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Story ID:10523
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Gilboa New York USA
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By Fred Wickert

My sister and her husband, my wife and I were in the habit of making it a point to have lunch together at least one Sunday a month. In September, my sister suggested a place to go that she and her nurses group had been recently. She really liked the place. It was a restaurant at the Cobleskill Golf Course. They had a very wide porch with tables and served meals there. You could sit in the cool shade and look out across the green of the golf course.

While we were there a half grown yellow kitten came on the porch. People tossed him little tid bits which he first sniffed of and then ate. Every time someone walked on to the porch he ran to hide. He only appeared when all were sitting. If a waitress came out or new customers walked on the porch he was gone in a flash.

The kitten was extremely shy. He refused to come near anyone and ran away at the slightest movement or sound other than normal talking. My wife, Tae asked the waitress about him when she came out again. She told us he lived under the porch. She said he lived on scraps people dropped or gave him but she fed him every night before she left to make sure he got enough to eat. She did not know where he came from. She said he just showed up one day.

Tae asked the waitress what was going to happen to him in the winter. She said she didn't know and had worried about that herself. She said they closed at the end of October and feared he was not going to find any food. She supposed he was going to go in search of a barn on a farm somewhere.

For the next week Tae kept wondering out loud about that kitten. There was a WallMart about a quarter mile away on the other side of the road. I told her he will probably drift over there if he doesn't get killed crossing the road in traffic. She began laying awake at night worrying about that cat. The longer it went the worse it got until finally she told me, "Fred, we have got to do something about that poor kitten." I told her okay. The next week on a week day we will go over there and take a box trap with us and see if we can catch him.

Early in the next week Tae called her girl friend, also a cat lover. She told Connie we were going to Cobleskill golf course for lunch and to try to catch the kitten she had told her about. She asked Connie if she wanted to go. Connie decided she wanted to join us so we picked her up and the three of us went to the Cobleskill Golf Course.

Having eaten there before I knew the portions were large ones. I ordered chicken breast and was served three large ones. I set the trap back in the farthest corner under a table. I had a small piece of carpeting and I covered the trigger of the trap with it. I took some chicken breast and tore it in pieces. I put some pieces in the back of the trap and then dropped a piece every couple of feet to the trap from the middle of the porch. We were the only customers there that day. I suppose because of the lateness of the season.

At first the kitten did not show up and Tae began to worry. When we were about two thirds of the way through eating he suddenly came in to view. We watched as he ignored us and went to sniff the first piece of chicken breast. He ate that and went on to the next piece. He followed the trail, eating along the way. When he got about two feet from the trap he stopped. He then strolled a few feet away as if he had enough and was now interested in something else. Tae began to fret that we had failed. We stopped watching for a few minutes.

Suddenly there was a commotion on the other end of the porch. The kitten had come back and resumed following the chicken trail. He had been caught in the trap and was wildly fighting to get out. When we finished our lunch the waitress told us how glad she was we had caught him. She said many of the customers were fond of him and wondered what was going to happen to him when winter came.

When we finished I carried him to the car. I had a large mini-van and I set the trap on the back seat. A man walked by and said, "Oh you got him!" He told us he had caught him once for his daughter. It turned out our waitress was his daughter. He said he had caught him but as they were transferring him to a carrier in his trunk, the kitten had escaped and he was never able to catch him again. He said the kitten stayed away from his trap after that.

I drove straight to my vet. I told the vet that he was wild and he handled him accordingly. I left him to get all the shots, be neutered and checked over for worms and whatever.

When I picked him up at the Vet two days later, I took him home. We had a large number of cats and they were in different groups and different places. He was yellow. I had some cats in the master bed room. Among them was a litter of four and the two males were yellow. I put him in with them. Some cats are prejudiced against the yellow color so I believed he should be accepted easiest there.

The room was a large room with cat trees and beds, a shelf for them at the window sill, a sliding glass door, an attached bathroom where there was a litter box in the shower stall and food and water always available. We had two other bathrooms with tubs for the shower and did not use the stall shower in the master bed room bath.

We named him Mikki and Tae often called him Cobleskill Boy. He got along well with the cats and when he reached maturity became the boss cat. He grew in to a beautiful cat. He was not tame but remained wild. After about two years I began waking up feeling some warm weight on the top of my head. He was sleeping on my pillow and against my head. As soon as I moved he took off. No more than I got back to sleep he was on my head again.

Gradually he let me pet him, but only if I was in bed and he was on my pillow next to my head. Little by little I could pet him as long as I was on the bed. If I came in the room and sat on the side of the bed he came and laid down beside me and purred loudly while I pet him.

Over the years, he has come to know when I am getting close to the door. Always now when I open the door he is on the dresser top waiting for me to stroke his back. Every morning before I can shave he insists I hold him and pet him until he indicates he has had enough. Then he remains on the sink counter while I do my teeth and shave. I pet him with my free hand when I can. Other cats jump up to join us and he slaps them until they leave.

There are times when he is not feeling up to it, and at such times he watches me from a distance but will not allow me to touch him. He will not allow anyone else to touch him and never has. We have had him for 12 years now and every time I see or touch him, I am grateful that Tae insisted we had to do something about that cat before they closed for the season at the golf course.

The spring after we caught him and brought him home, I printed up 8x10 photos of him with a note that he now had a good home and was happy and content. Tae and I took them over to the golf course restaurant. I posted one copy inside and another on the porch. The girl thanked me and said a lot of people will be pleased to see that he is okay and had a happy ending.