7/2/11

The Code of the Spirit Cat


  • Always protect those who are weaker than you.
  • Listen before reply; knowledge is power.
  • When carrying out the task, take the hardest path; for in the sacrifice comes the learning.
  • Accept a challenge and see it through; you will be liberated.
  • Prudence in attack is required.
  • Protect those you love always.
  • Humility is good; but never under estimate your powers.
  • Always keep your grooming up no matter how bad you feel!
  • Give thanks to the Spirits that help one along everyday in every way.
  • Wait at the Rainbow Bridge for your companion’s arrival to continue the journey.




"The Spirit Cat" Photo Illustration by Kim Cady

6/27/11

Sam Guest - The Teacher

Sam Guest moved to Beau Fleur from Colorado. As an “air force brat”, he actually moved from the West multiple times. At nineteen, on his own, he chose a different path from his parents.  He began the pursuit of his lifelong dream to teach. One of the best teacher’s colleges in the US was in Beau Fleur, so Sam followed his dream and enrolled. After getting his degree, he decided to stay in Beau Fleur and found a perfect bachelor’s cottage house on Abbottsford Road. It was right down the street from the campus where he began as an instructor.
Sam always had a conscience. He always felt sympathetic to other people’s troubles. He also had a great love of nature and animals which, he believed, was inherited from his mother who was a nature photographer. So once moved in, he took note of the preponderance of cats! There were tortiseshells, ruddy reds, blues, goldens, blacks and whites. They were small, tall, old and young; curly eared, straight eared, wide and thin.  It certainly appeared  as though they ran things!
One day, Sam met one of his more interesting neighbors, Magikys Cigany, who happened to live kitty-corner from him.  Maggie, as she was called by most in the neighborhood, was the resident “cat lady”. Yet, by no means as ordinary cat lady.  She was very friendly and introduced a few of the tamer cats to Sam by name. 
He began watching the antics of the Abbottsford Road cats in the evening when he sat on his porch with a glass of wine; or in the morning with his first cup of coffee. He found it was both relaxing and enjoyable to watch the crews comings and goings. One morning, Maggie stopped over to join him for coffee. He asked the inevitable question: why didn’t the cats smell as bad as some neighborhood cats?
Maggie started talking and Sam was captivated. She shared coffee and tea throughout that lovely summer Saturday, and explained the problems feral cats face. She explained to Sam how a program called Trap, Neuter and Release, was taking the country by storm to help quell the overpopulation of the well-meaning cat.
Sam learned about the local TNR group that would go out and literally trap feral cats; take the cat to a sterile clinic and have them neutered or spayed, vetted & ear-tipped. The ear-tipping, in Maggie’s words, was “like a wink that said I’m feral, I’m free and I’m vetted” to the public.
He became intrigued and asked Maggie if he could accompany her on a TNR outing. There was no hesitation on her part. A new recruit!
For Sam, whose closest brush with wildlife lately were the young students he taught, it was great fun. He became that recruit Maggie had hoped for. He learned everything about TNR, joined the trapping sessions, contributed to the cause and felt good about it. He even started helping Maggie with the local Abbottsford colony.  As he learned about the “core” group, as Maggie called the seven cats that seemed the oldest and most in control of the colony, he started a carpentry project and built much needed winter-proofed cat housing for the colonies survival and comfort through Beau Fleur’s frigid winters.
Sam was hooked, by Abbottsford Road, the neighbors. and the cats. He was a teacher in more ways than one. Soon, Sam would find out just how much he meant to the Abbottsford colony and how much they cared for him.  Sam was part of the destiny that would place him in both romance and danger.   Deep inside, he knew something was afoot … and, truthfully, he couldn’t wait!

