Monday, August 29, 2011
Almost every evening when I go to the pond our barn cat, Harley, is there to greet me. Some days he's lounging on the old picnic table, sometimes he's in one of the chairs. He always wants some petting and his motor is always running. In fact, that loud motor Harley has is part of the inspiration behind his name.
I got Harley from a local feral cat rescue when he was just a kitten. One of his ears had been clipped when he was neutered. They do this so they can identify feral cats that have already been caught, fixed and released. The rescue folks were afraid no one would adopt a scrawny scruffy black kitten. When I picked him up at his foster home I figured he was about the ugliest kitten I'd ever laid eyes on. Harley's ears were to big for his head and his fur stuck straight out in all directions. Don came up with his name because he had a big motor (purr), was dressed in black and very scruffy...just like a biker dude on a motorcycle!
Anyway, Harley proceeded to grow into a huge gorgeous fluffy lazy love bug. He was about a year old when we moved to the farm and couldn't run more than a few feet without huffing and puffing. He rarely went outside, preferring to stay in the comfortable house where he didn't have to travel far to get a bite to eat!
Seven years later it's hard to imagine that Harley is now an outdoor cat that hates to be inside. One day he decided to move to the barn and there he's stayed ever since. He ambles down to the pond to say hello and he comes to the house at night to have a can of wet cat food in the garage when Don comes home from work. Most of the time Harley is at the barn earning his keep by napping on a bale of hay or surveying his kingdom from the barn loft door.
If it's true that cats have nine lives, then Harley has a lot more living to do. Best I can figure he's only used three of those lives so far...one as a feral kitten in foster care, one as a spoiled house cat and one as a barn cat. That's a comforting thought because I hope mellow old Harley will be around for a long time to come!