16/04/2020 by ChrisJamesAuthor
I do not know what it is about the plot of land I live on that attracts the local stray and abandoned animals, but they always seem to show up here and adopt us. I’ll give the history of these animals below, but first, here is the new arrival. The Daughters have named her Bonnie, which they adapted from ‘bony’, because under that dusty pelt is an underfed, scraggy spine and rib-cage, and not much else apart from a purr like a power drill.
Bonnie turned up late last week from god knows where, miaowing and mewling in the old house at the back of our land, fearful of any advance. The Daughters went to work, leaving out food in a bowl and some water. It took Bonnie a few days, but finally today she deigned to be picked up and cuddled because, you know, sooner or later we all need a cuddle.
Bonnie is a tabby like Wafer, which the Daughters decided to rescue last summer while we were on vacation in Slovakia. We estimate Bonnie to be about six months old, older than Wafer when brought him back to Warsaw:
But the first animal to adopt us by turning up in our garden without an invitation was a grey cat we called Susie, who arrived in 2007 in exactly the same manner as Bonnie has just done.
Susie had a litter of four kittens the following year, only one of which survived to cat-hood, before she died of old age in 2015. Her surviving kitten grew into the notorious Biter, and he really was a murderer: nothing that came into the garden was safe. Here are some photos of Biter when he caught and ate a red squirrel in 2013. And he ate all of it except the tail while I hovered around him taking these photos:
Biter disappeared suddenly and without a trace in the early spring of 2014, likely caught by a fox from the local forest. Given the number of animals he killed, it was perhaps fitting that he should also have been preyed on. But what a cat he was:
One day in September 2011, Crazy the dog turned up in our garden, again totally out of the blue. Like Susie, she also managed to get stuffed and have a litter of pups about which I wrote a comedy book in 2012. She is still with us, a little slower but still the same total bat-shit crazy nutcase.
If there is one thing we have to do with Bonnie, it is get her spayed before all the boy cats in the area realise there’s a new girl in town…
To end, here are Susie and Biter in 2013, and one more of Biter’s numerous victims.