The Tale Of The Pampas Grass Cat…


Sarah Callie Girl- coming out to have breakfast

I seem to be on somewhat of a roll this week, so I figured I might as well end the week with one more tale.  This tale is about one of the cats I rescued from the shelter, back in 2004.  I say “one of the cats I rescued” because in between 2004 and 2005, I rescued over twenty-five kittens and cats!  I have a soft spot in my heart for animals in distress, especially cats!

I’d rescued a lot of cats and kittens, and  by 2005, our yard was getting pretty crowded.  Ed was about ready to run me and all of my rescues out of town on a rail, but a couple more doomed cats would steal my heart away before I finally retired from rescuing!  Sarah Callie Girl was one of those doomed cats.

Sarah, was dropped off at the shelter, along with a sister, or two.  The kittens were already several months old when they were abandoned at the shelter.  In fact, they were half grown.  Older cats or kittens, especially females, were rarely adopted, so I knew Sarah and her sisters were doomed from the start.  One day, when I could no longer stand it, and I knew ‘the end’ was drawing near,  I brought Sarah home with me.

My family of cats was already well established by this time, so it was harder for a new cat to fit in.  In fact, Sarah never did fit in.  I don’t think the other cats really had a problem with Sarah, but she sure had a problem with all of them.  Sarah hissed and growled every time anyone looked her way, which made her very unpopular!

In 2007, when Ed and I moved into our new house, right next door, Sarah chose to stay over at the old house.  Oh, she’d come over to our new house long enough to eat, then she’d high-tail it back over to the old house!  Several months later, when our daughter and her family moved into our old house, Sarah sort of became their cat.  You could say, Sarah came with the house!

For several years, Sarah lived on, around and under the front porch (and steps) of our old house.  Sometimes I’d furnish cat food for my daughter to feed Sarah,or she ate scraps from our daughter’s family.  Sometimes Sarah would even come over to our house and join the other cats for a meal.  One thing was for sure, if Sarah came over to our house to eat, she didn’t stay long!  Soon we’d see a furry streak heading back across the yard!

About a year ago, our daughter’s family adopted a dog.  He’s a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix, named “Jack”.  Jack hates cats, and has terrorized every feline on the place every since he moved next door!  Poor Sarah finally had to take refuge in the woods next to the house, just to get some peace.


Sarah-cautiously eating her breakfast

For weeks, I’d take a bowl to the edge of the woods and keep the dog away while Sarah ate.  Then spring came, and we planted our garden. When the garden got big enough, Sarah began to stay out in the garden instead of in the woods.  I’d feed her at the end of the corn rows.  This arrangement worked fine until we had to cut down the garden, at the end of the summer.  By this time, we’d seen several snakes crawling in and around the woods, so I wasn’t keen on feeding Sarah in the woods anymore.

Sarah solved our dilemma by taking up residence in a clump of pampas grass at the edge of my daughter’s yard.  I planted that pampas grass many years ago, and Ed has fussed about it every since then!  I’m happy to  finally see that somebody else in the family finally likes my pampas grass!

Each morning and afternoon, either Ed or I will take some dry cat food out to the clump of pampas grass.  I’ll usually call “Sarah Callie Girl”, and Sarah will come out of a hole in the side of the grass!  Pretty clever, huh?  The grass keeps Sarah dry when it  rains, warm in the winter, and provides shelter from the dog.  That pampas grass has turned out to be quite useful, after all!

Note: Jack, the dog, isn’t often allowed to roam free outside, these days.  This gives Sarah and the other cats plenty of time to enjoy the great outdoors without being harassed.  Some of the cats have learned how to ‘put Jack in his place’ whenever necessary, so he doesn’t chase the cats as much as he once did.  Sarah, however, still lives in the pampas grass…

Published in: on November 22, 2013 at 8:26 am  Comments (7)  

Shelter Tales…”Socks” aka “Big Red”

"Big Red" and "Mr. Big" sharing a "morning sniff...while "helping" me paint

How many cats does it take to help paint???  That is the question I was asking myself yesterday when I was trying to paint the door to my little back porch.  For some reason, whenever I am trying to do something, “Big Red” is usually in the way.  Yesterday was no exception, but this time, “Big Red” had a friend–“Mr. Big”– tagging along.  I finally had to get ugly with the two of them, and resorted to the spray bottle of water…it was either that or have cat hair mixed in the wet paint! 

