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Hunting Rae

Picture this tiny mite grown up and thinking she’s a lynx.

She’s grown up, all right, but a lynx she ain't.

This is Rae, a rescue I found on the frontage road of a major highway in San Antonio. Yeah, someone dumped this three-week old kitten more than two years ago and I stopped traffic to grab her. Yeah, don’t get me started. San Antonio’s bloody attitude about unwanted pets.

Grrr! Anyway, Rae (named for Rae Dawn Chong, Tommy Chong’s gorgeous daughter), likes to leave my house in the morning and venture into the wilds of the pasture. Its filled with all kinds of interesting things: rabbits, lizards, birds, mice, and of course, snakes. She brought me a rat last week and was astounded when I wouldn’t let her in the house with it. All my cats that go outdoors come to me when I call, especially at dinner time. Which, ahem, I time to bring cats in. Cats are slaves to their stomachs for that delicious Friskies pate! Yummy!

Oh, Rae will come when I call…only when I venture out with a flashlight and walk around the mesquite, grass, cow pats, trees and the landlord’s manure spreader dump. I’m thinking she does that so I’ll prove my love for her. Just as Frankie climbs on the roof just so I’ll prove my love for her by getting out the ladder to bring her down. But that’s another blog.

I have my protector with me, as I shouldn’t go venturing out alone after dark. Z is my protector, bodyguard and shield against the night’s racoon terrors. He’s another rescue; caught about a month before I found Rae, my second successful trapee. But I digress. Z, a rather large grey and white cat, trots along with me, talking all the while. I listen politely, in between calling “kitty, kitty, kitty”. He’s probably telling me all about his day, or the interesting scent he just discovered, or how he really doesn’t like going this far from home. He’s a talkative cuss. He also reminds me of Tom Selleck: has a voice that just doesn’t quite suit his size.

I hear you ask: “Why don’t you leave her to come in on her own? Cats will.”

I ask myself the same question. Sometimes she comes home on her own, and sometimes she doesn’t. She might think she’s a lynx, but if she weighs five pounds, she ate the rat. She’s not very big, and I worry about her. She’s so damn little, even for an adult. She does stay out overnight and I always pray to God to watch over her. If Z stays out all night, I don’t worry. He’s big enough to frighten the lynx. Besides, Z stays close to the house. Rae prowls the dark where the owls, the foxes and the coyotes hunt.

I have my flashlight, peering into the dark for glowing eyes. Glowing eyes in the dark gave me the shivers when I was a kid. Now green eyes in the dark mean I finally got that rascal’s attention. I listen to birds I disturb, watch rabbits hop away from me, not much afraid of either Z or me, but I spy no green eyes or a calico cat with the neon colors.

Of course, when she finally deigns to come to me, or to Z, I’m never sure which, she’s so proud of herself, her tail sticks up like a bloody stick. After pouncing on Z, she runs for home, happy that her mommy loves her enough to venture into the dangerous wild to find and bring her home. She beats me to the house, runs inside and eats her dinner among everyone else.

Then starts the next day all over again.

Damn cat.

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