For a couple of folks with no pets of their own, we sure do spend a lot of time with animals at our house! Any pet owner will agree that having furred or feathered beasties in or around the house provides numerous benefits to our overall well-being, like our little ones, they win our hearts with their authenticity and unconditional love.
The back yard channel is always on for our entertainment and amusement, there’s hardly a time of day or night when something isn’t going on, “our” squirrels, wandering cats and raccoons all have names reflective of their unique personalities. The beasts are amazing mirrors for our own ways of being and recently I have witnessed the instant transformation of character that tragedy often brings with it.
As I write this from under the tree in the yard, Boy-Boy the loudly purring, one-eyed, black guest-cat is bumping his head into my right elbow and attempting to settle himself onto my keyboard. He belongs next-door and was left stranded after his Mum was whisked away in the middle of an early August night by rescue personnel when an arsonist rendered their home uninhabitable while trying to burn it down. It was a long, loud and confusing night, the street was packed with police, fire fighters and emergency medical assistance until almost noon the next day. Until Boy-Boy’s home is cleaned up and repaired, his owner is safely enjoying some time away with relatives at Niagara On The Lake.
Having been at this address for almost 2 years, it was that night I set an intention to get to know the neighbours better and upon his insistence, we have become the temporary care-givers of Boy-Boy. He watches the restorative activities next door from a comfortable distance and is happy to have a box on the table in our back porch to sleep in. He is kept fed and well watered as he waits…or is he waiting anymore? Despite the tragedy, he has quickly adapted to the change.
This is a different cat than the one we have watched in the past. Ron has been living here for 6 years, myself for 2 and up until that fateful night, Boy-Boy (previously known as “Spike”) had absolutely no use for us, he was indifferent, unapproachable and had no desire to interact as he passed through our yard on his way to and from his home. The morning after the fire while the property was still busy with investigators and assessors I found “Spike” lounging on the trailer in our driveway, I approached him slowly and when he spotted me heading his way he began to tell me a woe-is-me story! I’d never heard him utter a meow before and here he was talking up a storm and bearing his belly for a stroking. He was very glad to see me and since then has been our constant shadow. He has shattered our previous perception of him since his transformation, we had thought of him as the toughie and king of the neighbourhood cat and now he’s a big, adorable, always purring suck that one can tell is well-loved and used to the company of people.
It’ll be a couple more week yet before Boy-Boy’s able to go home again and by now we may have to train him to stay there once Mum gets back. Unlike humans, the animals seem to have the ability to let go of tragedy quite a bit quicker than we. According to a visiting family member we have gotten to know over the weeks, she has her previous 3 cats in urns on her mantle, so we know she must be missing her furry friend!