New Mexico's Pet ResourceWINTER 2005


by Richard Fagerlund

Last November I came home from work one afternoon and there was a small, gray, long-haired cat hiding behind one of my bushes.  He was matted with dirt and hungry.  I gave him a can of cat food.  Every day for the next month or so, he would be behind the same bush, only venturing out when I came home.  I would continue to feed him behind the bush.  Eventually he would come on the porch and eat with my male cat, Buddy.  Finally he wandered in the house and ate in the kitchen with Silvia, my female calico.

For the next few weeks, he would come in every day to eat and take a nap. One day he jumped on the table and just sat there.  I got a pair of scissors and cut all the matting out of his hair and he never moved a muscle.  He licked me when I was done and he went back outside. 

For most of the next year he (I named him Fluffy) came by every day to eat, nap and just hang out in the yard.  He would go across the street to eat there as well.  During the summer, he shed his long hair and he was a beautiful cat.  He knew it as he proudly walked around all over the yard.  A few times I left him inside with Silvia and Buddy when I went to work, and they all got along fine.  Fluffy was a member of the family, although he loved to go outside and roam the neighborhood.

This past spring, Holly and I adopted a great little dog named Sacajawea and we trapped and kept six feral kittens.  Later in the year we adopted another great dog, a dalmation named Arson (which we changed to Dakota). We have a wonderful family with Sacajawea, Dakota, Silvia and Buddy plus our kittens Mukki, Pukki, Nukki, Spooky, Buttons and Pumpkin.  Fluffy was also a member

of the family, but he didn’t come in the house as much.  He was nervous around all the other animals.  Still he came by every day or night to rest, play and eat.  He was and will always be a blessing in our lives.

A week or so ago, Fluffy was visiting the house on the corner where he also went to eat.  Unfortunately a coyote was killing the chickens at that house and apparently Fluffy encountered the animal.  I always thought Fluffy was indestructible and smarter than the average coyote, but I was wrong and Fluffy paid with his life because of my shortsightedness.

If you have a cat that you love, even a semi-feral outside cat, then you need to make room for him in your house, or find a home for him, and you need to get her/him spayed or neutered.  Please don’t let your cats or dogs run loose at night.  There are many dangers they can encounter besides coyotes and they are not invulnerable.

We will never forget Fluffy and we will make sure he didn’t lose his beautiful life in vain.  We will never leave a cat or dog to their own devices again if we can prevent it.  If we can’t give them a home, we will do everything we can to find them one.

We will miss Fluffy and we will never forget him. He will always be a part of our home and have a place in our hearts.

Richard Fagerlund, Entomologist, University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
Cell: (505) 553-6660
HOME ADDRESS: P. O. Box 1173 Corrales, NM, 87048
Home phone (505) 922-1355

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