To seamlessly segue from last week to this, Loretta and I ultimately accomplished our goal of giving cat beds to Slinky, who lives under a bridge at a local college and also to Bridget, who lives under another bridge on campus. Granted, that doesn’t sound exciting. But when you realize these two have spent 13 years living in dirt under their respective bridges, offering them their first beds was a big deal. (To us at least!)
Now don’t get me wrong; even though college administrators wish the cats, and we who feed them, would disappear, what they fail to recognize is the gumption of our feral rescue volunteers. These are no wussies. We hold our own when faced with unreasonable requests, like allowing elderly ferals to starve.
When Loretta and I decided it was way overdue that we provide our two ferals a bed, did we fear arrest? Nah. Call us crazy…those cats were getting a bed come hell or high water. And let me tell you, the water was high. (The creek under the bridges was rushing like a river after a recent storm.) So anyway, we waited for the cloak of darkness before pulling off the cat bed caper.
Dressed in dark clothing, Loretta and I looked like burglars, her with her black duffel bag and me with a garbage bag of beds slung over my shoulder. Except instead of stealing, we were depositing. The duffel bag held everything needed for a successful deposit: rope fashioned with a slip-knot Loretta’s handy hubby, Chip, fashioned for us, headlamps, a flashlight, a hammer and stakes. The only thing missing was charcoal to camouflage our white faces.
Leaving Slinky his bed was simple. Reaching his section under the bridge meant belly crawling to the area where he sleeps and tying his bed inside a box, then securing it to the ground with stakes.
Then it was on to Bridget. Her bridge is a more treacherous route, sporting a 10” wide path carved by her many trips along the side of the ravine above the creek. She was no dummy in picking a safe spot from coyotes.
With recent storms, the path had turned into slippery mud. Added to that, about 20 feet of path had nothing for me to grab to keep from plummeting into the creek and floating away. Those 10 inches were looking mighty narrow that night. What to do, what to do.
Enter Chip’s slip-knot rope to the rescue. I put it around my waist while Loretta tied the other end to a wooden post, then grabbed the rope just in case the post gave way. That was very considerate, don’t you think? Then I inched along the path, all the while Loretta asking, “You okay?”
I made it to the edge of the bridge without plummeting, grabbed a rock, then crawled the rest of the way. All the while Bridget sat watching from the other side of the creek. As with Slinky, I secured Bridget’s box to the ground, then put a second bed on the bridge pillar ledge, tying it there so raccoons couldn’t toss it in the creek.
With Loretta’s help, I made it back to the top of the bridge.
Although we continually blinded each other with our headlamps, we kept our heads down after I returned to stable ground, hurrying back to the car, high-fiving each other in celebration of not being detected, or better yet, arrested.
We don’t know if Slinky and Bridget use their beds but hopefully they’ve finally discovered a semblance of comfort they deserve in their later years. And that, my friends, is how we pulled off the cat bed caper.