Thursday, March 10, 2016

#Feline Visitors Tug At Our Heartstrings--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith

Since Sunnybud, the stray we cared for, passed on, we have seen an increase in the feline visitors to our shelters and feeders. 

The feline visitors seem as varied as the breeds of felines. Some we only catch on our field camera once or twice, others are much more regular in their visits. Some are simply night visitors, others come to feed during the day. There are long haired and short haired visitors. 

As we've seen in the past with Lancelot (Read Lance's story HERE)and Sunnybud, some choose us, others choose to eat and run. The more regular visitors who need some care soon stop shying away from us and learn that we can be trusted. When they take that step, a bond begins to develop that wraps itself around our hearts and begins to pull tighter and tighter. It is a joy to watch them enjoy their huge outside domain but also a worry to be concerned about their health and safety. It is hard to give them love and freedom at the same time when you just want to scoop them up and give them a forever home.

Two of our visitors, now affectionately named Bonnie and Clyde, seem to have "adopted" us and are becoming regular visitors. Their ears are clipped so they were probably caught up in some type of TNR (trap, neuter, release) effort. Clyde waits for me each morning for his morning wet food special breakfast, and this morning Bonnie who has been more elusive joined him. Today I was able to sit on the patio and quietly converse with them while they ate. They still scurry away if I approach them.  It's fun to watch their antics together and what appears to be a tight brother/sister bond that obviously exists between them. Patience is not always easy for me, but I know a human/feline relationship is built on complete trust. I know I have to proceed on their terms and allow them the freedom to trust me as they feel comfortable. If that means spending time sitting nearby while they eat, that's what I'll do.

Clyde sunbathes on our driveway.
With Halo, a pregnant stray we brought inside about 18 months ago, the process took about six weeks.  With Sunnybud, we were still involved in the process that progressed over 3 years. I know by now that I need to enjoy the time I spend with strays who don't trust easily because of their history with humans. They are strays for a reason. They run away for a reason. Although a journey with a stray can be heartbreaking, conversations with them in the quiet and peace of the patio bring relaxation from a hectic work schedule and do my heart good.  And as proven by Halo, who is anything but a stray now--she thinks she's queen of the house--giving love to a needy feline can be so rewarding and affirming.

Patio visitors--Bonnie (upper right) and
another beauty that has avoided contact with us.
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Halo, a former "visitor" enjoys a really good book
in the comfort of her forever home!


USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 95th novel will be released in 2016.

Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens.  And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.

Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below. 




Fishmom23 said...

Even the hundreds of miles away their stories tug at my heart. We are fostering a mom who had a little one March 5th. Her name is Luna which made me think lunar like the moon. Her little one is orange like Sunnybud. I know I can't keep him or her... but I call the little one Sunny. My heart goes out to you for taking in all the strays and trying to help them have some kind of normal home, love and food.

Laura S Reading said...

I enjoy reading about your visitors and how varied they are in their trust. We also have visitors and occassional strays (those that only come for food, not companionship.) As long as they don't fight with the regulars, all are welcome. You made me smile as we have also had a Halo and presently have a Lancelot. Earlier this week we had out first orange visitor in some time. Very gentlemanly. Curious and alert but not touchable.

Jeanie Jackson said...

The beauty of your blog as well as the moments spent with "your" furbabies makes my day!

Sandy Swanger Bartles said...

I get such great enjoyment reading your blogs and hearing about these wonderful fur babies! It really fills my heart!

KRS said...

I appreciate your comments so much. I love being in the company of animal lovers. Thank you for stopping by.