Some people don’t even notice the glowing eyes as they drive along the darkened streets, but for anyone who’s spent time chasing cats who are potentially in a difficult situation they are a beacon as certain as a lighthouse along the shore.
The cat above is my neighbor’s cat Lucky, and he is at least, for once, lying on the sidewalk instead of the street. I worry about him all the time.
He was the last of a half dozen pairs of glowing eyes I saw skimming around in the dark last night. I know it’s the earlier darkness because it happens this time each year, seeing the two glowing eyes peering through a guard rail, down at me from a hillside next to a back road, or up from the slope that leads under the bridge to the creek. As I slow down to see more, if I can, I see stripes, or black spots on white, or a tuxedo cat, and the cat sees me, crouches further, darts back through the guardrail or runs up the slope, and I worry about the one who I know will try to cross the street at the intersection.
There are a number of cats I’ve been tracking for a while, ones I see frequently in my neighborhood whose “owners” I’ve found, others I have not and am considering trapping for their own safety. Some I’ve seen in areas I regularly walk or ride my bike as I take my errands around town when it’s easier to explore and see if I find that cat, or other cats, or kittens, as I sometimes have. And cats like those I saw last night, the one by the bridge, who I went back to look for last night, and again today, knowing that one had few options for safe travel from that spot. I know the area well, walking through there, and up and down the bank, to photograph birds and wildflowers and geese and ducks and reflections on the water in all seasons, knowing the allure of a place like this to an adventurous cat. No eyes glowing in my headlights or flashlight, no kitty under the bridge or around it; perhaps under cover of darkness when traffic was sparse and the streets quiet, he made his way to a safer spot, or back to his home.
And another who looked a little too round for your average cat, she of the decorative wrought iron guardrail that framed her petite, round figure. No place to stop, I could only drive past repeatedly and return in daylight to see what houses were near, though there were also railroad tracks and a tunnel, another haven for homeless animals. I hope she had a home. I hope she was just fat.
Others are searching for more cats than me, setting traps in parking lots and back yards. Each day at least one cat is rescued by a dedicated person who just couldn’t leave the cat where it was, starving, injured, or just obviously wanting a home. Another day, another rescue. This Sunday is another low-cost clinic and dozens of cats will be taken in from the streets for spay and neuter and veterinary care, many never to return to the streets. It’s hard not to fall in love with a cat you’ve rescued; each one of them deserves a loving home regardless of their origin. Thank you to everyone who has the heart to rescue.
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Confession: I did not finish writing my story, compiling the photographs, or the piece of artwork I’ve been working on for today’s Rescue Story posting. I was out tracking down the cats belonging to those glowing eyes instead. That’s where all these rescue stories came from in the first place. And next week I’ll have a very special story.
The black cat you see above has been around the neighborhood since spring; he reminds me of Gossamer. I don’t think this guy has a home, or if he does they don’t pay too much attention. I saw that he had an injury on his lower back, near his tail, so I may need to take action soon.
Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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