For all who know the story of Our Feral Family, we post here what we believe is the end of the story. For those who are not familiar with the story, but would like to read about our ferals, please go to the sidebar, under Zoolatry Zoo, and click on "Our Feral Family" for earlier photos and postings.
The story began in early May, when a Little Black Stray Kitty Girl made her way into our yard, and into our hearts, and soon gave birth to her little ones in a woodpile by the fence. We watched, we waited. And in time we had the great pleasure of meeting her three kits.
By mid June, they were all regular visitors in our front yard and on our front porch -- having breakfast and dinner, water and treats in between. And toys to play with.
As they grew, our affection for them grew and we named them all: Annie, Bravo, Charlie and Delta Dawn. At the time we planned to trap them for spay/neuter, little Bravo mysteriously disappeared, never to be see again. We trapped the others and soon discovered that Charlie was really Charlotte. And Delta Dawn was really Delta Don... sadly, our Delta did not survive the surgery. But Annie and Charlie were brought back home, whole and healthy, and released back into our yard and woods.
Time went on and they stayed and made this their home, always there at mealtime, napping on the porch throughout the day, bringing us so many hours of pleasure. And creating a great deal of curiosity for Maggy and Zoey who would fight for space on the window sills to watch these "new" cats. Both kept a distance, our interaction was limited to the visual and verbal.
We made plans to trap them again, bring them into our enclosed back porch, tame them and have them become family along with Maggy and Zoey. But we delayed, due to my husbands impending surgery. We felt it could wait until after he was home, and well.
But life has a way of making its own plans. The very weekend before my husbands hospitalization, Annie and Charlie did not come for meals or to play. There was no sign of them for a day, for two days, for more.
The same week of my husbands surgery was the week of Tropical Storm Fay. Distraught over Annie and Charlies absence I posted their picture and description with numerous area vet clinics, shelters and the humane society. And posters went up in nearby stores. While at the hospital, I received a phone call from a woman who had seen them in her yard and had given food to them. As fate would have it, she lived in a flooded area near to us, that no one was allowed to enter (the National Guard stopped all non residents). I took her number and asked her to keep an eye on them. But that phone number (I had no address or last name for her) was on a scrap of paper, hastily written in a hospital room -- and it was lost. I've since searched high and low for that bit of paper with her number, and it is not to be found.
Like Annie and Charlie, lost. It has been one full month now. They've not been seen, they have not returned. I search for them as I go out the driveway, as I drive down the road. I don't go on the front porch without hoping to see them.
What lesson did we learn: do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
What did we gain from this experience: great joy and so many moments of pleasure from them both, two little feral kitties -- kitties we never even touched or held.
Why Thankful Thursday: because we are thankful they came to us, if only for a short time and being optimists we believe they have not come to harm, but found safety elsewhere.
Annie and Charlie, and Bravo and Delta Dawn -- you are loved, you are missed, yet you were Born Free, and you are Living Free.