My cat Lucy is old. I’ve lost track, but she is at least 14, maybe 15. She doesn’t jump up on the bed gracefully anymore, she sort of claws her way up the bed skirt, or if I am right there, she looks up as if to say “I’m ready for a lift.” When she goes up or down the stairs, she places first one and then the other front paw on the next step and sort of shimmies her back half along. She’s incredibly vocal at mealtimes, and often starts meowing again an hour later, almost as if she’s forgotten she ate. She follows me around the house, not unlike my dog Molly did when she got older. She moves slowly, as most old ladies do. She spends her days in sunny spots on soft cushions, napping for hours and hours.
Before she was old, Lucy was, much to our horror, an expert and avid hunter. Mice, chipmunks, baby rabbits. Thankfully, she was never interested in birds, maybe because I keep the feeders high up in the trees. As far as I was concerned, having a cat who caught mice was a good thing, since we live in the country, and mice tend to sneak into the house from time to time. Chipmunks were a little more difficult to deal with. Lucy would sometimes bring them into the house alive and well and then release them. So we’d have an extra pet for a day or two, before it all ended pretty much as you would predict. But the most upsetting of all was the baby rabbits. She was obsessed, and every spring she would howl at the door until someone let her out, or, if we were trying to keep her in, she would dash out the door the minute one of us opened it to go outside. Inevitably, within a short time, I would hear the pitiful cry of a sweet baby rabbit, and I’d run outside searching for Lucy so I could rescue the rabbit in time. I’ve rescued more than a few, and returned them to the nest. And I’ve had more than one conversation with the mama rabbit (me inside, looking out the window while she hops around the yard) begging her to please consider raising her young elsewhere.
Lucy slowed down so much this winter that I thought her rabbit obsession would be a thing of the past come spring. But no, there I was Saturday night, cleaning up after dinner, when I heard the familiar squeal of an innocent baby rabbit. I flew out the front door, scanning the scene in the dark. I spotted the cat and scooped her up. The rabbit had escaped. I reminded the girls to try to keep the door closed and the cat inside. Maybe next spring Lucy will be past this bad habit.
Come Slice with us over at Two Writing Teachers.