cats in town, Toby seemed to be the perfect first choice. So, yesterday after a good breakfast of warm milk and beef stew scraps, off I took him for his neutering appointment.

Maybe he was much older than we imagined, maybe he was sick with something else, maybe he had an aneurysm or a stroke, but Toby didn't come out of the surgery. We lost him.

How can a kitty you have never held, one that has never curled up by your feet, one who has never asked you for a thing, steal such a big part of your heart?

Maybe he was spared from a worse death. Maybe I shouldn't have taken him in...maybe...maybe...maybe...

The fact is, I miss my Toby. Ive always loved cats, but with the B&B we thought a cat wouldn't be a good idea, so Toby filled that void for me. I could take care of him and since he wouldn't come in if I asked him, he wasn't a threat to the B&B. Also we had dogs! Then when the dogs were gone, Toby filled the void of not having pets in the house. With the addition of Lucy, Ricky and Possum, Toby was still my first thought each morning....get up - go downstairs- warm milk and feed Toby. He would be there 19 days out of 20 and if he didn't come, I would worry.

God's word says "Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young-- a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God." So, it's my prayer today that my Little Alley Cat Toby, has found a place to nest, a place near my Lord, my King, my God...Rest peacefully Toby, be warm...I love you!

9 comments:

Kathy-Mom said...

I am so sorry.

Luann said...

Sorry about Toby...I don't think I ever saw him. I have to ask...who won the football game?

Kathy said...

You probably didnt see toby...he only showed up early in the morning and sometimes in mid afternoon...just hung quietly on the back steps...

The game? Its today at 11am if you want to tune in! Larry say we have to root for a tie (one army son and one navy son...but.nope...go navy!) Navy normally wins...heehee

Tina said...

wow. im teary for you. so very very sorry. it does hurt so bad when they 'leave'. dont blame yourself, like you said, maybe it spared him from a terrible death later. just going nicely to sleep in a nice warm safe drs office was not a bad way to leave. and he had a very nice last meal before he went. im glad you were taking care of him for the last several years. he was a very lucky kitty-cat.

Kathy said...

Thank all of you guys for your sympathy. Arent we animal lovers pathetic??? Our animals become a part of our families so easily...

Kathy-Mom said...

GO ARMY!! Do something!

krissybizz said...

I have tears streaming down my face. I hope you don't feel it should stop your goal of spaying & neutering Walnuts Alley Cats. We'll talk...

Kathy said...

Kris, no this wont stop us...its the right thing to do...
Talk to you soon...

Kathy said...

Kris, no this wont stop us...its the right thing to do...
Talk to you soon...

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