Jul 17, 2012

Rare Capture

gray cow cat in fading light
IN FADING LIGHT: It was starting to get dark and I was doing my last round of feeding.... I always have a small pocket camera with me but if I use it at these times, it's after the feeding is done; I can't juggle cans of food, a bucket of dry food and a camera all at once!

So as the light waned, I was just doing my thing, feeding over by the burned-out cat trailer, when I saw this beauty (above). I had seen this girl(?) before: I knew this kitty had been in the feral colony for at least a couple of years, maybe longer, but I had never got a close-up look ..and not ONE photo!  Too shy, too quick to run away.  I saw her only from a distance.

I don't know if this gray and white "cow cat" (as I call the color pattern) was living off of hunting or if it snuck a bite of food after I left, I just knew I didn't see it at feedings, and only caught an occasional glimpse from far away.  But on this evening, suddenly there she was ... gray and white cow cat!

In my heart, I knew it was now or never. Even though my hands were filled with stuff for feeding the cats, I groped my pocket and pulled out the little camera - trying to avoid spilling the cat food at the same time. As I did this, gray-white cow cat began to walk away...  I could see this out of the corner of my eye. Yet there was no way to hurry, and even if I could rush the process, I knew that turning suddenly would make this ultra-shy kitty run.  I tried to remain calm, knowing after these years this might be my only chance at a photo.

I got the camera running an moved the zoom to max, all without looking toward the kitty to see if she was still there. When the camera was ready, I gently turned to look into the rubble of the destroyed cat trailer, only to see her walking away from me. Well, at least I could get a shot of her receding form, it would be better than nothing.

As I raised the camera to my eye, Gray-White Cow Cat turned one last time and looked at me. It was a pause that she'd never made before. She never had given me even half a chance to photograph her. ...Until now.

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Kitties come and go in our lives, and feral cats live their own lives largely in anonymity. I record them so that they will be remembered; so that they will remain a part of our family.

For this one moment, Gray-White Cow Cat decided to share her life with us. She paused and contemplated. But only for an instant...

...And then she was gone.



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