6/22/11

Brett Jelenti - A Cruel Man

Brett Jelenti was born outside of Beaufleur, in a suburb called Viande, the son of a wealthy lawyer. He was the only son, burdened with the expectations of an extremely ambitious father. Mr. Jelenti expected his son to run his practice when he retired. All of his father's ambitions fell on Brett’s shoulders as Mr. Jelenti began to lose firm grasp on reality. Brett’s father became consumed by alcohol when he was 45 years old. The older man hid his affliction well while he was building the business. Now that it had flourished, the lack of challenge, dealing with a son that was both brilliant and troublesome, and secret financial worries pushed him over the edge. He was hospitalized three times for alcohol poisoning.
It was Brett who found his dad dead of a gunshot wound to his head. When he found him, he sat a moment next to his father’s dead body and smoked a cigarette. He picked up the bottle of Scotch that the old man had left on the kitchen table and took a swig. Then he calmly dialed 911 and left the house.
After the funeral, at the reading of the will, Brett had expected to share quite a bit of money with his mother and sister. Unfortunately, Mr. Jelenti had troubles with the IRS it seemed.  The whys of his suicide became apparent. He had been fighting the IRS for years with no one's knowledge. His practice was in shambles and the IRS was beating down his door. The estate owed money. There was nothing left.
Brett, himself, went out and got drunk that night.  He woke up with a splitting headache, a stranger in his bed and an idea.
He never was too keen on finishing school to become a lawyer. His father had known that. Yet, through his schooling Brett learned he could be quite charming when he needed to. He wasn’t a bad looking guy according to the string of women he dated. After putting these positive traits together, and the fact that he really had no interest in being poor or working a day job, he came up with an alternative occupation.
He would woo rich, older women and steal them blind!  Not a bad job actually. They could afford it. He saw how his mother used to spend his father's money. If anything went missing, the insurance would cover it.  Also, he'd be giving these old wealthy hags a chance at a brief romance in their twilight years. A win-win situation!
So Brett Jelenti began his career as a thief and gigolo. Treating woman well was never one of Brett's strong points. Yet, he learned quickly how to flatter the older of the fairer sex and get into their beds and wallets. Once in their house, he carefully chose what to take. He chose jewelry that was rarely worn, therefore, rarely missed. He actually was shocked at how many of these women just threw huge quantities of gold and jewels in dresser drawers never to be noticed again. He noticed them. 

He became quite good at his occupation and was making a healthy paycheck. One day he read about an older woman who was famous for helping animals in Beau Fleur. He could care less about that. What caught his eye was the rest of the article. She was supposed to have a treasure trove of antiques that had "magical" powers. Well, whether they had magical powers or not, he was sure the old lady had a treasure trove!
So he set his sites on Magikys Cigany, the eccentric old gypsy of Abbottsford Road. Soon Brett would not only learn that some of the artifacts were indeed magical, but, he would also remember his encounter with Maggie and her "friends" - The Abbottsford Cats - for the rest of his life.

6/20/11

"Magikys Cigany" The Gypsy Queen




It seems these days, where humans are, cats must be too. Truthfully, the African Wild Cat was a solitary wild cat that really didn't mix well with humans. Throughout the ages, after luring and domesticating some less leery wild cats, both in Africa and Europe, humans discovered that cats were very helpful with keeping smaller varmints at bay in addition to comforting their humans in times of trouble. 

Unfortunately, humans have also vilified the cat as a being not quite animal, but, belying an intelligence and spirit as deep as the human spirit. This characteristic of the feline was feared by the rabble in the middle ages and, surprisingly, by some of the clergy. That clergy, though, were self-seeking types who were looking for scapegoats for their own misdeeds. The poor cat was a perfect target. Luckily the middle-ages passed, and the cat took her rightful place by the side of cat-adoring humans again. That "specialness" of the feline became one his most endearing traits. The mystery, loyalty and love of a cat was something a human longed for but did not know quite how to handle.

The Abbottsford Cats are quite special, and much of that is because of the symbiosis among these feral throwaways, one special woman, and her special cat. Magikys Cigany, who most called Maggie, was born in the United States, the only granddaughter of Hungarian immigrants. Her grandparents loved the old country completely and taught Maggie all of their ways. They were gypsies. They lived by the Roma gypsy rules. Maggie's grandfather was pure Romani and her grandmother was Hungarian. Caught in a prejudice against her grandfather, her grandparents decided to move to the land of plenty. The land without prejudice - the United States of America. They saved what they could from her grandfather's musical ability on the violin and her grandmother's seamstress skills. They boarded the ship to New York City three months pregnant with with Maggie's mother, Ana. It was both a journey of  trepidation and elation. There was no turning back when they arrived. After deciding to settle in a small city near the Grand Lakes, BeauFleur, they began to take root. They lived in a house full of magic, music and love.  Ana married briefly. Her husband died in a factory accident just a year after marriage. She lived the rest of her days with her parents.  Maggie was born just after her father passed. She was special from the start. Her grandfather was the first to see that Maggie understood the old ways. He would spend hours with her teaching her the magic of the playing cards, geomancy, and music.  Maggie introduced the cats.

She brought home every homeless kitten in the neighborhood. She learned to bottle feed kittens, raise them with love, and find good homes for them. She excelled in school, but, made few friends.  She was plagued by nightmares of a vision that she could not forget in the daylight. Her grandfather finally gave her a book when she was 20 years old.  She read the book and never said a word to anyone about it. Her grandfather died the year after she read it . Her grandmother passed soon after. Maggie took care of her mother in the same house they had all lived in all twenty-two of her years. She had no desire to leave Abbottsford Road. Everything she loved was right there.

