I have a new little girl to tell you about. She’s a tiny little thing, with huge, suspicious eyes. She’s dark gray with black stripes. I’ve named her Ming Li (because, well, we’ve never had an Asian cat before <3). She can’t be much over 1, if that old – but she already has kittens. I haven’t seen her kittens yet, but I see the signs on… rather under… Ming Li.
The thing is, I can’t touch her! She’s the first cat, among thousands it seems, that is too timid to actually allow contact. Every other cat that has ever sauntered into my life has come right up to me and soaked up the petting, hugging, cooing, and all of the things we extreme animal lovers put them through. Ming Li is extremely timid and scared, however. I don’t push it, of course, because I think a scared or startled animal is one of the saddest things on earth. This is why I don’t have a picture of her to post along with this article. I’m certain that having her picture taken would send her straight up a tree. For weeks.
She comes into our yard 4 or 5 times a day to eat and drink. I try to catch her arrival and meet her with turkey, chicken, fish – sometimes even cat food. See, I can be normal when I put my mind to it. She’s coming closer and closer to me and it’s my huge, huge, huge hope that she’ll let me pet her in a day or two. Do you have any idea how much I’d love to hold her?!?!
For now, we’ll do what she needs and wants for us to do. I put the food down (with baby talk that years of daughters, cats, and dogs has allowed me to perfect) – then I sit quietly as she eats. Yesterday, I sat on the patio watching birds while she ate – then I glanced over and saw that she was lying on the ground, not far from her empty plate. She was watching the birds, too, but I knew she was keeping an eye on me at the same time. It was like she was thinking, “No funny stuff lady with the food.” So the lady with the food simply sat perfectly still.
I heard something and looked around, thinking that Bo or Svenn were sneaking up on the scene – which would have been disasterous. Then I realized what it was I was hearing: Tiny little Ming Li was purring. This was, I’m certain, the closest she’d ever been to a human or, for that matter, to any semblance of love. Something that my other cats practically drown in daily was completely new to Ming Li.
It was, at once, very precious and rewarding – yet also sort of sad. When the tears showed up in my eyes, I honestly wasn’t sure if they were tears of joy or sadness. I didn’t ask them. I just sat still, enjoying the type of moment that seems to make the world stand still.
Ming Li decided that it was time to go, after all, her baby or babies needed her. So she took off across the yard and under the fence to the empty property next door. She lives in the barn, apparently.
I know there would be tricks to employ that would allow me to touch her sooner – such as holding the food in my hand and making her come to me to get it. But that would be selfish. All I want is for her to be comfortable and to feel safe.
She did something else that nearly choked me up. She’s obviously accustomed to finding her meals in trash. I set a bag of trash out by my van to haul off a few days ago. When I went out to haul it away, I noticed Ming Li beside the bag. She had torn a little hole in the side and was enjoying spaghetti for lunch. I pointed out the dish of dry cat food, as a reminder that she didn’t have to do that anymore.
She is such a little doll, I can’t wait until I can get pictures of her. Mostly, of course, I just want to get my hands on her!