There seems to be a sign in my yard that only homeless felines can see, which simply reads, “This way to Sunshine’s House- free food and shelter”. Apparently, there are signs posted throughout the neighborhood about a buffet that awaits on my deck. If cats could text, word would spread like wildfire and then what would I do? Oh boy!
Since 2008, a stray orange tabby claimed my home as his estate. I will never know if he was abandoned or born in the wild, but he has always exhibited a longing for love and attention. What began as a cautious relationship for both of us has evolved into a family here, including most of his offspring. For the first year, he wouldn’t come any closer than eight feet or so. As his courage mustered up, he approached his dish closer at dinner time. Then, take a swing at my hand. I’m not sure if this was his way of thanking me for the chow or reminding me that he wasn’t ready to trust me.
His face was always so sad. His eyes showed signs of strife and his ears had the scars to prove it. Doing everything I could think of to make him happy, I also named him “Sunshine”. In 2011, I was finally able to capture him to finally get him neutered and tested. That was quite a feat in itself, but with the help of my buddy Bob, we got the job done. By spring of 2012, he became an indoor cat and now, he’s just a lazy old contented boy who sleeps by my side. I like to remind him that the big comfy bed is so much better than sleeping in the sewer. He stares back at me as if he wishes he could unveil just how bad it really was.
For the past year, we’ve been concerned about one of our neighbor’s cats, named “Freedom.” Their house had been on the market for over two years and suddenly sold. They packed up last winter and left Freedom behind. Freedom is accustomed to running the neighborhood with Sunshine. He likes to spend most of his days napping on our deck and sniffing noses with his buddy through the screen door. I believe that he considers this as his home too. Over the winter’s coldest days, we didn’t see him, but on light, snowy afternoons he would be here, snuggled up in the corner of the deck by our door. He would stay as long as he could until he needed to find a warmer place. My heart would break to watch him walk away slowly with his head down.
I’m certain we aren’t the only pals that Freedom has, as I’ve seen him at a couple of the other neighbor’s houses and it’s apparent that he’s getting plenty to eat. Freedom is a huge long-haired Siamese with gorgeous blue eyes. One of Sunshine’s girlfriends who arrived here three years ago, does not like Freedom at all, so I can’t offer to let him in. Additionally, he still needs to be neutered, but a permanent life in the great outdoors is making an old man of him.
Lately, we have a new visitor. We’ve seen her around for a few months, but the incessant rain has caused her to find shelter here. Just ten days ago, I found her crying and hiding under the juniper shrubs in the front of the house. I left her a dish of crunchies and a big bowl of water. In less than a minute, she was munching and purring.
The following day, she meandered around to the back deck, where she’s set up a comfy little camp for herself. She has met everyone through the screen and seems to have been accepted. Sunshine spent one day with her on the deck and has obviously given his approval. We are calling her “Katie Kitty” and she seems to like it. Katie is a long-haired domestic tiger with lovely browns, grays and blacks in her fur. Her big green eyes are getting brighter and her whiskers are straightening out. Just a couple are still bent, but unbroken.
I’m hoping to find someone soon who will take Katie in. She needs to be combo tested and spayed, but appears to be healthy. Katie is very comfortable around people and must have belonged to someone, but no one has replied to our ad in the lost and found. I’ll continue to provide food and shelter for her, but concerned about when the autumn winds arrive. Hopefully, someone will take her and give her the wonderful home she deserves.
That’s the latest from Sunshine’s House, where there is never a dull moment. From time to time, there are hissing and territorial disputes, but Sunshine’s House is a haven of safety, tranquility and lots of love.