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 Beaufleuve’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!