Living in the Woods...
A Bandit In the Woods
Doreyl Ammons Cain

The first time I saw her she was blind. Groping around in the darkness, she whimpered. She still whimpers today when she wants something.

She was a little lost kitten, left under a storage tarp in the middle of the woods. Her mother, wild and free, left her behind when she refused to leave the security of the tarp. My husband Jerry & I rescued her and brought her into our office Yurt. I fed her milk from the tip of my finger. It wasnít long until she lapped up saucers of warm milk. After a while she took us on as her parents. She stole our hearts, so we named her Bandit. Since then she has stolen many more things as well.

One time we found her helping herself to our just baked Thanksgiving turkey. This tiny kitten at work on a large turkey was a sight to see. She hid out under her trap for several days after that incident. Then there was the time we had guests over for dinner. The food looked tantalizing and good smells wafted through the woods. Everyone was seated around our long table outside just getting ready to eat. Up comes Bandit with her contribution to the meal... a nice juicy mouse. Everyone screamed. Jerry had the clean-up job that time.

During the winter Bandit found another kind of mouse to play with... our computer mouse. While Jerry worked on the computer she sat on his hand with her feet on the mouse. As he moved the mouse, things changed on the screen and Bandit would jump at them. Sheís too big now to fit on the mouse.

As Bandit grew up she became our watch cat. One night she chased a pack of wild coyotes down our dirt road. Her fierceness scared them away forever. Any ground squirrels or flying squirrels around our Yurts donít stand a chance. The only time she failed her duty as guard cat was when a big, bumbling brown bear found itís way to our trash cans. Bandit hid in the closest tree.

Colored bright white with patches of brown & white, Bandit thinks sheís invisible. She crouches down behind a small twig and she stands out like a sore thumb. Itís amazing how she catches anything at all, but she does. There are no mice within 300 yards of our Yurts.

Bandit believes in togetherness. Jerry & I practice Tai Chi every day on the dirt road in front of the office Yurt, and Bandit is right there to follow along with us. While we move she arches her back and dances along side of us and through our legs. She even manages a few flips.

Banditís favorite time of the year is Fall. Jumping into the air, she loves chasing the leaves as they fall to the ground. Once the leaves land and form deep piles, she hides in them and forms her attack strategies. An innocent passerby suddenly has a flying cat wrapped around them.

Bandit now uses her paw to ring our door bell when she wants in. It didnít take her long to find out that scratching at the door got her nowhere. She usually uses this method when Jerry & I are watching a video. We let her in and she takes her place on Jerryís office chair to watch the action on the TV screen.

Still, with all these modern conveniences to distract her, Bandit still heads for the security of her tarp when visitors come to stay in our Yurts or she gets in trouble. Being our watch cat she puts up a tough front for wild animals around our Yurts, yet when she wants our attention, she just hangs upside down, attached to the Yurt window screen and whimpers. It works every time.

  

These stories and articles are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form electronically, digitally, printed matter or by any other means without written permission from the author, Doreyl Ammons Cain.

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