The Cat Came Back

This morning while Greg worked in town, the kids and I pulled weeds in the garden. We concentrated our efforts on the strawberry plants, which are doing well. The cabbages and Brussels sprouts are looking rather chewed, and the kids saw a lot of deer tracks in the sandy garden soil. We might do better to hold off on leafy, tasty-to-deer things until we can afford a fence, and concentrate for now on squashes, tomatoes, and other things they won’t bother.

We also worked on ridding the garden of prickly pear cactus parts, which were chopped up when Greg tilled the area. Besides painful to run into while weeding, these rootless chunks of cactus are apparently able to sprout new growth. Very clever of them, I’m sure. They probably have a lot of unspecialized cells. We filled a big black garbage bag with cactus remains, plus several plastic grocery bags, and there is plenty more where that came from.

Early in the weeding, Anna and I heard some meows—lots and lots of meows, with no cat in sight. The voice sounded like that of Roscoe, a beta-generation Kitterling, offspring of Toofie and Tiger, and its tone was plaintive. I remembered Emilie saying that Roscoe had not shown for breakfast this morning.

After some investigation, Anna and I traced the cries to a big cement cylinder that probably held rainwater at one time. A young tree grew beside it and overhung it a little. Roscoe must have climbed the tree, dropped inside, and found himself stuck, being unable to scale sheer walls.

Daniel, the only one of us tall enough to see inside, horked himself over the concrete wall, did a limbo move to avoid the thorny branches of the tree, let himself down, and rescued the cat. Anna took Roscoe to the house for a belated breakfast.

Some weeks back, Roscoe did another disappearing act. That time he was gone for several days, and we gave him up for lost. Then a neighbor called and asked Daniel to pet-sit for her. This lady always has an assortment of cats hanging around. Her newest arrival, she told Daniel, was an orange kitten that just showed up one day, quite healthy and well-fed. We were welcome to have it if we wanted it. Sure enough, it was our very own missing Roscoe. We will be watching with interest the career of this enterprising young cat.

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