“I don’t want another cat.”
I said it, and I meant it.
Our beautiful old boy had died after 21 years and he couldn’t be replaced.
Then along came Miaow, a cat like no other.
We found her one cold winter’s night, sneaking into the pantry to snack on the farm dogs’ biscuits. She’d been “sizing up the joint” for days before hunger drove her in.
She was perilously shy. One whiff of human scent and she fled.
But slowly, cautiously, back she came. Food, warmth, a place to sleep eventually enticed her to stay.
Over the years we’ve come to an arrangement, she and I.
I feed her every biscuits in the morning and cat food each night. Once in a blue moon she will graciously allow a pat. I can tell she’d love more, but she just can’t bring herself to accept them.
From Wild Cat to Farm Cat
Miaow patrols the territory she’s claimed as hers. There’s no sign of a mouse in the pantry during winter, when she curls up on the box of stored farm papers she’s appropriated as her bed.
The hayshed is home over the summer months. Hidden in the hay, she keeps a close eye on the ducks nesting between the bales. She may be the bane of sparrows and mice, but I’ve never seen her pounce on a duckling. Early on, the ducks and Miaow declared a truce. Muscovies are big: the drakes easily outweigh and outnumber one little cat. Discretion is the better part of valour in Miaow’s pragmatic eyes when it comes to ducks and farm dogs.
Feed Me Now!
There’s no ignoring Miaow when she wants breakfast or tea. A piercing call leaves me in no doubt that food is required. And not just any food: oh no, a nice cheap can of Chef or Whiskers would never do. It’s got to be Fancy Feast, please, or maybe the expensive Dine Desire. It’s not worth my while to feed her anything else; the sounds of her displeasure can go on for hours.
All in all Miaow’s got me wrapped around her little claw. She is possibly the world’s most unrewarding cat. And yet, I’m pleased that she trusts us enough to stay.
I wouldn’t be without her.