Our new blog feature focuses on CWA members and their own cats. If you’d like us to post how your cat(s) came into your life, email your submission to the blog editor, Layla Morgan Wilde at email@example.com. Include an edited Word doc. 500 to 800 words, 1 to 3 clear images of the cats, brief bio, website and social links.
Elaine Faber, who believes God loves cats shares her story about Amber and Truffie. With kitten season upon us, it’s timely.
They were feral cats, living next to my work site. My daughter and I fed the tortoiseshell mama cat every several days as her tummy swelled. As the weeks passed, she came to our call, knowing we would feed her. In time, the kittens were born. Each day we thought, “Today we will see them,” but days passed and we thought the kittens had died.
One day, we saw the three little waifs; the rose-colored kitten and the black male with sticky eyes. His were completely shut. The third kitten, the image of her mother. We filled a cardboard box with towels. I crawled under the bushes, trying to catch them.
“Here kitten, kitten,” I called, and the rose-colored kitten came to me. Into the box she went, and I crawled back for the other two. “Here, kitten, kitten.”
How could they know how their lives would change if they came to me? Toys, good food, immunizations, no fleas, and a warm bed.
“Here, kitten, kitten,” and I had the tortoiseshell by the scruff of her neck. The box trembled with their mewing and scratching. Their cries inspired me to go back for the black brother. I crawled further into the bushes, tried to grab him. My fingers barely touched his soft fur, but he scampered away. My lunch hour was nearly over and I had to leave him behind.
Several months passed and the rose-colored kitten and her sister were fixtures in my house, frolicking up and down the cat pole, napping across my lap, kicking and fighting mock battles, and attacking catnip mice with a vengeance. With full tummies, they curled together on a fluffy bed.
“Here kitten, kitten.” The sisters hear my call and run to me. They reach up my leg, purr and rub their little heads into my hands, begging to be picked up. They don’t remember the day I left their brother behind. But, I do and it hurts me to think of him, living in the bushes, perhaps hungry, perhaps sick, never knowing the joy of a human touch.
You might say, “It’s not his fault. The black kitten can’t know his life would improve if he surrenders. He would come if he had the capacity to understand. He’s afraid and he’s doing what comes natural. He’s just a kitten.”
He’s still there, they tell me, those who catch a glimpse of him from time to time. He’s a feral cat now, one of the untouchables that scoots into the bushes, frightened at the sound of a human step. And so I return to the bushes from time to time, until one day, I hope he will respond and allow me to give him a better life.
There is so much suffering in the world. I think of all the sick bodies I cannot heal, the hungry mouths I cannot feed, the people who live daily under the threat of death for their religious beliefs. This little cat is a symbol of all the suffering I cannot change. He has a body I am able to heal, a mouth I can feed. Here is something I have the power to change! Tears spring to my eyes when I think I’m unable to do even this simple thing…
And so from time to time, I return, crawl under the bushes and call him, “Here kitten, kitten. Please, Lord, let me change just one small injustice in this world. Here, kitten, kitten. Please come to me.”
Elaine Faber lives in Northern California with her husband, four house cats and the three feral cats at the back door. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, California Cat Writers, and Inspire Christian Writers, where she works as an editor for their annual anthology. She volunteers with the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop and on the board of the Elk Grove Friends of the Library. She enjoys speaking at retirement homes and on author panels, sharing highlights of her novels. Her short stories have appeared in national magazines and multiple anthologies.
Ms. Faber writes cozy mysteries. Black Cat’s Legacy; Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer; Black Cat and the Accidental Angel (April 2015). All of Ms. Faber’s novels are available at Amazon.com. and on her personal website, www.mindcandymysteries.com