No pictures with this post - it falls under the "what I won't do" category.
I have been feeding the lone barn cat - a few others come and go - over at my neighbor's late father's farmhouse every morning. This arose after I realized the farmer was putting poison rat bait in the barn AND feeding the barn cat. Argh! So we worked out a deal where I feed the cat on the farmhouse porch so that I can make sure she won't rely on a diet of poisoned mice. She's still a huntress, but at least she's so well-fed she's not eating her catch.
Every morning between 6:30-7, I drive to the farm and leave dry food for her. If she is there, I also give her a tin of wet food. While I won't say we are chums, after months of slow motions and ridiculous baby talk, she at least does not bolt off and hide when I'm there. We've reached a sort of détente. If she is not waiting for me, I just leave dry food, not wanting to attract unwanted dinner guests.
The Sunday following Thanksgiving, I had heated up some generic sausage/cheese/egg/biscuit breakfast sandwiches for the guys - a break from sugar for them and a break from baking for me. I decided to deliver the sandwiches first, and then feed the cat. Except...
As I slowed down going past the farmhouse - checking to see if she was on the porch, waiting for me - I happened to look up at a large maple tree at the side of the driveway. Waaaay at the top, teetering on a small branch, was the cat. I slammed the brakes on, swerved into the driveway, put the car in neutral and jumped out. She was hollering up a storm. I was trying to talk her down - with a little success, as she sidled down to a less fragile branch about two feet below. I knew that there was no way I could climb up there to get her because: a. my joints throbbed just thinking about it and there wasn't a ladder handy; and b. she would have torn me to ribbons. We're not THAT close.
What to do, what to do. We stared at each other for a few minutes, then I turned around with my back facing the tree trunk and bent over. There was a moment or two of hesitation (wherein I was praying no one would drive by and wonder what the heck I was doing), then she dropped like a stone onto my back and bounced onto the ground. Let me say two things - she's VERY well-fed and I am so very grateful that I was wearing my heavy-duty, twill down vest. We both took a moment to recover and then I served her breakfast. The guys got lukewarm sandwiches.