In my experience, cats are either cuddle buddies, or wanderers. We had cats as family pets, growing up. But I haven't had a cat as a pet in a long time. Definitely not while I have had pet birds. Unless they start out together, it's not the best combination.
We have had experience with feral cats visiting our backyard habitat. In the summer of 2021, there was a mother cat and six of her kittens that liked to hang out in our garden, sunning on the stone wall, napping in the quiet afternoon. I know the damage feral cats can do to the population of songbirds, and other bird life. As a bird watcher, I understand that well. And yet...we couldn't get near them to attempt any kind of rescue.
I was surprised at how emotional I was feeling. We humans, we like to read into things. It was my birthday. I was missing my mom, the anniversary of her death just a few weeks ago. She was a cat person. I told my husband maybe my mom sent her to me as a birthday gift. Maybe it was her way of walking the trail with us, of spending the day with us. Like I said, we like to read into things.
It's true that on the way back home I shed a tear, worrying about Binx. Would she be okay. Would she have food to eat and a warm place to sleep. But the truth of the matter is, she more than likely had a home in one of those households, and was simply an outdoors cat who went on an adventure with two kind strangers. I'm still thinking about her. And I'm still tempted to return to see if she is ok. And I'm still conflicted. But one thing I do know for sure, is that her presence, her companionship, on our hike that day was a gift. And one I will always treasure.
A nature lover, bird watcher, wildlife fan, amateur photographer, humane gardener, traveler, and singer of songs. I've been keeping closer to home these days, and truly discovering the beauty that lies in TheParkNextDoor.