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A COUPLE STORIES FROM CRAIG

A WALK IN THE WOODS

I decided to take a walk yesterday afternoon through the woods and see a distant neighbor. It's a pretty walk through the pine trees. I passed by Buddy's hangout. I wrote about Buddy some years back, a 'sturdy' built black cat, a good friend of mine. If I didn't see him after a few days, me and my posse of a dozen cats would take a walk as we did many times and do a sort of 'search and rescue' mission looking for a missing cat.

I'd call "Buddy! Buddy!" I knew about where to find him. A loud yell back from him was wonderful to hear and we'd make our way toward each other. Yesterday, I walked alone. I hoped to see a stray along the way. I decided to yell out Buddy! when I neared his distant hangout. No reply as expected, I started to cry as I now am writing this. My pain runs deep.

I got to the neighbor lady's house. This is the 5th neighbor I've talked to since The Raid, she said what was done was so wrong and that everyone believes this. She's taken in a few of my cats over the years, they are now her personal pets. She pointed out a young tuxedo cat that showed up after the raid. I didn't remember the cat but was happy to see he had found safety with her. She told me the little tux enjoys it there and speaks to her. This cat also loves the grandchild. The little kid can just about sit on the cat and it doesn't mind at all, she said.

Another neighbor there has had one of my cats for three years. Back then she had heard a scratching at her back door, she opened it the door and a cat walked in and there it stayed! She was so amused she adopted him..or did he adopt her? My neighbors weren't all bad, just one that I know of, he will get his one day.

MARKY AND GINGER

I've been looking through a few old note pads of some stories I've written in the past, I will tell you of two cats in a moment, but first I will humor you.....

There was some ice in Path Kitty's water bowl a few mornings ago, just to show you how cold it was and can be. The 'sick ward' has a bathroom that I use. I had to shut off the power to this trailer to save money. I tell you what, that toilet seat is COLD! But by afternoon the place had warmed up and I can wash up...

Marky and Ginger, a short hair tuxedo cat with a perfect black mustache, looking like it was drawn on with a felt tip marker. The other, Ginger, is a pretty long haired torti girl. A while back, I got a call from a lady who told me her husband had died and she wanted to travel but she needed a home for his 2 cats. I was the only option.

They were so beautiful, very well cared for. I had a seperate kennel in one of the barns, I put them in it together. They were so scared, and missing their person. I would sit with them each afternoon and evening telling them it will be okay and they will love their new home. I always had to watch new arrivals to make sure they were adjusting and eating and drinking. Marky wanted to hide under the cat bed. After about a month, they had made their adjustment. When I let them out they didn't want anything to do with me those little stinkers.

Most of the time a will look around for a spot they like, and it's my job to find that spot to make sure they were okay. A few weeks passed, I spotted Ginger eating from a plate of wet food outside the sick ward, one of six feeding stations. Now to find Marky. Three weeks, four weeks, then I spotted him! He took one look at me and turned around running up the trail as fast as his little body could take him. But he's been spotted and he's fine.

After a few months, I found that they were both together and made their home in the red barn, so I would put their plates of wet food there each day. They would wait until I was leaving to eat, with one eye on me and one eye on their plate!

Ginger eventually became more daring, coming toward me at arms length, and then I finally got to touch her and pet her again. Marky was a problem, 10-20-30 feet away, I just kept talking to him and calling him by his name. Funny, each day when I put out their wet food those two watch me at a distance, they expected me to put their plates by their buliding. I did, I was trained well.

Marky and I eventually grew very close. When I head up to the back kennels I see him waiting for me . One day day as I returned from the kennels, walking down Poison Ivy path, Marky was ahead of me and walked the whole length of the path making his way through the trees. I still can't figure out how he knew to stay on the path.

I was handing out Temptations cat treats and was sitting ont he porch of the barn, when Marky walked over to me and bumped his head against my knees, I was accepted as his friend. Marky made the trips to the kennels everyday and after awhile he wanted to be carried and snuggled on the way back. He gives me head butts and makes "biscuits" (where his paws are stretching in and out) all the way.

I enjoy telling you of these two, it's good to remember them through my stories.