Just days after we trapped Black Jack back in September and brought him inside, another cat began making nocturnal visits.
On our monitor camera, it appeared white but when I crept downstairs to peek out the window, I saw the cat was actually a vivid orange.
I have a weakness for orange cats. He reminded me of Wild Red, the feral father of Frieda and her littermates. He vanished thirteen years ago, undoubtedly victim to the cruelties of the wild.
Then, on the evening of Halloween, another cat appeared on the scene--a plumpish, shy-acting tabby who looked for all the world like the late Fat Sally. On the monitor, the resemblance was enough to give me chills. Was it the ghost of Fat Sally, come for an annual visit? It wasn't until she showed up the next night that I believed she was real.
And she was obviously a "she", timid and looking hesitantly around before snatching a few mouthfuls of cat food, quick to skitter off if startled.
I tell Denny that the stray cats around here are like sharks' teeth--pull one inside and another is quick to show up. I suspect that these two cats have neighboring territories and only the presence of Black Jack in our yard kept them from coming by earlier. But they are here now and the temperatures are dropping--so we have to start trapping again.
Until there are no sad little paw prints in the cold, cold snow.