Monday, April 28, 2008

H is for Harley

Harley is my sweet girl who will always be a little feral. When I got her in November 2002, she was about a year and a half old and was living with a pack of feral cats in the parking lot of a friend's parking complex. Harley, then called Snickers, was the tamest of the bunch, but that's not saying much.

H is for Harley

Charlotte had died very suddenly the previous month, and I had decided wait a few months before getting another cat. I was living with my sister, and her cats were there so I didn't think I needed a cat. Then Cheryl brought me a picture of "Snickers."

One of these days I'll find the picture and scan it!

She was a little thing, mostly dark tortoiseshell, with one tan paw, and half a tan face. She was standing outside Cheryl's doorway, eating cat chow. I agreed that this cat needed a home, and it should be with me.

When Harley came to my house, I put down a litterbox and food and water. She sniffed at the litter and the food, then took a drink of water. Then she drank and drank and drank. I realized that although Cheryl and others fed the feral cats, they hadn't put out fresh water. In all likelihood, Harley had never tasted fresh water before and it broke my heart to think of her drinking out of hot, dirty puddles. Harley ignored the food for a couple days, but she loved the water!

Another thing she loved was the bed. After several hours exploring the bedroom, she jumped up on the bed and walked around. Very slowly, she lowered herself -- it was almost like she sank down into the mattress. It was obviously much more comfortable than the pointy Texas grass.

And finally -- she also loved Simon. My sister's other cat, Schuster, was not happy to see another cat, but Simon likes making new friends and he welcomed her. It got even more interesting a couple weeks later when Harley went into heat! Simon had, of course, been fixed for years and was obviously confused by Harley's prancing and howling. It was absolutely hilarious. Every once in a while, it seemed like Simon had a tiny notion of what she wanted, but of course he had no way of acting on it!

Harley has gotten used to being an indoor cat and, in fact, makes no effort to go outside. Like many formerly feral cats, she worries about where her next meal might come from, so she eats too much. She won't sit on my lap and hates to be picked up. But she sleeps on the bed at night and visits me in the bathroom every time I go in. She'll never be a lap cat, but she purrs (like a Harley!) and grooms my hair and I think she likes living me with, too!



Anonymous said...

I know she loves living with you! She is obviously very much enjoying her creature comforts. :)

Pretty girl. CUTE TOESIES!

Bezzie said...

Oh my god! I never made that connection with feral cats and food. This would explain why my parents' cats are always so chunky and mine never have been "real" feral cats (one was born in a barn...).

Harley looks like a good squish!! (That's my word for cat hug).

Chris said...

Awww! She sounds so much like May, actually - May has only recently decided that she likes to be petted. And May ALWAYS joins me in the bathroom - usually with a fetch toy for me to throw.

Deb said...

Oh - such a sweet rescue story. Licks and purrs to Harley from Tigger and Sammy (my kitties).

Amysatx said...

ahhhh...what a sweet story! It was great seeing you last week!

Anonymous said...

She is such a pretty girl. My last kitties did not like to petted or picked up very much, and they were not feral, just weird, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps THAT's why Zara always claims to be hungry....
she may have been feral...(humane societies kitties -- you never can tell).
But I got her young, so she likes to be pet ... and pet... and pet... and held... (man she's annoying sometimes-- but I wouldn't change a thing).