About 6 months ago, a woman and her daughter sent me a video of a long-haired tabby racing through the parking lot of Target late one night. The daughter captured him on her iPhone while her mom yelled, “Film him before he runs away! Hurry, don’t miss him!” Followed by, “I KNOW Mom! I’m getting him!”
When Target closes at 9:00 p.m., cats emerge from the marshland that hugs the store on 2 sides, the bay on the other. Shoppers sometimes leave them food, some contact us (Marin Friends of Ferals) and some, I assume, simply look away.
Target isn’t located near homes so these are feral cats or possibly lost or dumped domestics. So my awesome volunteer, Holly, and I placed a feeding station under a bush off the parking lot, locked a motion sensor camera to it, and started feeding.
For 7 years, our Marin Friends of Ferals volunteers have fed an orange cat (OC) living behind a theater in Novato. He was originally part of a sterilized feral cat colony across the freeway so we trapped and returned him, but he headed back to the theater. That OC is an independent fellow.
A couple months ago, the visiting CEO discovered our feeding station and demanded we promptly remove it, along with OC. Sadly, just like The Grinch, his heart is two sizes too small. When we ignored his demand, he had his employees throw away our feeding station. So we put out another. It, too, disappeared. Rinse and repeat.
Now don’t get me wrong; lest you get the mistaken impression I’ve entirely lost my mind, I have to tell you something I hope will sway you in the direction of believing I am not, after all, crazy. Yes, it might very well appear that way, but as we already know, appearances are deceiving. At least that’s the rumor.
Anyway, what you need to know is that I’m currently fostering feral kittens #199 and 200. But that’s not the crazy part. I’d say 95% of my fosters eventually become adopted through Marin Humane. The other 5% I relocate to outdoor properties because they’re still not adoptable after socializing. That leads me to foster #198.
A few months ago I relocated a couple ferals to a family who wanted mousers on their property and Panther seemed to fit the bill. But as it turned out, he fooled us all into believing he was a wild man when all along he was a master of disguise.
Now don’t get me wrong; what I’m about to say may give the impression I don’t adore my 10 pets, all rescues. Yes, they, like humans, are uniquely flawed beings. But accepting flaws are part of any relationship, right? We take the good with the bad. Besides, I’ve determined I was meant to have each of these critters because certain aspects of their not-so-endearing qualities might not be tolerated by some.
My cat with an amputated tail, Savannah, is determined to put me in traction. When it’s time to eat, she’s like a magnet and my legs are metal. She zig zags between them like a slalom skier. Everyday I warn her she’s going to trip me but she pretends not to hear. No doubt one day I’ll be sporting a cast on a body part. But Savannah is the sweetest, gentlest of souls. Not a mean bone in that body.
Wally, my Dachshund mix, barks incessantly whenever someone walks by the house while he’s positioned on the back of the sofa with a perfect view. He’s still not entirely house-trained, even though I pretend I’ve won the lottery whenever he uses the dog door and returns triumphantly, having just relieved himself. Apparently, however, my enthusiasm doesn’t persuade him to use it on a regular basis. But Wally, like one of those poor circus bears, sits up with arms elevated when he wants my attention. It’s endearing and he knows it.
Let’s just say my dream isn’t the usual, like winning an obscene amount of lottery money or being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. And, sadly, it doesn’t compare to Martin Luther King’s noble human rights dream. No, mine is much less life-altering and electrifying.
This is it: I hope one day to get arrested. In fact, it’s #12 on my bucket list, right after Visit Australia and just before Bike Tour in Maine (neither of which I’ve accomplished yet).
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not actually trying to land in Marin County jail for just any crime. I’m not planning to rob a bank, as I don’t own a gun. Besides, it’s not in my nature to hurt anyone, so murder is out. I won’t even burgle a home to steal its contents and here’s why: