Kukla, Fran, Ollie and Roo are home after 24 hours at the neuter and spay spa—newly clipped and snipped and seemingly feeling no pain. After three months of life either in the house or in the small walled-off area outside the guest bedroom (and kitten suite) barred but with screen land glass sliders left open door, the vet says it is now okay to release them to their greater environment within my compound walls. They have a new outside sleeping room, but as you can see, are still curious about their old digs as well. Frannie has decided to stay inside with me for now. That’s her tail you see curling around over my screen. They were at first suspicious of their food bowls placed outside, refused to eat, then gave in to hunger and ate, but refused their next meal which was being devoured by ants, so I moved it inside. I let them roam inside and out, then locked them out, now have let them in to sleep and left screen open but closed the door to front garden so their outside area is, as before, secure. Except for bats. Cross your fingers. Below the poem are probably too many photos depicting their first afternoon of freedom, including a bit of dialogue with the dogs.
Détente and the Wide Wide World of Cats
Home from the veterinarian––shot and snipped and sewn,
time to reexamine everything they’ve known.
But now there is a difference. That whole wide outside world
has suddenly been opened up, its wonders all unfurled.
They must examine everything in this big new place.
Unearth all its mysteries and all its dangers face.
What are their dishes doing lined up here outside?
Is this alfresco dining something they can abide?
All these swaying branches. This long wall to explore.
Who knew that all these wonders lurked behind the door
shutting off their private world in their “maison de chat”
where only their mom entered (and the scorpions and bat.)
Now there’s this new environment to jump on and to bat at
To peek in and to crawl through. To paw at and to pat at.
As they now investigate the outside world around them,
there are so many different things to puzzle and astound them.
That same world that they came from just three short months ago
becomes their playground once again––once more their status quo.
Walls protect them all for now from street dogs and from cars.
Morrie and Diego peek out from behind bars.
Neither cats nor dogs are sure what peace talks there might be
to turn this split menagerie into a family.
But five months old now, time to face that other world without.
Time for them to discover what the real world is about.
(Click on first photo to enlarge all and see captions.)