Open Window: The Observation
Dawn peeps through the open window of our home. Two cats sit at the kitchen window as the other cat slumbers peacefully beside me on the couch. Calm resides now in our two room cottage amidst the live oaks bordering the Ocala National Forest. Two months ago the setting was different. My husband and I, the two owners of the quiet cabin, elected to rescue a feral cat who frequented that same kitchen window, perching on the outside sill and visiting the occupants each morning.
Adopting the feral tabby cat was not an overnight decision.
In fact, the idea of adopting her never came to mind for several months. She was just a member of a maundering cat clan that sought food either from discarded scraps from the neighbors garbage or prey found within the wildlife here. In truth, thinking back over the months I observed her, it was she who adopted me. Never directly approaching me yet visible and often parallel playing with sticks and moving leaves, she would always show up when I hung clothes or drove up in the car from errands. It was that spirit of play she displayed in the midst of her poverty that won her my admiration. Reflecting back on those times of me also making no attempts of contact perhaps is what drew her to me. I made no demands on her to leave our property nor did I attempt to make her mine.
Acceptance was my offering to her and perhaps that is what she needed most from the world of humans.
Eventually our kitchen window became her portal of greeting the occupants within.
Often drawing back the curtains each morning she was waiting to visit our two house cats with curiosity. This window was now her portal to a life she did not know. She would then leave to resume her daily routine of survival. We did not feed her as to not begin bad habits of attracting the crowd of cats that too would come if we did.
One day driving the car into the lane she came into my peripheral vision on the side of the neighboring property, nonetheless, she instantly appeared as I walked towards the door of our cabin. Was she now was recognizing my car? It was that observation of her understanding that brought me to a conversation about rescuing her to my husband.
Open Window or Closed Window?
His objections to the rescue was valid, on the other hand, his advocating of the other two rescues stood unopposed by me. My only comment being that we financially and emotionally could support loving a third cat. I spoke no more about it but two days later he agreed. We brought her in, gave her an isolated area, took her in for shots and had her spay. The reward now is great though there were bad days, we labelled as ‘Heaven Help Us!’, transitioning her from wild and misunderstood to a part of the family accepting us as I first accepted her.