The Blog is dedicated to a feral cat named Socks, who forever touched our hearts. May her memory live on as you follow the journey of her life.
The first time I saw you was from our kitchen door window, you were with your mother and brother. I would guess that you were around 4 to 6 weeks old. I remember calling Scott and Shelley to come and see the kittens. We had named your mother “Killer” a few years back. She was always prowling around for a bird or bunny in the back yard, so the name seemed a perfect fit. In hindsight, we overlooked the fact that as a feral cat, it was her only means of survival.
Shelley wanted to name you both - I said call them “Dead” and “Deader”. I was not a cat lover and did not want cats hanging around the yard. Your brother was a beautiful tiger gray stripe and you were a mix of calico colors, hair medium length and dishevelled. I thought you were the ugliest kitten I had ever seen. Kittens were suppose to be cute. You were not. You were downright ugly.
Mama (we re-named Killer) would bring you and your brother around just about every day. You would all walk around the back yard and lay under the tree and play. Mama took excellent care of you both. Shelley picked out your names, you were Socks and your brother was Elvis. If you seen us come out you would be scared and run away.
The summer of 2010 was very hot and dry. Mama would jump up on the bird bath in the back yard for a drink of water, you kittens would try but just could not quite make the jump yet. Shelley convinced me to put a bowl of water out for you both. I really didn’t want you hanging out around here or getting dependent on us, but I agreed to do so since it was so hot. About a week later I put out a bowl of a mix of Rice Krispies and Cheerios. I guess you both were starting to grow on me. Next shopping trip I picked up cans of Friskies.
Eventually you both started to come in the back yard on your own, you were like two peas in a pod. Where there was Socks, Elvis was not far behind. We knew that we had become your meal ticket, that is why you both showed up around the same time every evening - waiting to be fed. Eventually Elvis stopped eating, we thought at first that he was just fussy. Then we thought that maybe he was sick. Then one day, Elvis stopped coming. You would come by yourself for dinner. We figured that Elvis must have died, and felt so bad for you. You were always together and now…you were alone.
Fall came and you continued to come for dinner each day. Usually we would come home and find you on the side porch or under the “Angry Tree” as Shelley would call it. If you were not there, it was only a matter of time from you hearing the car pull up in the driveway before you would mosey on over. Occasionally you would get side tracked and we would have to call you. Funny thing, the ugly duckling was turning into a beautiful swan. Scott said you were still ugly, that I was only seeing what I wanted to see. I didn’t think so. You were the most beautiful calico cat there ever was!
One of the worst winter’s I can remember arrived a lot earlier than it should have and just wouldn’t leave. We had so much cold weather, snow and ice. We felt so bad for you. There was nothing we could do but offer you a warm meal and fresh bowl of water each day. I remember the night Scott went out in the barn to make you a house out of a rubbermaid container so that you would have a place to escape from the elements. You sat there and watched him build it, but never did go in it. You prefered to go to the “treehouse” as we called it, a menagerie of shrubbery and bushes where all the feral cats gathered and could go so deep within it and never be seen.
We prayed that you were strong enough to survive the winter. Although you were still very much feral, we were slowly winning your trust and knew it was only a matter of time before we could get close enough to touch you.