Monday, March 31, 2008


Ken Harris © 2006

Most of the times in our lives, animals simply happened to us. They came, they stayed with us, and they left, living their lives and enriching ours. Leah was that way. I don’t remember how she showed up but she was one of the nicest persons, cat or human, I’ve ever met.

She was a long-haired calico, totally uninterested in grooming herself. As a result, she left a trail of hair balls wherever she went. You would think that this would be enough to consign her to the highway, but no. She was so amazingly nice that we put up with her disgusting lack of personal hygiene.

Everyone liked Leah. The dogs petted her by rubbing their noses along her back. I even saw one of our horses do that one morning. She was stroking her sides back and forth on Ringwraith’s (a large sealbrown gelding of Joanne’s) and soon he nuzzled her.

She used go with me in the mornings to change the sprinklers. It fell my lot to change the sprinklers in the five acre pasture. In the winter, this meant doing so in the dark of the morning. In the summer, since I commuted long miles, it often meant changing them in the dark of the evening. But Leah went with me even though it she always returned soaked to the skin. Leah is the only cat I ever heard of who would walk through tall, wet grass just to keep a human company.

She even jogged with us. I liked her company because I have never been much of a runner and a pussy cat trot was fine with me.

Leah had a litter of kittens once. We checked them over and complimented her on what a good job she had done. No problem. Skoshi and Abby nuzzled the kittens. Again, no problem. And then one day our neighbors’ dog showed up, a golden nosed retriever. He heedlessly stuck his head in the kitten box and ran home wearing Leah on his head. She had sunk all claws and teeth into the surprised dog’s head. We were all surprised. Especially the dog. It was a total turn around for Leah.

The dog never returned. Can’t blame him.

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