Monday, November 30, 2020


Fred Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”  

It's better now, but prior to the election, there were times I could scarcely bring myself to watch the news. 

So I tried hard to look for the helpers. 

Across the street from us, there is an elderly man with long white hair. I see him outside frequently, but rarely do I see the woman I presume is his wife. But their porch is always perfectly kept, and the autumn wreath on their door has been replaced by a Christmas wreath. 

We have a lot of feral cats in the neighborhood. People move on and leave them behind. It's heart breaking really. My own Paddy is a rescue kitten from a feral who had been hit by a car. She was one of two kittens that was saved from that litter. The one thing that I can't do is save them all. (Tim would kill me.)

In any case, I first noticed that there was a stray cat hanging very close to that neat front porch across the street. He was a marmalade cat like my Paddy. I winced a little.

But I noticed that when the man came home, he'd always stop and speak to the cat who listened attentively. Even Tim noticed. It made him smile. I got hopeful for that little marmalade cat. 

It wasn't long and two dishes appeared on the front porch, along with a snug little cat home. That made me happy too. 

It's begun to get cold here, and we have had some snow. I noticed the little cat peering out at me from his little cat shelter and I worried about how he would make it through the winter. 

There was no need to. 

This past weekend, I watched the elderly man working with another younger man and they were building a feral cat shelter out of a tote .I also noticed that there was a cord running from the plastic tote on their porch. I think that shelter has a little heat source.

Today, dragging our leaves to the curb for pick up, I noticed the man and his wife playing with the cat with a feathered toy. 

Watching that little story unfold has been a wonderful blessing. 

For all of you following another story, Tim got a nice little 8 point within 3 hours of the start of the rifle season. He was pleased, mostly because we have a week to finish up the garage. 


  1. I have only recently found your blog and find hope and comfort in your approach to life. So glad the marmalade kitty is not just being 'taken care of' but is loved and loving. I'm sure the elderly couple are enriched by it. Hang in there. There is hope for us all on the horizon as long as we do not let down our guards before the vaccines are available. Take care. And congrats to Tim - an 8-point? Awesome! -Kris

  2. The previous two winters after my mom died, my dad got a heated cat house that he put in our greenhouse with the door propped open for our the farm cat "Old Man". He spent a lot of time laying in that house soaking up the heat all winter. It is still out at the farm in the greenhouse waiting for a new home. I should try selling it at the next garage sale post pandemic.

  3. A stray cat came here and it was so skinny it was a wonder it could walk. I cannot stand to see something go hungry so I started feeding it, not it is here twice a day for a free meal. It is not a friendly cat and hisses at me when I go to feed it. It does not eat until I shut the screen on the porch. If I raise my hand for anything it runs so I think people throw things at it. If it ever gets a little friendly I will take it to a local cat house that keeps them, no kill.

  4. Very glad that the cat found a good source of comfort!

    I started feeding a stray here - mainly to stop if from trying to beat up our cat and steal his food.

    Then a second stray turned up and tried to beat up that one.

    (BTW for a different perspective in the "no kill" vs other animal sanctuary, a friend shared a share of a twitter thread recently - can post the link but hannahschramm4 was the original poster's name.

  5. The one thing about living in a rural place with no family around is that owning pets is very expensive when one wants to take off for weeks at a time. My dad was paying someone to come out and feed Old Man whenever he wasn't there for the last two years. That bill was several thousands of dollars. I don't foresee another Old Man anytime soon.

  6. I recently came across an item where a little cat shelter was made from a discarded cooler. They were asking for donations of old coolers in order to make more.

    I am a cat guy, and I think it is despicable how they are treated by many. There is a lady in our town who does incredible work with cats. She has them tended to, neutered and given their shots. She fund raises, and we support her a little. Both she and the cats deserve more.

  7. That's so great -- that the cat is being provided for, and that you got to watch and gain something from seeing it all happen in real time.


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