I haven’t been fishing for a while. The cats recognize my 5-gallon bucket that I use to carry home catfish for them. When I carry it around the yard for other purposes, they follow me like I’m the Pied Piper. But I haven’t had fish for them, so I had to go to Southern States and buy a 40-pound bag of cat food. I store the cat food in a large, covered trash can in the storage shed. I have cut a small hole in the bottom of the door to my tool shed where the cats can get in out of the weather. Now the cats have dug a hole under the doors to the storage shed. In fact, they dug two holes, one in the center and one on the left side. They have also eaten through the lid to my storage can. There’s something to say for the old metal trash cans!
When Johnny and I go fishing, we always bring back fish for the cats. We’ve done a lot of fishing this year. Some of the cats have tamed down and they can be touched. They do eat all over the neighborhood. We can tell by some of the things they drag back to our yard. They have become so accustomed to getting fish from me that when my truck returns home, it triggers some alarm in them that it must be time to eat, even if I haven’t been fishing. Some will come close, and others keep their distance. When there is fish in the bucket, they will reach their paws in and claw one out. When one cat gets a fish out, the others attack both the fish and the cat. I cut the fish up for them, filleting both sides. The center and the guts are their favorite parts, but they do eat all of it except for catfish. That’s when Henry and his buddies come in and finish it off.
The cats follow me around when I’m unloading my truck from going to the dump or from a store. They will jump up into the back and examine the inside, maybe looking for fish. There is one cat that will walk in front of me and lay down in my path. I have to stop walking and bend over to pet it. When I move on, it will get in front of me again and do the same thing.
I have noticed that the cats have an order as to who gets to eat first to last. One time Henry was trying to eat with the cats and a gray cat was stalking him. If you don’t know, Henry is a turkey vulture that comes by regularly to drink water and to see what there is to eat. Anyway, it looked like Henry and the gray cat were stalking each other. Usually the cats leave the vultures alone. This cat didn’t back down. He lunged at Henry. Henry flew up in the air and the gray cat almost got him.
It’s fun watching nature and observing the different personalities of these creatures. I’m thankful for the times that life can slow down and I can pay attention to creation.
One of the wild cats we have around here is mostly white with a gray patch on its head and three spots on its back. Its tail is all gray except at the tip. We can’t get close to it, but it hangs around the birdfeeder pole in our front yard. It is quite comical to watch it try to catch birds. Its bright white color really stands out. It will climb to the top of the pole and try to swat at a bird. It has never caught any. It also sleeps at the bottom of the pole. And while the cat is sleeping, the birds eat like it is going to be their last meal.
We have day lilies growing all around the bottom of the birdfeeder pole. There is a path between the thick day lilies where the cats pass through. We also have a squirrel that visits the birdfeeder. This morning the squirrel was on the ground eating seeds that had been thrown down by the birds. The white cat was sleeping on the other side of the day lilies. The cat woke up to hunt, and it and the squirrel met face to face in the center of the path. The cat jumped up in the air and went backwards. The squirrel jumped up and climbed the bird pole where it jumped from the top and ran into the woods. The cat recovered and acted like nothing had happened. The best television ever!