Our story begins as most stories do--in the beginning.
In the beginning we lived in an ordinary house, in an ordinary little town, on an ordinary little dirt road. There were four of us--my husband, older daughter, a 10-year old female tabby named Kyla, and myself. (We also have a younger daughter who lives and works nearby; she visits often with her female kitty Shadow, but we'll share those stories a bit later.)
We've lived here for many years and have been a family for many more. (In July my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.) I love my husband. He is a kind man, a generous man, a man who rarely complains...but he lives in a household in which he is surrounded by women. Even the cats are female.
In the Spring of 2011 our ordinary lives began to change when a little stranger walked down our road. I was working in the garden and saw what, from a distance, appeared to be one of my neighbors four black cats. I called to the kitty, but he ran back into the brush. So I telephoned my neighbor--she did a quick head count and found four little black faces in her house so no, this little guy was not hers.
Several days passed and I saw him again. This time he came a bit closer, but still not
close enough to touch. Off he scampered into the woods. Days, sometimes a week would pass without seeing the little black kitty, but just when I had forgotten about him, he would appear once again out of the woods.
Soon it was summer, the days were long, and my husband was working outside every evening until sundown, preparing our trailer for a camping trip. And every evening the "little man" would appear. With every encounter our little visitor became a bit more bold, a bit more daring. He was a sorry sight indeed--rib and hip bones were prominent and he was obviously flea-bitten and weary. He had no collar, and he was starving. We began to leave food and water for him; he would warily eat and drink then quickly disappear back into the cover of the forest.
I should probably mention that we live in an area inhabitted by raccoons, coyotees, and the occasional cougar. We knew "Mr. Kitty" could not continue to survive outdoors. So, my husband, daughter, and I sat down as a family and had a meeting--what to do about "Mr. Kitty". We agreed that he appeared to be homeless--either ferral or discarded. He needed to be neutered, and he needed to find a good home.
So we placed a kitty carrier with food and water in our driveway, right next to the travel trailer. Our hope was to coax him into the carrier, and then transport him to our veterinarian where he could be neutered and receive a much-needed checkup. Then we would work on finding a good home for him.
But time is running out. In four days we will be leaving for a camping trip east of the mountains. My husband has waited outside every evening until long after sunset, but our little stranger is no where to be found.