She Gazes Back

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At the old Polish gardener’s
There’s a young cat
A calico
Living half-wild
Under the potting shed
Where she was born

Her face is decorated
With daubs and smudges
And streaks of black
As if she were made up to be a clown
In some mysterious carnival

I gaze at her in wonder
She gazes back
With her clear golden eyes.
~Anne Porter “A Village Cat”

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photo by Nate Gibson

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photo by Nate Gibson

Our stub-tailed calico Bobbie came to live here eleven years ago when her physician owner needed to move out of the area and couldn’t take her along.  She arrived with a van full of cat furniture from her luxurious indoor house cat existence — a cat house, a cat tree, a cat bed, her own large chair and lots of toys.  I gently explained Bobbie would be living the life of an outdoor farm cat from here on, but her stuff was unloaded and after a tearful goodbye, her mom left.

Bobbie took one look around the farm and claimed it as hers, much to the chagrin of several long term resident farm cats and corgi dogs.  She has been the Queen here ever since, greeting any new visitors with royal demeanor and occasionally allowing a stroke of her colorful fur only if it is offered with proper respect and deference.

Her favorite person is our Japanese daughter-in-law, Tomomi, and Bobbie greets her affectionately during her summer visits — no one else is allowed such access to her Royal Highness.

Bobbie, in her uncanny wisdom, knows a quality person when she sees one.

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photo by Nate Gibson
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photo by Nate Gibson
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photo by Nate Gibson

Bobbie will frequently accompany us on walk-abouts on the farm – oh, excuse me, your Highness, I’ll correct myself — we and the corgis are allowed to accompany her on walk-abouts on the farm.

Just to make sure the corgis understand her ownership of all things, she will enter the dog pen while they are out doing chores with me and then remain until their return, striking terror in their little inferior canine brains as they try to decide whether to re-claim their territory and food bowls — or not. Until she decides it is time to elegantly stroll in a leisurely manner out of their pen, they are stymied with fear and refuse to reenter.

Bobbie has climbed every tree, explored every building including the roofs, and won’t sleep in the same place more than one night in a row.  No surrogate cat house, tree, chair or toys for this cat.

She is the Queen, after all, and when we are fixed under her golden eyed gaze, we aren’t about to forget:  we are her subjects and forever will be.

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photo by Nate Gibson

4 thoughts on “She Gazes Back

  1. Your Highness has her own corgis. What a wonderful existence for your adopted cat. She is fortunate for sure. With her personality, she could be related to our cat that showed up many years ago. Very wild, wary…a survivor. It was quite moving when Carson, as we call him, finally walking up to me (after many weeks of quietly feeding him , sitting near the food dish, not touching him) and rubbed against my ankle. Carson decided I was his. The he adopted Eli, and will walk with us to the garden and barn. Trotting ahead, long tail reaching to the sky, knowing he is special.
    When our first miniature schnauzer came, Carson liked him as an equal. Then, as we would help with younger pups, you could see Vlad telling them “your not to chase the cat”. If they didn’t believe Vlad, Carson would smack them and hold his ground. A great way for these pups tp learn cats aren’t for chasing.
    Love your photos, stories and inspirational words.

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  2. The Corgi brothers do not look too happy within their invaded ‘territory.’ Disgraced by a ‘Cat’ of all things. Egad! Oh, the indignity of it all. The first shot of Bobbie catches all of her Queenly imperiousness – black eye and all. I think that the word ‘humility’ is totally unknown to felines. Not so with dogs who seem to relish their feelings of being wanted and appreciated – happy to be cuddled and return love and affection in so many ways. Guess I am prejudiced!

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