Fickle or Loyal?

Love for the new yearFickle or loyal: a matter of perspective.

As I sip my morning cup of tea, I’m thinking about a cute little cat I call Sweet Pea. She came to my back yard about 3 years ago, a small, tiger cat with white paws and a white bib. I chased her away.

Every morning when I went out to feed the semi-feral cats, she would linger around the yard, watching me. I didn’t want to encourage her to stick around, so I would clap my hands and shoo her away. Over and over again, she returned, until I relented and began to offer her food, too.

She rewarded me with a litter of kittens. Just what I dreaded. I feared they might fall into the pond when they grew bigger and began moving around, so I put them into a small cage on the deck and would call Sweet Pea to join them to feed them throughout the day. After a time, she didn’t want to feed them any longer, so I brought them inside and eventually found homes for all four of them.

Sweet Pea then became my focus. I wanted to have her spayed and eventually managed to get her in the cage and cart her off to the clinic. After that, she stayed in the backyard. Every morning, she would wait on the landing of the deck for me to come out and feed her. The other semi-feral cats were long gone and only one black cat, aptly named Blackie, spayed years ago, remained.

The two became friends and each morning and afternoon, I’d feed them. In the past few weeks, the black cat made a decision to move across the street where another neighbor feeds the strays. Cats can be fickle! Blackie was definitely one. She had been one of the original 17, my husband and I had spayed almost 11 years ago. She left our back yard and made her habitat two doors up the street with an elderly lady. When that lady passed, Blackie returned. Now, she’s decided to move on again.

But poor Sweet Pea missed the company, so she has also left the back yard. Occasionally I will see her on the landing asking for food. I called her fickle, but in retrospect, I have to call her loyal. Loyal to her furry friend, Blackie. Truthfully, it is kind of nice not to have to walk outside on bitter cold mornings, fearing a fall on the steep steps, in order to feed the cats. The house I bought to keep them warm this winter remains empty now.

My heart goes out to the furry tiger cat with white paws who craves having her buddy by her side. After all, the only thing I provided was food and an occasional petting. Lifting my morning cup of tea and wishing Sweet Pea a good life. She’s not fickle, she’s a loyal companion.


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