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Story ID:802
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family Memories
Location:Gilboa New York USA
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By Fred Wickert

Little Mama Flash was hit by a car. I picked her up and buried her in the pet cemetery I had made, found a suitable flat stone and inscribed the words, “FLASH, a good mommy, died 9-5-2003.” I felt sad as I placed the stone on her grave and said a prayer for her.

In the days that have followed, we have missed her, my wife and me. We often speak of her, how much we miss her and the things we remember most about her.

Flash was a very small cat, homeless, skinny and hungry. She had three kittens carefully hidden in the woods. She was trying very hard to feed them. We left the garage door open one night. When we entered the garage the next morning a flash of fur attacked our legs with a terrible ferocity. From then until her kittens got old enough, we had to approach the garage with caution. She would attack in a flash, earning her the name Flash.

As time went on and we kept Flash and her family well fed. She understood we meant no harm and came to trust us. We were able to hold and pet her, and eventually her kittens as well.

Over the years we have watched them and the things they do and enjoyed many laughs. Our property has a steep slope going down hill to the woods. There are two drainage ditches going down that slope from the driveway, about a hundred feet apart. A large number of wildlife come to that area, due in part because I placed a feeder for the squirrels and birds on a large tree limb at the edge of the woods, which I keep filled with sunflower seed. I also place corn every day on pieces of plywood lying on the ground. Deer, turkeys, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, skunks, crows, pigeons, doves, squirrels and even an occasional rabbit or bear come to the area to feed.

One day I looked down the slope and saw five wild turkeys together. Flash was stalking them. I called it to the attention of my wife. As we watched, fascinated by the scene, we had to laugh until our sides hurt, for it went on for quite a while. Each of those turkeys was ten times the size of little Flash. Flash was stalking them. The turkeys were nervous about it and were walking away from her. When they reached the ditch going down the slope, the turkeys stopped, did an about face and stood their ground. Flash turned around and began walking away from them. The turkeys then followed her. When she reached the other ditch, Flash stopped, turned and faced the turkeys. The turkeys stopped abruptly, turned and walked back the way they had come. Flash followed them. This went on for nearly an hour, when finally the turkeys had had enough, crossed the ditch and kept on going. Flash entered the ditch and followed it up the hill to the driveway.

We had adopted a feral cat before Flash, who had been severely injured by a raccoon. Whenever we saw a cat get near a raccoon we feared that it would get hurt or killed. Late one afternoon we saw Flash laying on a tree limb near the squirrel feeder. A raccoon was lying on the same limb, blocking her from coming down from the tree, and another raccoon was lying on the roof of the squirrel feeder. They were ignoring Flash, but they had her effectively blocked from being able to get out of the tree. We feared for her safety, but needn’t have. As we watched, Flash stood up, stretched with a yawn, and neatly leaped over the raccoon lying in front of her on the tree limb. She then proceeded down the tree in a leisurely manner and on her way unmolested.

We cherish the gifts she has given us. We miss the fun and laughter. Truly, through her we have been blessed. Our lives enriched. She is gone but not forgotten.

1st photo - Flash watching as her three sons eat.

2nd photo - the feeder tree with a racoon looking over the top of the feeder.

3rd photo - The pet cemetary where Flash is laid to rest.

4th photo - Bear under the feeder after spilling the feed out of it.

5th photo - Flash and her three sons on our deck. Flash is the one nearest the door.

Using the photo enlarged feature is suggested for these photos.