My mistress strokes my back and scratches between my ears. Setting me back onto the floor, she shoos me away. I know she doesn’t want me to go very far from her, so I settle down for a quick nap. Lying near her chair.
I enjoy the tease of the rocking chair. Often, on cool evening like this, she will strike a fire and we will while away the hours with her rocking back and forth while I swish my tail back and forth. The dance of the burning logs in tune with our dance of tail to rail. I am the master of that dance.
She has a book on her lap. A large scrap book filled with pictures and words. She slowly turns the page. I can see she is searching for something specific. I sigh, laying my head on my paws, curling my tail around me.
My mistress rises and walks to the stove. Picking up a large wooden spoon she stirs the pot. All the while, mumbling about a blue moon.
It all started long ago, shortly after I came to live with her. We sat on the front porch, just learning to dance, watching the night bugs impale themselves on what she called her bug zapper. We had recently made a deal, I would keep the rodents and skunks away from her home and she would give me a cozy place to stay inside when I wanted it. It seemed an equitable transaction to me.
Making certain the perimeter is well marked, and catching the stray vagrant, beefed up my reputation as guardian”. Not to be trifled with. Do not attempt to sneak inside the distinct walls of this domain. Even the birds asked permission to gather berries and bugs. I do not take my responsibility lightly. I much prefer hearth and home to hiding in a hollow of a tree against the winds of winter!
As I was saying, we were whiling away a few hours on the porch, lazily nodding to the sound of the cicadas when a pick-up truck rumbled into view. We don’t get many people driving down our dirt road. Sometimes a young couple will think they have stumbled upon “the giggly weeds”, but not too many people venture this far away from the town.
We both watched as the truck came to a sliding halt, backed into a small area to turn around, opened a side door, then sped off back the way it had come. They left something behind. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, my tail swished fervently and I began to hiss. I warned my mistress. She took no heed. Instead she rose from her chair and started running to the turn-around.
Standing there, sobbing their eyes out with bewilderment, stood three little people. I believe you call them children. Someone’s unwanted offspring. Lucky for them, they were simply dropped off in what their parents thought was just the woods. Unlike many of my kindred, who are shoved into a burlap sack and tossed from the nearest bridge. And you humans wonder why small cats don’t like water.
My mistress gathered the three children into her arms as she, too, began to weep. The infant couldn’t even walk yet. (at this stage, I can’t tell what sex they are without rolling them over) Human babies take so long to mature. The tallest of the three was a young boy. I would guess his age about four or five years old. The middle child was female, perhaps two. The three had been tossed aside as unwanted garbage.
Walking to the small huddle, I bent myself inward and rubbed on the legs of the boy. He stopped crying long enough to bend down and stroke my soft fur. Attempting to pick me up, he staggered and dropped me. I was very glad and scampered out of reach. The infant began to wail. Mistress ushered them all into our home. She quickly reached to the shelf above her small refrigerator, moved some boxes aside, there at the back of the shelf was the prize she was looking for. A baby bottle.
Using rags as diapers, altering old clothes to cover all three of the children, Mistress was busy for quite some time. I had not felt “happy” emitting from her in a very long time.
The children were warm to snuggle up with during the night. I kept a watchful eye on the mice and rats that would attempt a raid on our kitchen. They laughed as Mistress put me in swaddling as if I were a baby, and while sitting on the porch swing, would allow me to be held by the two older children. All the while, she would be rocking the infant to sleep.
Mistress seemed ecstatic to have these three little ones living with us. The only drawback was the note.
Folded neatly, in bold printed lettering, was a note tucked into the infants swaddling. The note read “I will be back to gather the children, upon the Blue Moon.”
My mistress rises and walks to the stove. Picking up a large wooden spoon she stirs the pot. All the while, mumbling about a blue moon. It’s been six short years, and with every blue moon, Mistress worries the stove pot, her eyes fervently darting to the drive. Loathe to have anyone driving down it.