After a brief illness, her mother passed too, and Maggie was alone.  She had inherited a great deal of money. Where it came from was a mystery. Her mother had a settlement from the factory for her father's death and invested wisely. But, even that could not explain all the money Maggie inherited. She decided to honor her heritage and the book that she would let no one read. She used some of the money to study the ways of the Romani people. She travelled throughout Hungary, Romania and India and met many relatives. Through these travels, she learned powerful secrets and brought home much magic.  She knew you could not really buy magic, but, many of the lessons she learned from her grandfather and her travels went into designing her house on Abbottsford with magical treasures she carefully bought in the old country. With the wisdom of her grandfather and those she had met in the old country, she began to learn powerful spells of healing.  She wanted to heal. The spells of love, revenge,and such did not interest her. She wanted only to heal. So Maggie lived for 30 years on Abbottsford Road, healing those who called for her.

She  had a brief affair and one daughter; then closed the door on romance. Healing was her destiny.  But, her life was cursed. The curse was spelled out deep in her tattered old book. It was a source of sadness, yet, a source of inspiration to continue her work as a healer of animals on this Earth as long as she was able. Yet, destiny moves at its own speed. Maggie would soon learn that it has a way of creeping up on one when it's least expected.





 "Magikys Cigany" @2012 Kim Yvonne Cady






6/17/11

Yiva - The Spirit Cat


Yiva is a Spirit Cat sworn to uphold the Code of a Spirit Cat. She was born like any other kitten, but, endowed with a sense and need to find a human soul mate. She didn't have far to look. Magikys Cigany (Maggie as her friends called her), was born on Abbottsford Road in the city of BeauFleur raised by her Hungarian parents to respect the ways of the old country. She spoke the language and had the accent her parents had. She was well-versed in the ways of everything gypsy.

A good cat was hard to come by. A good cat was what a gypsy needed to run ahead of her and warn her of danger when on the road. A dog ran in packs and would run off at the sight of a pack in the old country. A good cat stayed close and through the acute feline senses became a protector and comforter to her chosen human.

Maggie knew she needed a good cat. Little did she know how good of a cat she found when she found little Yiva in her nip beds in the back of her house.  Maggie would plant catnip in her garden to add a little spice to the lives of the Abbottsford Cats that ruled the neighborhood. She had taught Sam, a gentle rather non-cat man how to trap, neuter and release a feral cat back into the neighborhood when it was found. By doing this, the cats would keep the mice and rats at bay. They would be fed, watered and protected in the winter with the fabulous cat houses Sam could make. Also, they would not overpopulate the area and keep other felines out.  Yiva, just appeared, looked about six weeks old, and was extremely independent for a kitten that young.

Maggie didn't really find her. Yiva found Maggie. She sat in those cat nip beds and let out the loudest yowl that the neighborhood had heard in years. The kitten was extremely satisfied with herself when the woman came outside and found her. She let her pick her up and immediately demanded food with a frantic continuous yowling of a lessor volume.

It wasn't long before the gypsy began teaching the apt pupil the ways of a familiar.  Yiva was an eager learner.  Maggie was no longer alone with her magic; and Yiva, the Spirit Cat, had fulfilled one of the main decrees of the Code. With the Yiva, Maggie's magic was complete.


6/9/11

"Delikatny" The Healer

Delikatny was born in the desert of Las Vegas. His nest was situated behind a small casino near the dumpster. For a hungry mother cat, heavy with kittens, this was a close-to-perfect spot for a litter.


 One evening, a cocktail waitress saw the scruffy, white cat scamper to the dumpster. Stealthily, she followed her back her kittens. Enthralled, she gave them snacks on her breaks. Lobster, steak, ham, and caviar were standard. The family benefitted greatly from Vegas’ “free buffet” policy. The manager would ordinarily have a litter ousted by the local animal control. But he was sweet on the kind-hearted waitress. She convinced him to leave them alone. In the meantime, she phoned her feline-savvy friend and prepared to find homes for the entire bunch.


The mama had never known people. She was a true feral and wary. The friend knew if she didn’t catch her the first time, there would be no second try. The girl, waitress, and manager set up one trap after stopping the flow of food for a day. They hoped a delectable sardine and lobster bisque would entice this wild thing from the dumpster into their well-concealed cage.

Since Las Vegas is a 24 hour town, the waitress set up a series of sentries to keep an eye on the cage. Coyotes were rampant in Vegas, especially around the casinos. She didn’t want Ivory (as she named Mama) to meet a bad end.

It worked. That morning, mama was throwing herself against the wire cage, hissing and spitting like a snake. They quickly gathered up the kittens, who were barely two weeks old, and hustled the family off to the feral-friendly vet who had the scars to prove it.

The trapping group found a ranch to take the family. Mama had the run of the barn. She hid each of her kits in a fine nest and never ran out of milk. In a month, the three kittens were scampering all over. Two were female and one was male. The waitress decided to take the male. Although slower than the others, she whispered to the manager, “He has a cream color coat that’s to die for.”

Sunny, as she named him, was different than most cats. He never stopped purring. When she'd hold him, he purred louder. At times, he walked in circles and then flop down where he stopped. The vet felt he had some nerve problems, but didn't think it was serious. He pronounced Sunny happy and healthy. She was relieved.

