This morning I unwittingly disturbed some ladybirds that were trying to sleep in the groove of my sliding door. I was sweeping up some bird seed that inevitably finds it’s way into everything it seems, including my bed at times!
Poor ladybirds. I was horrified that I may have injured one. It’s an unlikely place for them to hibernate, I would have thought, but there they were, rubbing their eyes and yawning “What?? Is it Spring already?”
Today, with a temperature of 60 degrees, it could have been. Once more, I went around the garden, warning various plants not to get too excited. There could still be a snowstorm or two in our future, despite the outlook of my Accuweather 10-day forecast App. All it can produce is a couple of mentions of “a little snow” with a single snowflake image. There are some cold nights ahead, and there is one day that mentions sleet, the one day, of course, that I plan to go somewhere.
Otherwise you might think Spring had indeed arrived.
Done with my few outdoor chores, I opened the sliding door to come back in, and a red streak shot past me in the form of Toby, one of our two orange male tabbies.
I did what I always do in an emergency, yelled for Grant. He happened to be at the very far end of the property “walking” Sikkim. (Carrying her around, in fact.)
“Grab him!” He replied, unhelpfully.
Cats don’t actually respond well to being grabbed and the condition of my spine doesn’t lend itself much to those activities.
Toby was slinking through a flowerbed, eyeing the nearby woods and apparently weighing his options.
Which fortunately gave me the unlikely chance to creep up quietly behind him and seize him around his skinny waist.
Poor Toby wasn’t best pleased to be so unceremoniously lifted from his outdoor adventure. He loves to be out and about and Grant does take him for walks on a leash, but he would really prefer to live outside.
This is one of those hard decisions you have to make for your cat. In an ideal world, cats would all live free. In Washington State, where Toby came from, he was found loitering in a condo complex that was near a busy road.
When he came to live at my place, Toby joined the “upstairs” crowd who accepted him readily enough, but you can’t have a mix of indoor and indoor-outdoor cats, besides traffic was still an issue and coyotes roamed the area as well, so it still wasn’t safe.
Where I am now ought to be a fabulous place for cats to run around, but it’s not that simple.
When we came here, we were befriended by the neighbour’s outdoor cat, Pancho. He had the life Toby wants, free to navigate the pastures at will.
Free to chase and kill birds, chimpmunks, mice or any other small innocent creature he chose. Hardly a day went by when we weren’t witnessing another murder.
It’s what cats do. Some bird people are in favour of exterminating all feral cats, which would include any outdoor cat, feral or otherwise.
So Toby and his pals stay in, and they very seldom get the chance to escape, but it only takes the smallest opportunity for a determined cat to break out.
DearToby. He is such a love. I know I say that about all my cats. I probably say it about all cats, period. But Toby is so tolerant. Most of our fluffy friends are not into cuddling. They like being petted but not picked up.
My “cuddler” is Blackie and she takes them for everyone. If we get too needy with one of the others, they shrug us off and say “Eew, go see Blackie!
“Toby isn’t into being handled either but he will allow me to pick him up and kiss him and generally make a fuss of him. If I did the same to any of the others I would be shredded, but Toby doesn’t put his claws out and his bites are gentle, not injurious!
Lately Toby has acquired another name. One day when Grant spoke his name, it came out “Tony”, and it sort of stuck. Then I decided to practice French on him so it became “Antoine”, although he doesn’t acknowledge it, of course. I think he would look sweet in a French beret.