This is Part 2 of the story of a charity that landed right in my backyard. This is how the cat colony (that I didn’t even know existed) began. This is the story of a cat called Courage! If you missed Part 1, make sure to read that first by clicking here : A Cat Called Courage (or how the colony began) Part 1
May was in full bloom and this first little beautiful cat that shyly approached me behind the garden (at the rhubarb patch) had become a fast friend of mine. It wasn’t long before I noticed he had a little friend. As I would go meet “Courage” by the bushes each day I started to notice this fluffy little kitten (probably 4 months old) behind him in the forsythias. I could tell by the sweet little face that it was a girl, but she wouldn’t get near me. She stayed hidden in the bushes but would intently watch the interaction between Courage and I. If I tried to move towards her she would run. This continued on for days ( I can’t remember exactly how long). I remember thinking how pretty she was and that I wished I could pet her too, but with how very skittish she was, I wasn’t betting on it.
By now “Courage” fully trusted me. Every day when I would come out in the yard he would run at me full speed (in fact, the children next door gave him the middle name of “lightening” because he is so fast). The Fluffy kitten saw this. She saw the love he was getting, and also the food and water he was getting. I was very patient with her -sitting in the grass with the other cat, showing her how gentle I was with him, and holding my hand outstretched to show her I had food. After watching this, she decided to step out in faith one day and approach me. Before I knew it I had 2 new cat friends who anxiously awaited my arrival each day
For awhile I thought it was only those 2. As a day or 2 went by though, a third feral cat came forth. She was not near as slow to trust me as the fluffy one. She was also a “friend” of Courage’s and when he came to me one day, she was with him and gingerly approached and let me pet her. As the summer went on more and more cats came forth. I didn’t even know they existed! I do not live in the country. I live in a little suburb of homes that back up to a dead end street-which happens to be by the woods. It’s like having the convenience of living in town, but with the natural setting of country , I guess you could say. I have lived here for years and have only very occasionally seen 1 or 2 older cats in the woods.
Where did all these cats come from? I do not know, but when the neighbor lady behind me took down her fence, that is when they started to appear. Of course -like I said, at first I only saw 1 and then 2. The point of this story though, is that it all started with Courage. That is how he got his name. He was the first cat to be bold enough to step forth on his own and make human contact. That’s not to say he wasn’t afraid…he was…but he had courage. He saw that my hand was outstretched to help him, and he took my help. He took those first steps towards me alone. Because of his courage, the other feral cats from the colony that were hiding decided to step forth too. Don’t you think Courage is a fitting name for him?
” Be Strong. Take Courage. Don’t be intimidated.” ~From Deuteronomy 31:6 (The Message)
Watching “Courage” gave me inspiration. Even the name I gave him got me thinking. How many times do we take a leap of faith when we are in need? When someone is right there with their hand outstretched to you, do you run towards them like Courage did with me and take their help? Or do you shy back and retreat-your needs going unmet. What could we gain from taking a leap of faith more often? In this case the cats gained a regular meal, love & affection, and shelter when they need it…an overall better life. What if they didn’t step out in faith? Their lives would not have been very easy for them. Some may not have even survived.
Courage set the example for the other cats. The other feral cats of the colony did not step out on their own. They needed someone to go before them. How many times do we feel scared and want someone to go before us? According to the word someone already has and I will leave you with the full verse that I was led to for this story :
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”
A video of the area the cats were found (although the garden was dried up from the heat and the rhubarb had already been harvested) If you can’t see the video below , just go to my website and click on it there or take a look at my youtube channel link at the website.
Another very short video to go along with the story. This is Courage and a glimpse of the 2nd fluffy kitten. I think this is the first video I made and it’s very shaky (didn’t know how to use the camera really) , but at least you get a visual for the story!
I hope you are enjoying these stories! I would like to mention that this is part of a series I am doing on a charity I support called “Alley Cat Allies”. I will be going in to details later in another article. I don’t typically seek out charity because I don’t have to. Charity seems to find it’s way to me and I try to do my part to help those (animal or person) in need that cross my path. National Feral Cat Day is coming up Oct. 16 and from now until then I will be featuring at least 1 cat a week that I have helped. The cat of this week of course was Courage. Stay tuned for lots of fun, inspiring, and cute stories chock full of cute and funny videos and pictures of the feral cats in my neighborhood!