February 24th, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

Cat

I've mentioned the field that is not too far from my house. It begins behind the apple orchard at the south end of my block and runs eastward about three eighths of a mile- or it did, before it began to be subdivided a few years ago. There have long been houses along the south side of the street which runs east to the canyon. But now there are two newer streets cutting south into the field. Each of them has three new houses, all of them rather large and expensive looking. McMansions, I suppose. Anyway, there are still over a dozen vacant lots, and, beyond the subdivided area, there is still an old house and barn, owned by the people who operate the orchard, I believe. And at the eastern end of the field, the land slopes down to the south through further fields and wooded areas which run eventually into the canyon.

This afternoon, I went down one of the roads to get a picture of the old metal roofed barn, before it is entirely obscured by new construction. While standing in a vacant lot about two hundred feet from one of the new houses, I heard meowing. A grey tabby cat was slowly walking toward me, from the direction of the house. When it got close, I could see that it was a female, and quite pregnant. She looked as though she might be giving birth any day now. She was very friendly, and seemed to be healthy. She wasn't wearing a collar or identification of any sort, but I thought that she might belong to whoever lives in the nearby house. But there was something about the way she approached me, rather like a cat who is looking for a home.

Well, I have two cats at home already, and they don't like each other and would certainly not like another cat moving in. As I walked away, she watched me, but didn't follow. I hope she does live in one of those houses, or, if not, gets taken in somewhere. The outdoors is not a good place to have kittens, particularly in that area, connected as it is by open land to the wilder places along the canyon. Coyotes come into the field at night, and even as far as the orchard. As I said, the cat looked reasonably well cared for, but it is possible that someone just dropped her off because they didn't want a litter of kittens on their hands. I'll have to keep an eye out for her, even though I certainly can't take in another stray, myself.
caillebotte_man at his window

Rats, no Cat.

I didn't see the gravid cat today. Maybe she has had the kittens and isn't coming out again until they are a few days old. At least the weather has warmed up (for a while.) There are probably thousands of litters of doomed kittens being born right now, and I can't do anything about them, either. But then, their moms didn't come up and rub against my leg and purr at me. Stupid cat.

All I saw in the field today were boys about ten or twelve years old, digging holes and building mounds to ride their bikes over in the disturbed earth behind the new modular house that was moved in. I wonder if they noticed the cloudless blue of the sky, or the cawing crows, or the first wildflowers pushing up through the brown grasses near where they were playing? I wonder if they have seen the cat?