One day, the waitress never woke up. Sunny lay on her legs looking up at her ashen face. He meowed and decided to sleep by her hair. She was so still. He moved to her chest. When the paramedics came in, they pulled him gently off the girl. It was an overdose. Not understanding what 'overdose' meant, Sunny tried to keep these strangers away from his friend. He bit one hand hard. The attendant threw him on the floor and kept working on the girl. She didn't move.

Something in Sunny clicked. She left. She went somewhere else. He could barely smell her anymore. She was gone. He decided to look for her and crept out the half-opened door unnoticed. In the desert heat, he began his quest. He looked for her everywhere in the strange city. He'd never seen so many people and buildings. He kept searching.

One day, a little girl pointed at him. “Daddy, daddy, kitty, kitty”. The daddy could see that this cat had seen better days. Sunny had been walking the Las Vegas Strip for weeks - eating out of dumpsters and drinking from fountains. The man was a good-hearted man. He picked him up and noticed his blue collar. He'd call the number and reunite the cat with his owner.

The family put Sunny in the back of the SUV with litter, food and water. He was beside himself. He knew he had to find the waitress - his only real friend. There was no time for this family. He escaped at the first gas station that they stopped at. The little girl opened the door and he was gone. They searched for him for hours and finally gave up.

Now Sunny was in the real desert. The family was staying at a hotel outside of the city. It was barren and hot. He ran under the gas station then set out to return to the glittering city east of him. It was blistering the next day. There was no water anywhere. Dehydration was catching up to him. He decided to stop for a moment and slept. It was no ordinary sleep. It was the sleep of death.

Then he saw her. His friend! She waved gently and told him to turn back - it wasn’t his time. She explained that when he laid on her, he saved her. She was alive; but, barely. She would be going far away where he couldn’t go, to help her get better. He was a healer. She had always known he was special. Then she disappeared.

The family discovered him half dead on the highway. They also learned the fate of the young waitress. She knew she was in for the fight of her life as she got clean. She was ready to face what she had to.
The family adopted the quiet Sunny and flew him home to BeauFleur. That was fine with Sunny. In BeauFleur, Sunny joined the Abbottsford Cats and was dubbed, Delikayny, for his gentle ways. He became the clowder's Healer.





"Delikatny" The Healer @ PhotoArt by Kim Yvonne Cady
"Sunny Sees" Photograph by Kim Cady @2011

6/5/11

"Zereto" Keeper of the Gardens






Black cats are somehow extra special. Their deep, dark fur represents the stuff of dreams and daring. Yet, unfortunately, when you are born in a litter of five pure black kittens, something has to distinguish you from the pack or you may not make it to a forever home.Black Whiskers was very peaceable. His other black lsisters and brothers were more eye-catching with unusual white whiskers or cute little white eyebrows. People noticed them.

The shelter where Black Whiskers came from was what they call a “high-kill” shelter. This kind of shelter euthanizes quickly. If you aren’t adopted in three days, you are probably on to your next cat life.

It was obvious Black Whiskers didn’t get the memo. He just slept in back of his cage in the darkness while his litter mates danced, showing off their white whiskers to their best advantage. At the end of the adoption blitz, Black Whiskers was just waking up and all alone.

A young woman saw the kitten. She was in her twenties with fabulous black hair and hazel eyes. She looked into the back of the cage and smiled as the kitten yawned and put a tiny paw up to her face. It was the first real movement he had made all weekend. She called out to a hard-working, very tired volunteer. “What happens to him now?” The volunteer just shrugged. The woman knew what that meant. She spoke, “OK - box!”

The volunteer didn’t like this woman’s attitude. After all, she wanted a box to take the kitten home without signing any of the proper papers. It was possible she could be a worse fate for the critter than going back to the shelter. The woman saw the volunteer’s wary look. “I know I’ve got to fill out the forms - bring them on. You see, this kitten isn’t going to go over the Rainbow Bridge for a long time because he met someone who's been looking a long time for a beautiful black cat!”

The mention of the Rainbow Bridge made the volunteer smile a bit. She figured if this woman knew about the legend of the Bridge - the place where animals waited for their companions to meet them after their life on Earth - she couldn’t be all that bad. Black Whiskers probably wouldn’t make it to next week’s adoption blitz anyway.

The woman signed the papers and paid $100.00 for the neutered and vetted kitten. She was giddy knowing she saved another impossible to adopt critter. The kitten looked at her with thankful green eyes. It was like he knew all along there was no need for prancing. A friend was on her way.

Once in the car, she spoke “Black Whiskers? Not for you. You need a special name. Mama will name you. She's good with names!"

So the black kitten who had been ready for a one way trip over the Rainbow Bridge with no one to meet or wait for, became Zereto, the Keeper of the Gardens on Abbottsford Road. It wouldn't be long before he would demonstrate his ability to fade into the night and become the Keeper of Secrets for the Abbottsford Cats.






