We lost our sweet little cat Spooky today. For nearly a decade this tiny feral cat has been a presence in the barn. I really don’t know where she came from, she just appeared as a young kitten, as happens on farms. When I couldn’t catch her in a have-a-heart for spaying, I football tackled her in the barn aisle wearing a pair of leather gloves which she bit right through. I hung on, determined not to have any reproducing cats in my barn, and when she returned from the vet and we opened the door of the cat carrier, she rocketed out of it flying through one of the windows of the indoor and landing near X before disappearing into the back barn. I told Billy we would never see her again

 About 3 weeks later she surfaced, and earned her name. Since then, little Spook has been a frequent flyer through the indoor, up the barn aisle, or up the arena wall into the hay loft. Over the years she picked some people who she allowed into her little world. Some who could pet her, and a couple whom she truly loved, most specifically William Seaman and Nancy Pulliam Weis. Spook would flirt with these two any time they appeared in the barn aisle, and cuddle up with them at any opportunity. Nancy kept cat treats in her tack box, she was so fond of Spook. I could pet her, but only if she was eating, however she was my escort to the manure pile, following me when I pushed the wheelbarrow and often talking to me. She loved being told how pretty she was. One winter she disappeared for 2 weeks. Billy was distraught, he searched and called, day after day, and kept thinking he heard faint meows. Betsy and I heard it too, and we found her trapped under a stall floor in the back barn, the result of an ice heave. Billy cut a rescue hole with a saws-all, and Spooky knew. She and Billy had a very strong bond ever after. She lived her little life in a very small range, of maybe 300 yards. She slept on Nancy’s saddle, every night. She had a role here, and I will miss her terribly. 

She developed pad dermatitis about a month ago, we thought she had a crush injury to her paw. It didn’t improve, and we finally took her to Heather Christian and Patty Ayers Starer who worked very hard to treat her. She lived her last 2 weeks in our house, something Billy and I never thought would happen, but she accepted treatment with grace and gratitude. We are heartbroken that although the dermatitis seemed to improve, Spooky did not. She passed away today in her sleep after being comatose for the past two days. I had a vivid dream about her last night, robust and back to her normal weight, rubbing up against Billy and I. I think she is now crouching at the base of the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for someone she loves and trusts, as they are all still here. She might be waiting awhile, but a little shadowy black kitty is going to come running to her people and bring that wonderful feeling of joy that a caring human gets from an unusual and extraordinary animal that has chosen them

junPo© Sue Cook 2015