A Day Out...

... yesterday, the Wife and I opened up the sunroof and drove down to Benton.. we drove the backroads and took our time... skirting the edge of the National Forest, the view of Gee Creek and the mighty Hiwassee was wondrous... the steep mountains are covered in a dense growth that is impassable to man during the summer... tangled and jungle-like, the foliage overhangs the rivers and creeks.. it looks hungry to devour anything that doesn't move...

... we stopped by Nancy Ward's gravesite after lunch, and walked around... three large cairns and a huge cedar tree marked the spot where she'd been lain... a Cherokee Princess buried beside her son, and some person identified only as "Longfellow"... her son's stone mentioned service in the War of 1812... his name was "Five Killer"... one can only imagine how that title was earned...

... we made our way up and around the square iron fence that protected the funeral cairns.. waist high, and black with the mountains rising behind it, it was quite a view... nearby, a farmer was mowing a field of green hay... early Spring hay, bursting with life... you could see it all from Ms. Ward's grave... the deep green of the mountain.. the baby blue of the noonday sky.. the dark, coolness of the Hiwassee River below.. and the hazy heat rising from the mown field... not a bad place to spend eternity... not a bad place at all....

... as we started to leave, I noticed that small, white, cloth bags had been tied to the center portions of the fence... tied with ribbons, they were at each direction... white ribbons to the west.. black to the east... and red ribbons at north and south... they were fresh with their contents as well... I suppose a Cherokee must have been by recently to pay their respects to the dead...

.. after a while, the Sun was beginning to make us sweat... so we wandered down the small rise towards the river and the shade of the trees.. we found a clean, concrete boat ramp that slid into the water at a pleasant angle, and we sat there for a while watching the water move... we hadn't been there long when we heard the sound of a kitten coming from the riverbank... we couldn't see through the undergrowth, but when we spoke the cat would call to us... The Wife took off her shoes, rolled up the legs of her trousers, and eased herself into the fast current.. she found it almost instantly... in a hole in the river's edge just out of our view.. vines and exposed roots of trees had formed a makeshift pocket for the animal...

... once it was carried over the water and placed on the boat ramp, it began circling our legs the way only a cat can do.. brushing against your calves with the full length of a nearly starved body...

... I walked up to the car and grabbed a bag of beef jerky out of the trunk.. I offered a piece to the ravenous kitten, but the meat was too hard.. it tried to eat it, and even though it was starving, it gave up.... I opened the bag and scooped it full of fresh water from the edge of the stream.. working the bag with my hands, I could see the meat beginning to soften.. it brushed against our ankles in a never-ending series of circles and figure eights.. all the while keeping that bag of Pemmican held firmly in its gaze... heh...

... once the jerky was soft, I broke it into small chunks and doled them out to the kitten... when it'd finish one small pile, it would look up at me for more... I gave it what it wanted... The Wife was stroking and talking to it as it ate...

... I poured the remains of the bag onto a large flat rock, and we made our way back to the car... at the top of the boat ramp, we looked back towards the river and the kitten.... it was still eating... occasionally taking a break to look up at us... had it followed us to the car, we'd have taken it home... it certainly looked like it needed a home... but, it didn't follow us... perhaps it needed the meal more than companionship... either way, we left it as we'd found it... but at least it had a full stomach... I suppose that sometimes, that's all you can do...

by Eric on May 10, 2005 | Bullshit (6) | SWG Stories
ยป A Swift Kick & A Band-Aid links with: Rescuing Animals
Bullshit So Far

I would of brought the kitty home. We only have 3 dogs, 2 birds, 4 fish and now a turtle. What's one more animal?
*cringing at thought of the look on husband's face if I show up with another mouth to feed*

Bullshitted by Maeve on May 10, 2005 02:31 PM

Awww. You are such a softie;-)

Bullshitted by sadie on May 10, 2005 04:28 PM

what a great story ... and yeah, i know what you mean, i have fed my share of foundling felines and moved on, wishing it might have been different, and sometimes it was, and those are the ones who live here and drive me crazy :) ... but i look at it this way, they knew some kindness at the hands of humans... and the cat goddess never lets them forget that. nor will she forget YOU, so watch out! they know where to find a gentle hand.

Bullshitted by justrose on May 10, 2005 07:58 PM

Hey! Tomorrow you hit 200,000. PARTY!!!

Bullshitted by WitNit on May 10, 2005 09:04 PM

I drive for a living here in Mo. transporting Medicade folks to Dr. appointments and find dogs and cats abandoned or lost. I keep jerky and vienna sausages in the car for them (and me) and have done the very same thing as you.
When they do find a home, they wont be wild and will remember your kindness.
Hmmm.... I even kow some people like that.
Thank you man...

Bullshitted by Kermit on May 10, 2005 10:20 PM

Wow...what an awesome story! Poor hungry kitty was lucky you came along when you did. I like the way you decided wether or not to take it home :) Very wise...

Sounds like you and the wife had an awesome day together.... :)

Bullshitted by Sheilah on May 11, 2005 01:22 AM