"Zereto in the Gardens" PhotoArt @2010 Kim Yvonne Cady

5/29/11

"Kiralyno" The Warrior Queen

           

Kiralyno, the oldest of the Abbottsford Cats, was a throwaway kitten despite her excellent bloodlines. As the runt of the litter, she fought for her mama's milk. She would wiggle her body to the teat and suckle until one of the bigger kits got his way. She always managed to get enough to keep her alive and healthy. Kiralyno survived. When of age, she was sold to a small family for fifty dollars as a 'pet quality' kitten with papers.

Kiralyno never felt like a throwaway. She expected everyone to treat her with respect that her bloodlines demanded. The family who had bought her had a four year old boy and a beagle. They thought a kitten would round out their home nicely. Unfortunately for Kiralyno, things went downhill from the start. As an inquisitive kitten, she'd wander all night; yowling at bugs and shadows.
 
She loved the living room curtains. They were made of fine shear cotton. Her little claws fit perfectly in the intricate weaving for the vertical climb to the shelf where all the fine china was kept.

During the day, the little boy would chase her, grabbing her tail and pulling as hard as he could. She was too small to retaliate; so, she hissed and squawked mightily. As soon as he'd let it go, she'd vanish for hours.

The beagle (who really hated cats) laid low for a while, but, when he saw Kiralyno swipe her paw at the little boy - that was it. The beagle snapped almost amputating her misused tail.
 
Through this, the parents continued as though all was going well, until the fateful night when the kitten reached the top of the shelf. She'd been with the family a month and at twelve weeks old was full of energy. That night, after achieving the summit, she daintily pranced all over, dropping one piece of china after another. Most of the pieces made it to the rug intact. Unfortunately, great grandma's tea pot was toast.
 
The next day, Kiralyno was on her way to the "no-kill" shelter. She languished in Pet Place (the local pet store that helped rescues show off their charges) for almost two months. As she got older, her cuddle appeal was diminishing. Not many people wanted a grown cat; especially one so reticent. Two months turned into two years. She would occasionally get a break from the Pet Place cubby cages when she would be fostered by a kindly volunteer.


On weekends, she would be featured in an outdoor venue where people would stick their hands in her cage. She didn't like that. It was embarrassing. She learned to growl at them to keep them back. She was scared, lonely, and shutting down.


She'd lie in her cage when the people left; resigned to the solitary confinement of the no-kill life for a kitty nobody wanted. Finally, a foster stepped up and took her in. It wasn't long before that foster emailed everyone in the rescue that 'She bit her husband and meant it. This cat would never find a home.' Even a no-kill shelter has its limits.


That's when Maggie, a local rescuer, who also belonged to the group, emailed back. "I'll take her!" Kiralyno was in the store after the biting incident. Maggie didn't let the rescue take any time to say no. She scooped up the queen and talked to her firmly. "Kiralyno, you are a great protector now, aren't you? We've been waiting for you. You'll be fine, little lady."

Maggie knew that this cat managed years of loneliness becaue of her strong will. She was not a cuddly cat. She drew immediate respect from the Abbottsford Clowder as the fighter she was. Kiralyno became the Abbottsford Cats' Warrior Queen.




"Kiralyno Stalks" @2013 by KY Cadt



5/8/11

Cica 'The Sensitive'

 

