We have a number of non-feathered animals here on our little farm. The eldest of our residents is Savannah, a 14-year old silver tortoiseshell cat: survivor, wise and wiley man of the outdoors, you may pet me until I bite you, I’ll drink that cream as soon as enough time has passed I can pretend I don’t owe you any favours, here’s a baby rabbit for you…well, half of one anyway. You know the type.
Three years and a bit ago, I was in the house alone at the computer, when I heard mewing. From inside the house. I thought I was losing it, until a phone call from The Man informed me that there was a broken window in the basement, so it was certainly possible. A trip into the 150-year-old, dirt-floored, low-ceilinged, no-foundation basement, snaking all the way back to the boiler room revealed the source of the sound: a black kitten on the brink of starvation. And, so, Lucius Malfoy joined our family.
Last April, we brought our first chicks home. I began to feel a little overwhelmed by the zookeeper duties, which fall mostly to me. In June, our 14-year old Border Collie died; in September, we brought our Great Dane Billie home, after learning she needed a new family.
A couple of months ago, I decided to embark upon The Great Turkey Adventure, and to add six more chicks to the flock.
Okay. Enough. Basta. Doors closed. There’s no more room at the inn. That’s all I can handle.
And God said “Ha!”.
Thursday morning, after getting the Stepdaughters on the school bus, The Man thought he saw Lucius across the street in our southerly neighbour’s yard, but, on closer inspection, is was not Lucius, but a remarkable facsimile. The Man called him over, and he trotted across the street, happy to comply.
Male (VERY male, if you know what I mean and I think you do), completely black, covered in ticks the size of peas, filthy, hungry, aggressively affectionate, with a voice like Fran Drescher. The Man and I looked at each other. We had agreed not to go looking for any more house pets, but what to do when an animal in obvious need lands on our doorstep?
We fed him and watched. He hung around the house all day, sleeping on the wicker love seat on the porch. He’s no fool.
Long story short, we have a new cat. He went for his wellness visit at the vet yesterday, and was cleared for release into gen pop this morning. Billie is enthralled; Lucius is terrified; Savannah is pissed.
Ladies and gentlemen, Oliver:
We are such suckers…