Saturday, October 15, 2011

Remembering Bandit

Bandit left the house one evening on  August 12.  She never returned.  I was with my daughters in California on vacation.  Ron had gone outside for something.  It was dark by the sliding glass door.  Bandit pounced outside as Ron opened the door to go back in.  She's done that many times before.  Although we don't want our kitties out after dark because of the danger from owls and coyotes, sometimes they get out and stay out all night. Ron thought: "She'll be back later, waiting by the glass door to be let back in."  But she did not come back that night, or the next, or anytime.  Ron checked the lots across the street and next door, but no Bandit.  He left the porch light on and checked each evening, expecting her to be there like she always had before. No Bandit.

 When I returned from California, I made flyers and handed them out door-to-door and posted them throughout the neighborhood.  The webmaster of our neighborhood association sent out a picture via email. I got one call from a neighbor who thought she was in their yard.  However, it was not Bandit.  I registered with the Animal Shelter and received pictures of found cats for the next 30 days.  Two looked like Bandit.  I went to the shelter a couple of times, but they were not Bandit.  My daughter, Amanda, who took in Bandit as a 6 week old kitten, along with her litter mate, Precious, went to the shelter and looked at every cat.  No Bandit.

Precious was insufferable, she cried constantly, so lost without her sister

Ron was heart-broken, too. He had grown very found of these kitties, but Bandit especially was loved.  Bandit, the alpha cat, smart and saavy, surely she was able to survive anything threatening in the neighborhood. 

Now it is more than two months since Bandit has gone.  The season is changing.  Soon there will be freezing snow and bitter cold.

 On one of our trips to the Animal Shelter, we adopted a new cat.  Her name is Beeto.  She is 2 and a half years old.  She had been at the shelter for 3 and one half months.  As a black cat, she probably would not be adopted.  My daughters, Amanda and Mary, said she would be euthanized soon, so I adopted her.  I wasn't sure if Precious would accept this new cat.  But the shelter gives you 30 days to make up your mind.

 Precious is wary.  She hisses at Beeto.  She's not totally accepting, but it's getting better each day.  Precious has stopped her constant crying.  Beeto is getting used to us.  She purrs and rubs against you.  She loves a good scratch on her head, back, and belly.  She lets me pick her up.  She's curious and friendly, although still a bit skitterish given her traumatic recent past. She's not Bandit, of course.  Who could ever be Bandit who lived with us for 7 years and ruled our home as Queen of the kitties?

Amanda called me the other morning.  She had a dream about Bandit.  She visualized that Bandit had gone feral and was the protector of the vulnerable critters and other feral cats.  She roamed the forest free and happy.  She even wore a yellow Ninja bandana as she fought off coyotes and owls who tried to carry her and other critters off. I cried and smiled at the same time.  "That sounds like Bandit," I thought.

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