Back at the end of May, on Memorial Day to be exact, after nearly seven years of faithful service, our backyard fountain pump gave up. The fountain has been off ever since and Mom’s been a wreck with worry.
This isn’t to say there’s no water around the area. There’s a running creek down the hill just a block and a quarter mile over. Another yard or two have some kind of water feature running. It’s summertime so, people are probably running lawn sprinklers, even as we type this, and letting water go willy-nilly over sidewalks and down gutters. We are not a dry wasteland.
Every so many days, Mom puts some water in the lower fountain basin and at night, listens to raccoons play and wash themselves. Birds have no way to bathe themselves right now and the hummingbirds are fairly frustrated at the moment, but help is on the way.
Dad purchased a new pump and someone is coming out today to install it. Fingers crossed all goes well and we’re back up and running. Of course, there has to be someone who’ll miss the dry fountain. That would be the Cat That Is Not Ours.
About the same time the fountain died (and our main sprinkler system valve started leaking because why let the dead fountain pump have all the fun, right?), the neighborhood lost Chunky. Mom learned a bit about his plight but we were unable to move fast enough to help.
Chunky was the huge boy who visited early in the mornings and came to muscle every other cat, feral or not, away from the feeding stations. One morning, he looked his usual self but we noticed he was dropping worms with every step. Mom immediately went on the hunt to find his home to talk to his owner and discovered something that still boggles her mind.
Chunky’s original owners dropped him off at the humane society to be euthanized when they moved from the next street over. The woman who bought their house learned of this and immediately rushed to save Chunky… and she did, only to then allow Chunky to roam the same neighborhood streets as he had for the past two years. She wished Chunky to be a “neighborhood cat” in which everyone else would look after him. She wanted to save him, but didn’t want him living inside.
Mom heard all this second- and third-hand from other neighbors for when she tried to talk to Chunky’s person, she was never home, no matter the time of day or night. Another neighbor who used to work with abandoned animals briefly took up Chunky’s cause and then suddenly, Mom couldn’t find Chunky anywhere. And no one wanted to talk about him. And that’s where things sit.
That was at the end of May. We’re thinking good thoughts about Chunky and thank him for visiting us.
A week or so later, another neighborhood cat went missing.
Z lives nearby with three other outside-only cats, all who visit regularly (when our fountain is running, that is). Z is the sweetest petite girl and just wants to be around people. So, it was tough to learn she had been missing for nearly a week, then two weeks. All kinds of thoughts crossed Mom’s mind and just about the time she had steeled herself to the real possibility this was just the way things were going to go this year, Z was found at the humane society by their owners. She was found some five miles away, still wearing her cat bowl activating collar that did nothing to help because she didn’t have a microchip. You can believe she does now! Her owners say she’s “legal and everything,” but she still doesn’t stay inside. *sigh*
One of Z’s siblings has also taken a liking to our dry fountain. B/P also likes that she blends in nicely with the surrounding boulders. Mom celebrated a first the other day when ultra skittish B/P let herself be petted.
Other happenings over our month-long hiatus (we didn’t go anywhere; we haven’t taken vacation since 2000):
– We rebuilt a set of backyard steps that our winter rains had washed downhill.
– We lost two good friends.
– Mom finished sixteen weeks of French classes… and still can’t speak more than a word or two.
– Ruby, Sunny, Quint, Miss Newton, and the Dad had their yearly checkups. More on this later.
– Entire neighborhood has been
grilled asked if they know where Teese’s home is. No one’s admitting anything.
Still, this is not our cat:
Neither is this one:
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Previously on Colehaus Cats: