Monday, May 18, 2009

Life - The Wild Tabby

Tabby up front, Grey in the background.

On Mondays and Thursdays I look forward to feeding the kitties under the building. With only one day off, the folks at the store typically forget to feed them (on the other hand, they feed them regularly if I'm away for more than a day or so). This means the cats, Grey, a wild Tabby, and sometimes (rarely) a Hal/Riley sibling will get much closer to me than normal.

Grey, in fact, will saunter within a few feet of me, and, with a few worried glances my way, chomp down some food.

The wild Tabby (we never named it) would follow a minute or so later, encouraged by Grey's lack of concern.

This morning Grey seemed unusually distant - like 40 or 50 feet away, not 6 or 7. I looked around their little habitat I'd built - both food bowls had been tossed around, one bed overturned, straw everywhere (I put straw in three shelters plus two beds).

Something didn't seem quite right.

After I put out some food and clean water, Grey still wouldn't come close.

So, for some reason, I did something I rarely do - I crawled further under the building to check inside the three shelters. In the middle one I found the Tabby.

I had another guy check it out (I couldn't) and it seemed relatively unscathed. It showed no marks, no blood, no signs of fighting, but it had been dead for more than a few hours. It could have been a car, maybe poison, but whatever it was, the Tabby knew where it would be safest.

Where ever it was when it realized it was in trouble, the Tabby returned to his bed and curled up one final time, curled up in its straw-lined shelter.

Rest in peace.


The Friday before the Monday. Tabby and Grey in front of two of their shelters.

Double-walled, insulated, with straw inside. I checked the shelters during the winter, to see if they were using them. They had patted down the straw into a circular pattern, and the straw felt warm to the touch when I've checked them with the watching cats nearby.

Tabby apparently felt most comfortable in a third shelter, between the two, made from a box lined with Styrofoam.

Tabby eating on that day.

Looking a bit pensive.

A regal pose.


adj said...

That's sad. I'm glad you made it as comfortable as you could while it was alive.

Susan did that too, remember? She was so sick but managed to get back to the house and mostly stayed in my room.

Aki said...

I remember that about Susan but I didn't realize she stayed in her room. I was glad that the tabby came back to the shelter/s I made though, made me feel like at least they felt safe and secure there.

After thinking about it all day, I'm guessing that the tabby got hit by a car. That makes the most sense since it seemed perfectly healthy just a few days before (no odd smells, no odd activity).

The missus took the tabby to the vet to have it cremated. I hadn't thought of that so I'm glad. Also I hope the vet can do a quick look over to see if there was anything indicating what happened.