Cica was a tiny brown flash of hunger as she darted out to grab the turkey left by the ladies at the 'Zumbalicious' gym. She lived in the supermarket parking lot after her mother was killed by a car. Her siblings didn't survive long after their mom died. That was for the best. Cica ate bugs and roamed away from their nest whimpering for days.
Finally, a little boy saw her. He grabbed her spike of a tail and pulled her towards him. When the boy's mother saw what he was doing, she yelled loudly, "Jasper, leave that kitten alone!." Well, Jasper knew STOP when he heard it and let go of the kitten's tail with haste .Cica ran into the bushes, her little heart bursting. Then she ran right into a building. When she hit the building she saw stars for a few moments. She watched them twinkle and roll all around. She was too exhausted to catch them, but put one tired, little paw up in a futile attempt. She never felt the touch of a human before. If she wasn't a true feral before, she was now. Not only did this first touch frighten her; it was downright painful!
In front of the Zumbalicious classroom there were many humans; mostly small ones with all manners of skin and hair. They saw Cica one evening and cooed "poor little thing... Marquenta, do you have tuna? We need water too."
Because Cica would come only as far as the median that was between the gym and the parking lot, the ladies took to feeding her in two plastic bowls. When they left, she would run out from under the cars in the lot to the tree planted on the median, to the bowl, grab some turkey or tuna and run back under a car tire!
One day, a new lady joined the Zumba class in full anticipation of joyfully shedding years and pounds over the next few months. Instead, as she zumba'd here and zumba'd there to the infectious music in the room, she spied a small gray and gold critter running back and forth from the median out front to the parked cars. The lady couldn't believe that a kitten that small could maneuver around moving vehicles so well.
"What's that?" she yelled as she zumba'd to the front door pointing at Cica.
"Oh, our little kitten. We would've caught her, but nobody can. She's too quick! She's been out there on and off for months. This is the first time we've seen her for awhile."
The quick-thinking lady, who just happened to be love kittens said "I can get that cat". In a blink of an eye, the lady took some turkey from the dish and made a trail to her lovely new car.
Cica never took her eyes off this creature who was stealing her food. But, Cica noticed she also had more food and it was fresh! So began the cat and mouse game Cica and the lady played as the women tantalized the kitten with one piece of food tossed closer and closer to her car.
The lady noticed the kitten was shaking. She must be so afraid, the woman thought. Cica took the food as the lady spoke in a gentle, soothing tone. A piece was gobbled down, and just a few inches away, another piece would appear. Cica, not knowing for sure what to do, let her stomach lead the way. She followed the trail . Little by little she found herself at the door of the Mercedes. The woman was still as she watched the tiny kitten take that final leap into the car.
With movements as quick as cat, the lady shut the door and watched as poor Cica flew from window to window, claws out, crying hysterically.
"Looks like ya' got her!" one Zumbalicious lady giggled while rolling her eyes, "Now what!".
The woman gave a knowing smile, "I guess that was the easy part!" The ladies all helped the woman get into the car, guarding carefully to be sure the kitten stayed put. All the woman could hear was fsist and HAA! HAA! from the kitten. These were not messages of joy!
As she drove home, the woman began to smell the poop. It was inevitalble. Some things were just too frightening for some critters. She smiled, and then laughed! New car, new kitten! A car can always be washed.. but, a kitten.. they are one of the most precious creatures around.
Little did Cica know, Magikys Cigany, Maggie for short; the Abbottsford cat whisperer was her benefactor. Her life on the streets was over.
She was now an Abbottsford Cat.

"Cica, the Wild One"
Photo Art @2011 Kim Yvonne Cady


5/1/11

"Bravo" The Warrior Prince



Bravo was a sauntering kitten - a large tabby with bad eyesight and a pedigree that would strike fear into any ordinary house cat's heart. He was the only offspring of a backwoods experiment by a trapper who wanted a wild cat for a pet. The trapper had a lynx who stayed nearby for the food the trapper would share. He developed a respect for the young wildcat, but as a true to form backwoodsman, he knew that a lynx’ fur was worth more than her friendship.


But something tugged inside of the grizzled trapper’s heart. He wanted a pet. Not just an ordinary pet - he wanted a cat with attitude. When one of his friend’s male kittens grew to an extraordinary size, he came up with an idea. He would mate this large male with the lynx.

It took awhile for the missy to reach her moment of rapture, but, she finally showed some interest. Since the large tom was the only male available and as the hunter had put together a rather elaborate honeymoon suite for the two - nature took over. The trapper was the proud owner of a clynx as he dubbed the sole kitten that came from the coupling.

Once the kitten was born, the lynx would have nothing to do with him. The male tom ran away and the trapper was forced to find someone who knew how to care for a kitten.

He called him 'Bravo' for the brave and fearsome soul that would take over once his bottle-feeding stage was complete. Unfortunately for the trapper and for Bravo, the kitten turned into a docile, sweet, rather large tabby. He'd thrust his head into a bowl of kibble with relish, knowing the food was there, but unable to adequately gauge where it was. He was considerably farsighted.

The woodsman was disappointed. He didn’t want a docile, bottle-fed tomcat lolling around his trapping grounds. Although fond of the kitten, he knew this cat would be no match for the first hungry coyote that came by.

He asked around to see if anyone wanted to buy a real-to-life clynx. There were few takers. When a prospective buyer came to see the kitten, he would head -butt the fellow and act like a perfect gentleman. The trapper was embarrassed. He put Bravo in his truck and drove to the city. He figured someone would take this friendly cat in. At a local hospital, he placed food and water in the bushes and patted Bravo one last time. "Good luck ya old housecat. Why ain't ya a real fighter?" With that, he left the sleepy cat and sped off.


Bravo didn’t fret. He just stretched out under the bush taking in the sun that leaked through the leaves. Soon he fell asleep. Little did the trapper know what dreams the laid-back tomcat had that day. As his lynx blood began to stir in his nine month old body, Bravo felt his mother’s ancient lines calling.
When he woke, the sun was down. Bravo left the bushes to see where he was. Smells were all different and the trapper was nowhere in sight. As he ventured out, he heard another cat yowling. The large orange tomcat had been watching him from the other side of the expanse of grass. He felt something rise inside him as the tom screamed a challenge. The orange cat was many years older, wiser, and more experienced in the ways of battle. He was used to the younger toms leaving his territory with haste as he challenged them. Bravo didn't back down.

