On the advice of a friend, I put out some milk in the barn, to let the cat know that this is an offer to be a barn cat, but we have no opening for a house cat here, and if it has its heart set on being a house cat, it needs to go elsewhere to look for a position like that.
Something stung me when I entered the barn, probably an insect. It hurt for a while, but then the pain passed. I feel bad for the cat. I know what it is like to be rejected, and I am afraid that the cat might be thinking that it is so pretty and cute and adorable that it deserves better and that I don't appreciate beauty when I see it.
The fact is that there are many unclaimed treasures on this earth. Sometimes it is sad that something is not used to its highest potential. But isn't it a good thing that we don't just have to curl up and die when others turn us away? That cat is free to live. And whether it recognizes it or not, it has its freedom, which is something the owner of a house cat usually takes away.
The unemployed and the homeless are also free in ways that employed people with mortgages will never know. There are two sides to every coin. So enjoy your freedom, cat!
When Lawrence came back from his vacation, he saw a dead mole on the lawn. That was the cat's doing. I began to fear that I would lose all my wildlife just because of the unwanted feline presence. Would there be no more rabbits or turtles or even butterflies, and all because of that cat?
In fact, I have been seeing all sorts of animals lately, despite the cat. On August the 9th, I saw a toad in the back yard.
That same day, I spotted a bumblebee in the pasture by the twin cedars.
And while all the large, most beautiful butterflies in and around my fields kept passing me by, I did get a close look at one of the smaller species.
But would I ever see a turtle or a rabbit again, now that the cat was on the prowl? I wondered. On August 17th, I saw a bigger, more impressive butterfly close up.
It stopped to take a rest on the maple in the rock garden. I think it is an Astyanax red spotted purple. But still it had been a very long time since I saw my last turtle. Was the cat responsible for that? Would it ever leave? Would that incessant meowing ever cease?
And yet yesterday after lunch, there was no sign of the cat. I did not see it on the porch, nor on the lawn and I did not see it in the barn, when I put out the milk and got stung. So I went on my walk, and I spotted some mushrooms. Except that one of the mushrooms, on closer inspection, turned out to be a turtle.
I was so happy to see that turtle!
Surely the presence of this turtle out in the open meant that the cat had finally gone away! It was a reddish-colored male three-toed box turtle, but much smaller than the other reddish males I had seen earlier in the year. My friend Pam, the turtle expert, thinks it is between twenty-five to thirty-five years old by the marking on the shell.
I felt very lucky to have seen that turtle, and I thought maybe our cat problem was over. Maybe the cat had found a more receptive household to join.
But later in the day, I spotted a very beautiful butterfly, much bigger than I had ever seen close up, fluttering in the grass in the front lawn. It was a male pipevine swallowtail. And just as I was losing myself in the enjoyment of the butterfly, I heard a plaintive meow behind me. The cat was back!
The butterfly needed protection from the cat. It did not seem inclined to fly away. Possibly it was so brand new that its wings were not quite dry.
Would the cat get it, as soon as I turned my back?
The pipevine swallowtail kept fluttering its wings, but it showed no sign that it was prepared to fly away, and the cat was meowing behind me.
I decided to give the butterfly a lift to a safer location.
It happily climbed on my hand and from there to the fence of the pasture.
From atop the fence it flew into the pasture. But when it landed there, it was still fluttering rather aimlessly, the cat meowing in the distance.
Of course, if the cat had really wanted that butterfly, it could have gone into the pasture and gotten it. But the cat seemed to be more interested in me than in the butterfly.
And what about rabbits? you may be asking. Did the cat chase away all the rabbits? No, not really. I spotted quite a few rabbits last night. They just seemed to be keeping a greater distance, that is all.