Cats periodically arrive on the porch of our farm house near Blanco. Some are strays who have wandered away from home. Others have been dumped along the highway by callous owners who no longer wanted them. And many are feral, wild and virtually untameable.
I have a soft spot in my heart for any cat that shows up, especially those who are lost or have been thrown away by their owners. They have grown to depend on someone, and then suddenly, out the door!
I blame my affection for cats on my wife. Growing up on our place, her playmates were few and far between. So she resorted to drafting a barn cat to play with.
You’ve got to feel sorry for the humiliation this cat suffered at her hands. She would dress up the cat in a doll’s clothes, stuff it in a baby carriage and push it around the yard. This lasted only a matter of moments before the cat ejected himself from this miserable experience, tear out of the yard in a blur of fur with doll clothes streaming behind him and my future wife running after her four-legged playmate angrily yelling for him to behave himself and get back in the carriage.
When a wandering cat shows up at our doorstep, we give it a warm welcome and a meal. Most will hang around awhile, then vanish forever into the landscape. Now and then one arrives, stays on like a loyal hired hand and touches our lives forever.
Meet Miss Molly.
Miss Molly is a grey brindle cat with a snow white belly and four white legs. She appeared on our porch several years ago. She wasn’t as wild and crazy as a pure feral cat, but she had enough spunk to show she’d been fending for herself for awhile.
After a month or so of hanging around our place, we caught her, had her spayed to prevent a population explosion of kittens and returned her to the farm. When we opened the cage, she shot out like a grey bullet and disappeared into the cedar break. That was the last we saw of her.
Until two months later. While fixing breakfast, we looked out the window and saw Miss Molly walking toward our house on the dusty caliche road. She never explained where she’d been but has stayed ever since.
Over time my wife has been able to tame her. Molly gets petted and loved.
But the most remarkable thing is how Molly is smitten with our goats. She sleeps with them when they bed down for the night or follows them when they move from one feed pen to the other.
She has a particular crush on our pet “fixed” billy goat, Jake. Molly walks underneath Jake, rubbing back and forth, and letting her tail drag along his tummy. She stands on her hind legs and rubs her head along Jake’s mouth, an animal kingdom version of kissing. Jake simply stands as a statue, hoping that the other billies aren’t watching.
If Jake isn’t around, she takes up with his sister, Janet, and then just about any goat will do.
The great joy of farm life is watching the animals. They will always surprise, amuse and give us a lifetime of joy and memories.