Actually, Bravo would've backed down if he wasn't confused about the whole situation. The tom walked closer in an arc with his head lower than his body, growling. Bravo knew things were not looking good. His wild ancestors whispered to him that he could win this battle.

When the orange did not get the respect he assumed, he ran at the large kitten. The cats circled each other growling louder with each step. With one quick lunge, the orange had Bravo pinned to the ground and bit the back of his neck causing a large wound. The tom turned triumphantly and trotted away without looking back.
Bravo ran to the bushes for cover. He felt a sharp pain in his shoulder. By morning, the bite was becoming a festering wound and much more painful. His eyes were closing when he saw a small, female cat staring at him. She began running around him furiously. Moments later he felt her tongue on his shoulder. The wound was gone and he was no longer on the grassy expanse. She looked at him with compassion. "Bravo, you are the brave one, aren't you? As a warrior, you must learn when not to stand your ground!" She smiled. "Afterall, you're still a kitten."

The Abbottsford Cats welcomed the newcomer with open paws. With his fierce bloodlines and honorable ways, he became the protector they'd been seeking - their Warrior Prince.









"Bravo Through the Fire'@2011 KY Cady


4/3/11

"Ember" The Leader (from 'The Abbottsford Cats')


Ember was a natural leader from the day he was born. If he'd been a child, he would've been in the corner often! Everything amazed him - the curtains, kitchen table, bees (ouch!), ants, very high bookshelves and best of all - dresser drawers that were filled with shredding material.His life took an unfortunate turn when his human found out she was going to have a baby. She didn't understand how warm and loving Ember would've been with the new child. All she saw was a cat. If he was shredding pajamas now, who knew what he'd do to a baby. She never tried to learn and he never was given the chance to prove that he would've been no trouble at all.

She took the white kitten speckled with black to the local animal control. She said goodbye and once in her car, forgot him as thoughts of her new arrival filled her head.
She had left him at a horrible place. He was put in a bare wire cage with a small litter container, kibble and water. His rambunctious nature mixed those substances together quickly. He wondered what happened to his warm place in the sun on his special chair as he now sat in his own pee. It was a very difficult time. Hands would change his food and water once a day. He tried to rub them, but, they came and went too fast.

One day those hands picked him up and he was placed in a cardboard box. It wasn't a gentle transport. He was set in a very stuffy truck with other cats meowing loudly. Nothing was going right, although he was hoping that he was headed back home.
The truck stopped and he watched through the few holes in the box as he was put into another metal cage. The hand was rough; practically throwing him in.

When he woke the next day, he walked to the front of the cage and cried out. What he saw had to be a nightmare. One of his kind lay upright on a table with a metal contraption sitting on top of her head. Her eyes weren't focused, but glazed and in pain. Her entire body was fitted like a glove in a plastic blue container. She couldn't move.
Ember stared at the kitty for a long time. She couldn't turn her head, but he heard her cry. She was unable to think clearly, but she shared one thought, "Help."

The next day she was gone. Nothing remained. The hand was reaching for him this time. He bit that hand hard. "Ow, you -" He didn't wait to hear the rest. This was a small laboratory and there was a boy smoking at the open doorway. Jumping out of the cage, he ran through the open door as fast as he could, away from the smells of horror. He ran and ran; finally wiggling into a storm drain. Although he had grown quite a bit, his terror gave him the energy to get through. Loud men with nets chased him. He walked through the sewers as carefully as he could towards a tiny glint of light.

He thought of the little cat in the lab and wished she was with him, so he could rub her beautiful orange fur and let her know everything would be alright. He continued to walk toward the glint. The rats were bigger than he was in the sewers. He gave them a wide berth. Finally, he made it to the light. As he snuck closer, a man with a net announced his presence. They found him!

Although he was exhausted, scared and hungry, he turned back and lay down mid-way. He'd rather die than go back to where he came from. As his eyes closed, he heard a voice, "Stay still, little one." It was a gentle voice; one of his own kind. He opened his tired blue eyes and saw another light. It surrounded him with warmth. He saw the kitty that had been in the lab. She was running with others through the light - whole and free. The voice continued, "You have survived what few survive on Earth; you will come with me."

When Ember woke, a little tortoiseshell cat was bathing him in kisses. He lay in flowers under the sun. She spoke once before he fell asleep again. "Ember, you have seen the worst of mankind; now you will see the best. You thought only of another when you were cold and tired. You will be a great leader."

The gentle housecat who escaped a fate worse than death, became the leader of the Abbottsford Cats. He guides them through trouble and trials with his strong and knowing ways.
             
          




"Ember's Night" @2011 Kim Yvonne Cady

3/27/11

"Shandor" The Starkitty


Shandor was born on a farm.  After a short but enjoyable life with his mom and sister, he was sold for a few dollars at a local flea market. Now, many of the peddlers at these small flea markets have their rules about selling. Yet, among the legitimate lurk a sordid crew of not-so-nice guys. They buy live animals to sell to owners of kennels who supply laboratories that test on animals. Its the very dark side of the "happy-go-lucky" flea market atmosphere.

