So you know how I relocate un-adoptable feral cats to properties for rodent control? Well, last week’s relocation was slightly different. The property owner was referred to me by one of our volunteers so I thought, okay, great.
It’s rare that I know the people I’m bringing cats to. How it works is: they contact us, I get their address then go see if their property is a good fit for ferals. I never give it a second thought. And on second thought, maybe that’s not so smart.When I pulled into the driveway of Steve’s 7 acre spread, I noticed two houses. The one in back, where Steve lives, has an old barn attached that once housed ranch hands nearly 100 years ago. It sits at the end of a long dirt driveway. And as I drove in, I noticed a figure pacing back and forth through the lone upstairs window. Sorta eerie. I have to tell you, the whole scene reminded me of Norman Bates in Psycho. But maybe I’ve watched too many thrillers.
Steve saw me approaching and was in the driveway before I exited my car. A towering figure, he loomed over me by at least a foot and 100 lbs. I introduced myself but he barely said hello. Well, okay then. Probably just shy. I asked if he would show me around the property and while we walked, I attempted to engage him in conversation.
Let’s just say Steve is not possessed with the gift of gab, such as moi. So I filled-in awkward silences asking him about his horses. The more Steve talked, the more he loosened up and soon he was taking me through the barn, pointing out the various old boarding rooms inside. The back of the property has 3 barns and plenty of dense foliage. Seemed like a good fit for 3 feral cats. But before I headed back to my car, Steve stopped inside the barn and pushed on a wooden door disguised simply as a section of wall. Again, I recalled a movie where a hidden dungeon was located off a back room. I really have to stop watching thrillers.
Steve asked, “Would you like to see my room? I just remodeled it.” I hesitated before I heard myself say, “Okay,” instead of, “Thanks, but I should get going.” As I tentatively walked up the steep, narrow staircase into his loft, my inner voice screamed, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, JANET?!
I suddenly thought, does anyone know I’m over here? It occurred to me he could kill me and nobody would ever find my body. And there would go my plans to have my ashes scattered at Lake Tahoe. But then I remembered the woman who saw my Marin Friends of Ferals placard as I pulled into Steve’s driveway and asked that I come by to see her property when I was done. Whew. Lake Tahoe was back on. Now don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t murdered, if that’s what you’re thinking. But here’s the spookiest thing of all…when Steve and I reached the top of the stairs, I turned around and there, lying on his bed was an axe! Why was an axe on his bed?! Very good question (and one I didn’t ask). But that’s when I thought of the movie, American Psycho. Anyway, in the end, Steve turned out to be a kind but shy and reserved history buff with a penchant for horses and a need for feral cat mousers. And I learned an important lesson:
Oh, and I definitely need to stop watching thrillers.