From “Meow’s Way Redux”:
A rainy day is always special for Pinky. I know, before I even see her, that she is sitting at the front door asking to go out to watch the rain. Once outside, she bundles herself up on the doormat and stares out at the wetness five feet away. Every hour or so I open the door to ask if she wants to come in. After about three hours she will finally, slowly, rise and stre-e-e-etch, give the mat a scratching workout then amble inside. All is peace.
Her other favorite place is a nest she has made of my shawl on the second shelf of the closet in my workroom. Sometimes I cross to her and lay my head against her warm body and moan about words or the story line that won’t come clear, and I may receive a sympathetic lick of her tongue on my face
I have finally met the owner of three of the big cats and learned that Tango and Au Au and Loaner are siblings. This neighbor had known for some time that Pinky, also a sibling, had defected to me. And Tango and Au Au are male.
I lost Pinky on February 23, 2011. She survived for a year after three surgeries for an aggressive sarcoma. There is nothing more I can bear to say.
I went with other residents of Lake Park to the Blackhawk Museum in Danville yesterday to see its automobile collection. Extraordinary. They had the model of car which my dad drove in 1939, with its rumble seat that they always stuck me in because I got carsick. But this topped all: the museum has waterfalls and pools and there was this mama duck followed by a parade of babies. They were so tiny! Made my day.
I called Animal Control. No one comes. The fawns are still out there, hiding in the tall grasses, but I can see their ears sticking up.At 3:15 a.m. my doorbell rings. A voice outside the door says, “Police!”
He says he has just received the dispatcher’s call and do I want him to go out back and look for the fawns. He and his partner have no noose, no tools of any kind with which to catch animals, especially in the dark, and I tell him it isn’t any use. He departs after advising me to call Animal Control in the daytime. I say I called at 2 p.m.
It is one of those things: Animal Control, firefighters, the police. All are overworked and understaffed.
Next morning the fawns are still there. Once again I call Animal Control, which
redirects me to the police dispatcher. This time I think carefully about calling that number. I do not call, and go outside to check on the fawns. I make hourly visits until they have disappeared and do not come back.
Last night I woke up and found Pinky holding my hand, one paw on each side, and purring mightily. I wonder what other surprises she will spring on me.
On the grass today she is sitting up on her legs and is stretched, peering for all the world like an African Meerkat, at something high up in a tree.
Nothing but greenery surrounds us, yet I am always aware that wild animals, particularly raccoons, hide and live in the brush.
Early one afternoon, we are lying peacefully on the grass when we hear odd, soft bleats somewhere near. We have a wire fence at the bottom of the property overlooking the decline to San Francisco Bay. Two young fawns are poking their noses against the fence. I walk down to them. They back away into the tall weeds.
Pinky and I stand side by side watching, but they do not come close again. An hour later they are back, and I am becoming concerned, for I do not see their mother. There have been several cougar sightings in our area. I worry that it has taken down the doe and left these fawns defenseless.
Finally, I call Animal Control, hear a voice message that no one is available and to call another number, which turns out to be the police dispatcher. I explain, and he tells me someone will come out.
The sun has moved from behind one of the pines and I roll over onto my face. From the house comes the distant eeeuh cries of Tango seeking one of us. She has become Pinky’s sidekick and follower. It is amusing to see her run after her small leader, her jack rabbit legs like furred pistons.
When I am not home, Pinky searches for me, too. My friend Jane tells me that recently she opened her kitchen door to find Pinky sitting on the mat. Jane had a long way to look down to find Pinky waiting there patiently. “Wrong house,” she said. “Lucille is next door.” Jane had been vacuuming her house. We both figure out that Pinky, acquainted with the sound of the machine, thinks I am in Jane’s house.
We play variations of GETCHA. Instead of going to the lawn, where I appear to be headed, I continue around the bend and hide. After a while, I peek out and see her running toward me. She has caught on to the trick. I laugh at her and, instead of jumping up on me as a dog might do to share the joke, she walks off and, ignoring me, begins grooming herself by the bird bath.
The next round is hers. She does not follow me to the lawn, and as I wait and wait and finally give up, I come upon her hiding behind a boxwood on the outside, exactly at the place where I walk through.
Pinky and I play GETCHA! every day weather permits, or if not we play it in the house. I stomp menacingly toward her and growl I’M GONNA GETCHA! and she takes off at top speed. As I amble along, she charges me and shoots past my feet. She pauses under a hedge. On cue, I go to the other side and cry “BOBBLEBOBBLEBOBBLE!” over the hedge. She throws me a shocked glare and speeds off. We do this two or three times a week, changing hedges or trees. When she wants to end the game she flops and offers her belly for scratching. I love to see her wiggle in the grass and roll over and over.
She is such a package of comfort, freedom, and agility that I wish I were a cat myself. When she lies flat, her long coat flows into the grass. The earth and she are so close I envy her.
I lie down, too, and we both contemplate the tall, old Monterey Pines and sky. My book is nearly done. For a long time after Renato went away, the partial manuscript lay in a drawer. I was helpless to take it up again until, on the first day of the month of January, I sat Pinky on my lap before the computer and, taking her paw, struck the first letter of the opening of a new paragraph. She added a few more letters on her own, but the important thing had been done. I had broken the freeze.