Continuing with the kitty parade, 2005 brought an influx of new 4-legged family members. First there were The Three Mouseketeers – Footsie, Feather, and Phantom – who showed up on the farm around the same time. Because of the timing of their arrivals, the way they interacted once I got them all in the house, and the vet’s guesstimate of their similar ages, I have always assumed that they are littermates (though they look absolutely nothing alike, either in terms of color or conformation).
In the summer of 2005, Joe came across a 3-4 month old puppy abandoned on our road, so of course we took him in (forgive me, cats, for the Wookie pic).
Then in the fall of that year, a fourth cat appeared in my barn, Sweet Sweet.
Four cats and a puppy in one year. WHEW! Our family dynamics were never the same (or as peaceful) after that. Perhaps as a karmic reward for taking in so many lost souls in 2005, the parade took a breather in 2006, and no new animals arrived on our doorstep.
Sadly, 2007 did not start kindly. We lost Bitsy early in the year to renal failure. In September, however, Joe found little Roxie on our road in the company of a fox whose intentions were unknown but suspect. Perhaps the fox hesitated to make a meal of her because she was in a state of such severe starvation that she wasn’t worth the effort to deal with all that hair.
At the end of 2007, Joe and I parted company. He moved out, and the animals and I gradually learned to cope on our own.
2008 was marked by the arrival of Siliman (Silly Man), who made his presence known by chasing Somer up my exterior stairs and cornering her against my front door.
The next spring, while visiting the friend to whom I had given Tommy 14 years earlier, I realized that Tommy had become quite ill. In order to provide her with the veterinary and nursing care that she would require for the rest of her life, I took her back under my care and returned her to Shadowood on Easter morning, 2009.
Later that summer, a neighbor called and left a message saying that he had seen two tiny kittens on my road. When I went to check out the spot where he sighted them, this is what I found …
In May of 2010, Billy joined his brother, Bitsy, at the Rainbow Bridge, also as a result of renal failure. As happened in the year of Bitsy’s passing, a new arrival joined us toward the end of 2010. Bobble is the most recent stray to have found his way to Shadowood.
This is the first time I’ve gone more than two years in a row without a new animal showing up since the kitty parade began in 2001. Not only have no new family members been added, but our ranks reduced by two in 2012. My beloveds, Noddy and Somer, were both lost to cancer – Noddy to feline oral squamous cell carcinoma and Somer to mammary cancer.
I will, over time, write in-depth introductions of each of these felines. These intros will be interspersed with blog entries related to feline health and other topics of cat-loving interest. For those who may grow impatient for more stories and photos of the Pride of Shadowood, you can find both on my Shadowood website.