It’s been a year since Mrs. Gibbles, the mystery cat, showed up at Fenton Ranch, starving and—unbeknownst to us at the time—nursing some newborn kittens.
We never intended to own a cat again. When we jumped into the nomadic life in 2011, my parents adopted our 7-year-old cat, Mr. McKinley (RIP 2015) and I knew it would be unfair to any animal—and to my parents—to adopt another cat when we are essentially homeless.
But Mrs. Gibbles, she came to us. And how could we turn her away; she had us at her first meow. We will always wonder and never know her full story … how old she is, where she lived before us, how many kittens she really had, how she kept herself and babies alive from all the things of prey in this area, where she goes at night … and we will always worry that someday she could disappear again … but for now, she will hang with us at Fenton.
She is the COMPLETE opposite of Mr. McKinley. She is an independent, slightly feral and truly a dog born into a cat’s body. She loves hiking, rolling around in dirt and catching mice and birds (our least favorite thing about her, especially when she brings them in through her cat door at 3am). When we are in a circle with the kids teaching lessons, she must be a part of the group, thus testing the students’ very best abilities to not let her be a distraction!
One of her favorite hangouts is in our rafters.
My writer friend Mary recently wrote on her blog about pets being anchors. It gave me pause. I don’t know if Mrs. Gibbles is an anchor for us yet. I mean, we barely know our plans past May. But, we happily accept that Mrs. Gibbles is a part of our Fenton Ranch life for now and we are ALL better because of it.