Friday, February 11, 2011


I had a visit from a friend who brought her husky-mix dog along.  We agreed Shadrach should stay outside.  We had a five cat colony then, and chaos might reign if the animal guest saw the smaller creatures as fun to chase.  I told the cats in advance of Shadrach's coming and secured some of them in the back part of the house.  I placed our large gray Tomcat in another room.  He howled for a time in displeasure then settled down in sullen stony silence.  

The guests arrived and Shadrach was secured to a large golden fall leafed sugar maple tree in our front yard in full view. "She'll go right over the back yard fence."  I watched closely as the loop attached to the collar and leash settled around the tree trunk and snapped securely shut.  Every so often we checked on Shadrach who sat comfortably under the tree, waiting patiently.

Afternoon melted into early dusk, and the house cats were released to meet and greet.  They approached, then rubbed my guest cautiously.  Two cats took turns sitting in my lap.  Chessie, the eighteen year old Queen Mother, ruler of cats and people, sat first.  Then blond spotted Sancat, our Zen Master, took his turn, purring away.  These are not lap cats!  They were warning me and protecting me from the  furry visitor who's scent they'd picked up from my guest.  Mrs. Harris, the orange princess diva cat, vanished into thin air.  Ninja dark tabby Sasha surveyed the guest with great suspicion, and lashed her leopard tail back and forth.  Little leopard cubs exhibit this behavior.  

"What if she jumps on me?"  

"Stay still!"  Sasha contemplated jumping, but loped away to look out the window at Shadrach.  Sasha screeched me a warning.  Tom came forth and paced and complained mightily about the dog in the yard...his yard.

Dinner time came and darkness fell like a cloak around the trees.  Shadrach enjoyed her meal in the yard.  We settled down for dinner, then the phone rang.  Our neighbor had just arrived home.  As she pulled into her driveway, the headlights flashed across a large dog standing on her front porch!  We were out in a flash, and quick as lightening, retrieved the wayward traveler.  We secured Shadrach in the car and gave her a snack.  She smiled happily, and waved her tail.

All of this was relatively uneventful except the spring-loaded loop that was around the tree was still fastened together as if it had never been unlocked!  Shadrach's collar was securely around her neck.  Shades of a Halloween Mystery--a four-footed Houdini!

Great Escapes!
"Natasha, my dog, had me believing in shape shifters for awhile.  The only discernible way out of my backyard was a space between my fence and the neighbor's fence.  This was about a three inch space, but somehow she got out...Once she sat about a foot in front of the couch, leaped over it and through the glass window behind the couch.  Natasha came out unscathed!"

Sasha Sleeping

Sasha to the Rescue!
When our cat Sasha was about a year old, her litter brother, blond Sancat, explored next door and slipped under the neighbor's deck.  Sancat began howling in fright, and did not want to come out.  There was a chain link fence around our yard with a chain link gate attached.  The gate was latched.  My neighbor and I were watching while my husband calmed the frightened Sancat hiding under the deck. 

Dark tabby Sasha streaked in from nowhere!  She surveyed the situation and sprang into action.  I wasn't near enough to the gate to open it for her.  However, she quickly lay on her side and flattened her ears, then with paws folded, slipped, squeezed, and slithered her muscular little body into a shape that fit through the very small space between the gate and the fence.  How is this possible?  My neighbor and I stared in disbelief.  She flowed through the opening like she was being born, like a seal sliding into the ocean!   She emerged, reshaped herself as a cat, and went on to rescue little brother!    

Tom Watching

Tom Terrific
We acquired a slightly used Tomcat at a nearby second hand store.  Tom's owner brought him there for us to see.  He pleaded with huge turquoise eyes for us to take him home.  "He likes people and cats."  We had a Tomcat, fox-red Zar, many years ago.  We were (somewhat) wise in the way of Tomcats.  A trip to the vet was in order.   

At first, Tom spent quite a bit of time up near the ceiling in the living room and kitchen trying to escape.  We have a high ledge and he leaped up easily!  He paced and complained saying "Yowlr" like a little lion cub.  Sometimes he says "Eh" like a Cheetah baby.  He likes hugging people and purring like thunder.  Our Tom matured into a tame handsome fellow with a cougar-like face.  He has a Cheetah tail with dark rings ending in a white tip, unusual for a gray-tan tabby.  Tom is a wolf in cat's clothing.  He has huge wolf-like feet.  It's wonderful to have a bit of Wild Kingdom in our home.    

Shadrach Sports a Bandanna

Animal Speak by Ted Andrews, become closer to our animal friends.  The Wise Animal Tarot cards for contemplation.

Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams, discover the hidden power of animals in your life.  Sacred Earth Drums by David and Steve Gordon.  Native American flute, Incan pan pipes and nature sounds.  Track:  Power Animals

The Knight, painting by Dahlis Roy
Sasha Sleeping and Tom Watching photos by Dahlis Roy
Shadrach, photo by Wolfie One