For several weeks now our little farm, Providence Place, has been under attack from a hungry predator (s). We have been losing chickens at an alarming rate. It is not much comfort to know that others in the area are in similar situations. Our place has been hit to the tune of one to two chickens a night and this does not include the ducks that are unaccounted for in the MIA status. However, when my sweet, lovable, huggable Mere did not show for breakfast I panicked.
Mere, as you may recall, was my Brother Bill’s cat. When he passed in 2014, Mere came to live with us. She was very young and had never been inside a house. You see, Bill was a “dog guy” and cats were frowned upon, but Mere slowly changed his heart and was accepted by the horses, dogs, ducks and yes, Bill as a resident on his farm.
As a result, Mere has a special place in my heart. She is my touchstone of all things Bill. To me, she represents his big heart, his love of animals, his patience with the frightened, and perhaps most importantly, his love of all life.
So when Mere did not show up for the morning feed time, I was concerned. I called, but I also went on with the feeding while keeping an eye on the field. Feeding time was over and I went back to the house to ask hubby if he had seen her. His report of “not since last night” made me a little uneasy, but after all it was just eight hours and she was probably in a tree somewhere and too lazy to come down. Periodically as the morning progressed to the evening feed time I would step outside to call her. The lack of response became a chill in my heart.
By the end of the third day I was a litle more than worried. The fourth morning of her disappearance saw tears running down my face as I fed without my shadow climbing onto my lap, lying at my feet, or eating the chicken scratch. (Mere is chipped, spayed and doesn’t normally wander from the place and she stays right with me as I feed.) Dragging my feet, as I was headed to the house with visions of life without Mere flitting across my eyes, I heard a very faint “meow”. Believe you me, I stopped! Hope resurged as I called her name again. A slightly louder response was heard and slowly in the early morning gray mist I see a black tail poking up from amidst the grasses of the field. Tears flooded my face, tears of joy, as she finally reached where I was standing. I scooped her up into a big hug dropping my feeding buckets with loud metal clangs causing the goats to jump and the geese to honk loudly. Shushing them I hug Mere as I go back to the house to tell hubby the great news.
She was much thinner than she had been. I brought her into the house, fed her goat milk and dry kibble which she seemingly inhaled. She then crawly slowly to the living room, into my chair, and slept the rest of the day away. In the following days she stayed in the house to eat, drink and sleep. Where she was for those harrowing four days I do not know. I only know that she is back and I am so very grateful to the good Lord that she is. I also had a stern talking to with her; letting her know how scared I was for her, for me, and not to repeat this action again. Her response was a sleepy eyed blink and a sweet purr as she drifted back into sleep.