I adopted “Socks” back in 2004, along with his sister, “Bobette”.  Both kittens were dropped off at the shelter together, so that’s how I adopted them…together.  Remember, that 2004 was the first summer that I volunteered at our local shelter, and cats were everywhere…  

I don’t know how two cats could look so different, and be litter mates.  “Bobette” was a gray tabby bob-tailed cat, and “Socks” was bright orange with a long tail, and  four white feet, which made him look like he was wearing socks!   “Socks” has strange markings on his sides, and it you look closely, it seems to spell “Todd”… 

 Much to the dismay of my hubby, my “brood” of cats was steadily growing.  The picture below was taken during that summer–and all of the cats that I adopted were not in that picture…FYI The cat with 1/2 of a tail was born that way. 

Bottom to top: Cali-girl, Socks, Mr. Big, Stubby, Bobbette

I didn’t have “Bobette” for very many months before she disappeared.  She disappeared during the time when our neighborhood bald eagle was swooping in and stealing my cats!  I lost several cats to that darn eagle!  Bobette was one of my smaller cats–the ones that the bird seemed to prey on.  Unfortunately, some of the smaller cats were also my favorites… 

“Socks” loves to eat–he always has.  The more he ate, the bigger he got.  Eventually he got so big, we began calling him “Big Red”.  The name “Socks” no longer seemed appropriate. 

"Big Red" participating in his favorite activity...can you tell how fat he is?

“Big Red” could be a force to be reckoned with, due to his size, but instead he’s a gentle  giant.  Maybe it was growing up with the name “Socks”???  Just yesterday  afternoon, I watched another tom cat half  “Big Red’s” size, jump on him and  run him off.   

If “Big Red”  hadn’t been neutered, he’d probably be a lover–not a fighter, too!  We’ll never know…  He just sprawls out in the yard, and enjoys himself–waiting for his next meal–or the next chance to “help” me do a painting project!  It’s a crazy life…but it’s his life!

Published in: on April 20, 2010 at 8:34 am  Comments (5)  

Shelter Tales…Drake The Cat


Drake, a gray tabby cat,  and his bob-tailed brother, Dutch,  were dropped off at the shelter together.  Both were fully grown, and had already been neutered.  In their former lives, both had been pampered house cats of a single lady.  However, their owner was about to get married, and her husband-to-be had one stipulation–“No cats allowed”. 

I can only imagine what it must have been like for the young lady–to be forced to turn her furry companions over to an animal shelter…I wasn’t there when she brought them in, thank goodness, but I felt horrible for everyone involved– except the hubby-to-be!   I wanted to punch him..right in the face! 

Lo, the shelter officer, is kind and sympathetic to displaced animals, and tried to be accommodating to the cats during their time at the shelter.  She’d let them roam free around the office some of the time, especially Drake, who had the calmer demeanor of the two.  Still, the chaotic shelter atmosphere was quite a challenge for the” formerly” pampered house cats! 

The two cats stayed at the shelter long past “their allowed time”, waiting for someone to adopt them(sometimes the rules are bent a little)…  The truth is, not many people want a grown cat.  Cats are finicky, and they don’t always adjust well to new surroundings.  If people are looking for a cat, they usually choose the playful, furry kitten every time. 

Finally, I couldn’t stand it any more, and  I adopted Dutch, the bob-tailed brother.  I’ll admit, I take a fancy to those bob-tailed cats…  I brought him home, and he was doing okay, but he hadn’t bonded especially well with the cats that I already had.  Cats are much more accepting of a kitten than another adult cat.  I put Dutch outside, but he really didn’t seem to mind.  In fact, he seemed to like it.

In the meantime, I  talked one of my cousins into adopting Drake.  I told her that I would bring him home with me on Friday night, and she and her husband could pick him up from my house on Saturday.  At the time, I was notorious for trying to place unwanted animals with family and friends…

When my cousin and her husband came to pick up Drake, her husband’s loud voice sent Drake “into orbit”.  I’d never seen Drake act that way.  Drake went absolutely wild!  It was obvious that the two of them weren’t going to get along…Meanwhile, they saw Drake’s brother, Dutch, and liked him because he didn’t have a tail…Finally, I agreed to keep Drake, and let them have Dutch instead.

So…Drake ended up living at my house after all…He’s made himself at home–outside, with all of the other adoptees.  He used to sit at the glass door and look inside of the house…his eyes pleading to come inside.  He really enjoyed his former life as a house cat!  Eventually, he became accustomed to being an outside cat, and he can usually be found sleeping on the rocking chair on the front porch.  Drake’s been with me for about 5 years now.

Occasionally, Drake wanders over to my daughter’s house and bullies her cat (another shelter cat, which used to be my cat).  I don’t know why Drake feels the need to do that…maybe he has to take out his frustrations on someone every now and then…I found out  later, that Drake’s brother, Dutch, eventually ran away from his new home….I guess he just couldn’t adjust to city living.

Published in: on April 13, 2010 at 9:18 am  Comments (4)  
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