Heard a creepy noise outside, over and over… Minutes of horror film level of creepy, rhythmic, raspy, barking… A fox, I guessed after a moment or two. I recorded video of it (in complete darkness) and went to get a torch… I grabbed two and shone them out the front door (which is all glass). The creepy barks stopped. Eyes glowed back at me from about two car lengths away. They blinked at my torch beams. They disappeared. Reappeared. Then darted away towards the main road.
So, what’s a girl to do? Wander outside in the rain and investigate, of course. Filming again, but with torches to light the way, I walked out the driveway gate onto the lane. Nothing to the right, where it had leapt off out of sight; nothing to the left. Only the sound of rain around me. I walked out a little further…
My neighbour’s cat, a little female cat, was cowering under my car. She is sweet and trusts me, so I walked her home in the rain, one torch shining in front, the other in back of us.
She got to her driveway safely, and I may have jogged home, growling in a scary voice (well, it was a growl anyway, probably not all that scary, but hopefully unexpected by the creepy barker) in the dark whilst waving my torches like my arms had been replaced with Kermit the Frog’s in full flail. I was damp, slightly winded, and totally ridiculous.
But… I think I just saved my neighbour’s cat from becoming fox food though, so completely worth my posessed sprint down our dark, rainy, rural lane at nearly 10:30 pm.
The last time I owned a cat was when I lived in the US, so that’s 2004 and earlier. While in the UK, I’ve co-owned goldfish and a dog, and became a farm cat’s human. They’re all gone now, and after the farm cat passed away this past July, I’ve felt a ragged hole in my heart.
I’ve always had animals in my life. I grew up with pet mice, dogs, fish, cats, and then in adulthood had many more cats, a couple of dogs, numerous ferrets, and rabbits. I volunteered for a big cat sanctuary (which included – literally – lions and tigers and bears, not to mention cows, a camel, pigs, foxes… you get the idea) for many years.
Animals have been a constant for me. Part of me was ok with the non-animal years (I had plenty of turbulent stuff going on), and part of me felt an emptiness. I wasn’t even aware of how deep that emptiness was until the farm cat died. He wasn’t my cat, but lived on the same property we did, was known for being a bit of a dick, and then bonded with me during the early pandemic months as I sat outside during isolation. His death broke me.
That farm cat was an old boy, and I promised him that the next cat in my life would be another older cat, a rescue, and I’d give him or her a beautiful life.
I was ever-so-good and went to bed before midnight last night because I had a 9am dentist appointment today. Insomnia gave me the finger and so I spent the first four hours in bed in an anxious stupor, because my brain decided it was a PERFECT time to try to remember the names of my flat neighbours from 2004-2010. I could not get to sleep until I 100% remembered at least one of them; she lived two floors down, and was the mother of someone I worked with. We were city living, so didn’t really know any of the neighbours.
I could, however, remember that one neighbour had weed growing under camo cover in his garden (next to ours), and that his flatmate – an older gentleman with great taste in sweaters – died, but I can’t remember if he died because he got stabbed in the neck in a pub toilet, or if something else did him in.
Got to the dentist twenty minutes early. Still no cavities (ever). Might celebrate with a little leftover easter chocolate… and a nap later.
So much more to talk about (pandemic, world events, etc. etc.), but I’m not ready to process it all into words. At least I decided to make this a blog post, instead of a FB post. It’s a start.