Luckily, when Shandor was brought to the flea market to "find his forever home", he wasn't approached by this element.  He was picked out by a young girl who felt his loneliness. As most of us know, kittens are vulnerable. As all young things, they trust completely and they expect warmth, food and protection. Generally, a kitten will stay with their mom for at least eight weeks. Shandor was eight weeks when he was taken to the flea market - just starting to eat a kibble.

Destiny has it's way with us all. Shandor was no different.  The Sphere of Remel opens with this rather unusual cat's first encounter with humans apart from his farm. Animals face so many dangers when passing through the human world.  We follow him as he walks through a twirling menajerie of cats; cruelty and kindness; earthly barriers and magic. Shandor is the Starkitty!




:"Shador's Star Walk" @2011 Kim Cady

3/26/11

"Kemeny" The Wise One


I was named by Magigys Cigany, the Gypsy of Abbottsford Road. The name has Hungarian roots as a tribute to Magigys' ancestors. It literally means "hard". Hard is an apt description of my early life. I was found on the streets as a kitten with my brother. One day, you see, our mom never came back. Even as a kit, I had gorgeous long, silver fur which didn't go unnoticed.
Unfortunately, it caught the eye of some young, nasty humans. They plucked me out of my bed and swung me around their heads by my tail. I heard my bones crack, but, was so startled I felt nothing but terror. Two older boys passing by protested. Being bigger than the biggest in the roving gang, they took me away from the others. I know I would've died right there if those two hadn't spoke up. They found my brother and we had a new home.

The boys' father and mother were teachers who had come from a country they no longer could live in because of humans like the cruel gang that found me. This kind family built a place for us in their garage. It was wonderful to feel safe. Still, there were new dangers ahead. The family had always let animals roam as they wished, which I loved.

One day I was sleeping in the sunshine at the side of the road. A neighbor hit me with his car and didn't even notice. The boy's father saw me whimpering, trying to crawl. After a trip to the veterinarian (a place I suggest no one go to but the very ill), they found I broke a leg. The leg healed well. My luck held out.

As time went on, I realized couldn't compete with my older brother and the other bigger cat for food. You see, I was tiny. I just couldn't get enough mice to make up for the kibble that the others gobbled down before I could.

It was time. My leg and tail had mended. I felt restless and hungry. The dark woods behind our home attracted me. If I could make it there - I'd make it anywhere. If not, well, I had little chance of thriving with the others cleaning out the food bowl! After one long look back at the kind family that saved me, and a moment watching my brother playing in the garden, I leapt into the trees to begin my next journey.

I didn't know what I was in for. The first night, they were all around me. Their slobbering, drooling hunger surrounded me. High pitched yowls filled my ears as they ran from bush to bush searching for me. I climbed a small tree. Like a squirrel. I leapt across to another. They couldn't smell me up there. I saw their dark eyes - mere slits of silver reflected by the moonlight. Many nights I avoided them by staying in low branches. When I was asleep, I almost fell out of the trees. Hanging by a paw is embarrassing. Now it could be deadly. That tactic was no longer a choice.

I was exhausted. I'd been in the woods for almost two weeks. I lost so much weight; I looked like a kitten again. I caught bugs and an occasional vole; but, it wasn't enough to keep me going.

One night, a coyote's rancid smell was on my trail. I turned. He looked me right in the eyes and cried a piercing scream. I ran as fast as my tired legs would carry me. The monster was so close, his breath felt like fire on my tail. I took a quick turn. He barely realized it before I disappeared. He stopped and looked around. I had run headfirst into a fresh mound of coyote dung under a dense bush. This was not what I planned. But, I was so tired, I couldn't move. The creature was salivating on top of me, but, couldn't smell me. All he smelled were other coyotes. The dung hid my feline perfume.

That's how I survived the next few days. I'd roll in coyote dung whenever they came near. They would yip as one and gallop right past as I hid in the bushes covered in muck. One problem solved!

I still was not doing well and losing strength. Then came the morning I'll never forget. I thought I'd lay down for awhile. It was more than sleep that was nipping at my tail this time; it was complete surrender - a sleep of death. I was spent.

A tortoiseshell cat appeared before me. I thought I was dreaming. She looked at me and said, "You are a Wise One. By taking the hardest path, I heard your cries of desperation. Come with me." I rode with this beautiful cat in the Sphere and found myself with all my needs met on Abbottsford Road.

Well, that's my story. I'd better go now. There's a kitten who's not able to get at the kibble when the bigger cats are around. I'm going to teach her a few tricks!



PhotoArt by Kim Yvonne Cady "Kemeny;s Journey Begins" @2011