Monday, November 23, 2009
We don't remember when she first showed up. It was a few years after we moved into this place in 1992 -- so maybe around 1995. Suddenly there was a big grey square-jawed feline hanging around with the other backdoor cats. We don't know when she was born or where she came from.
We thought she was a male because of her size and large head. We called him Intruder, a real misnomer because he was shy and amazingly gentle, didn't hunt like the other cats or even chase bugs. Just stayed close, but not close enough to touch. It was a complicated process getting him to the vet -- setting out a rented Humane society cage with goodies inside, then watching anxiously from the window until he nosed his way in and sprang the trap, hurrying out to throw a towel over the whole rattling kaboodle of cage and cat.
When the vet informed us that "he" was a spayed female we changed her name to Trudy. Eventually she allowed me to stroke her fur, purring softly and stretching her neck. But that was not a signal that she could be picked up -- no undue familiarity was tolerated. She was simply Always Around, following me into the garden, sitting up when my car pulled into the driveway, circling an emply food bowl patiently. Her version of close companionship was to walk just in front so there was no room to put down the next step, or to sit nearby in an unobtrusive spot, sharing the quiet splendor of simple existence.
It won't be the same without her.