Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Our Cats Have a New Home
"Our Cats Have a New Home"
Darrel L. Hammon
This is Bobbie, one of our cats. Because we are moving to the Dominican Republic, our cats cannot go with us. Amazingly during our garage sales--yes, we had two of them--many people offered to take them once they found out that we were leaving. One particular woman spent the whole time holding one of them while she was walking around the garage looking all all of the great merchandise we had. She literally fell in love with the cats. Who wouldn't?
Our cats came to us as little kittens from Lisa, one of Joanne's friends she works with at Wyoming Health Fairs. Lisa's father owns a farm a bit more east on Highway 30 from where we live. One evening, Lisa showed up with three little kittens in a box. I didn't necessarily know that we were getting three of them. But here they were, and the sisters needed to stay together. Plus, they were so cute.
For those who know anything about barn cats, well, these three epitomized barn cats: feisty, wild, courageous, and great hunters. When we first reached in the box to pet them, one of them reared back, showed her teeth, and hissed in such a sassy way. I knew they were true barn cats. Soon, though, they began their sojourn at the Hammon household. We named them Stripes, Bobbie, and Sassy for the one that was so sassy at the beginning.
Soon, they acclimated to our home and our yard. I loved watching them go from the patio onto the grass, their little feet, stepping so gingerly on the green grass. To me, it seemed like the grass tickled their feet as they darted to and fro. They loved roaming the yard, which is fairly big--three acres.
The next summer, they had grown big and bold. Their prey became the little ground squirrels that had taken over our three acres and the neighbors' acreage, too. Each morning, one of the cats had deposited pieces and parts of their early morning kill on the front steps. They were proud of their catch.
Before the girls came, these little pesky ground squirrels were so bold that they would come up onto the porch, place their little paws on the screen, and look in as we ate breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Had we opened the door, they would have scurried in and probably sat at the table until Joanne fixed them a plate of food.
The squirrels don't come into the yard anymore. In fact, I haven't seen or heard one very close for a long time. The girls roam our three acres and now have gone beyond to the neighbors' yards. They have become voracious hunters. Each morning, though, they continue their ritual of leaving pieces and parts of their kill for us.
Each morning, Joanne and I go on walks around our loop, which is a bit over 1.5 miles. When we are in sight of the house, the girls are there waiting for us. They love to walk us to the house and wait for us to reach down and pet them. Last fall, when we were returning from one of our walks, just two of the girls--Stripes and Bobbie--met us at the road. Sassy was not there. We thought, perhaps, that she was still out hunting. When she didn't return later that morning, I went looking for her but to no avail.
The next morning and subsequent mornings, we called out for her as we walked the loop. Sassy never returned to the edge of the road to wait for us. We have no idea what happened to her. Perhaps, a coyote, a fox, or even one of the hawks that flies around our neighborhood caught her. We rather doubt it. While she was the sassiest in the beginning, she became the most gentle and kind in the end. We feel that someone picked her up and took her home with them. We hope she is in a nice home.
We found a nice home for Bobbie and Stripes. The mother of a young family that goes to our LDS Ward talked to Joanne at a Relief Society meeting one evening. She said, "I understand you have cats that need a good home since you are moving. Do you have plans for them?" Joanne was quick to reply, "Yes, we do. Would you like them?" The deal was done.
So, this evening, Joanne and loaded up the girls, the food feeder, their little house and took them to the Gridley family. The kids were excited to see them. The girls weren't excited to see them, however. As soon as they hit the driveway, Bobbie and Stripes scattered. Soon, though, we gathered them up and put them with all their things inside of the Gridley's garage.
It wasn't too long until Bobbie warmed up to the children. Stripes didn't know what to think about the whole affair. Once she realizes these children love her as much--probably more--than we do, she will be happy to be there. We are just happy to have found a wonderful family to take them.
May they live long, happy lives with the Gridley family and continue their morning tradition.