Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Yaks are Found!

It must be Christmas! Squeaky's return was a miracle. But more holiday miracles were on the way.

Yesterday afternoon, our friends RY and Sue pulled into our snow-packed driveway to tell us that the yaks had been located. We'd placed an ad in the local paper, and sure enough, someone called. Glad Quantum was smart enough to include RY's number along with our own, since we still can't get cell service out here.

The girls are doing well, and next week RY will help us trailer them back home. A local rancher found them 5 miles away, wandering across the road. He called the local cops a few times - which really disturbs me, because we'd been in contact with the police and they said they hadn't had any word. Then he finally found our ad.

As I understand, they're all well, though they were scrawny and dehydrated. Silly beasts! They had access to a stream and plenty of grass if they'd stayed close, the way all sense suggested they would. The rancher has had them for 2 weeks now, but was nice enough to wait to contact the real owners - a few folks wanted to take them off his hands.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Squeaky Returns!

I got a new computer a few weeks ago, thanks to Quantum's mom, but I'd been too depressed to restart my blogs. Last night at about 9 p.m. my depression got banished for good.

Squeaky is back home.

It's a pre-Christmas/Solstice miracle.

I've spent the last six weeks walking our land, screaming Squeaky's name. Then the day before Thanksgiving we had a major windstorm and the yaks got out of the corral, and they were gone too.

I probably haven't had this much exercise since I was a teenager, walking the train tracks to my friends' houses. (In NY, when you're a kid without a car, you do a lot of walking.) Up and down the hillsides and mountains, pretty much every day, looking for signs of my cat, trying to find the yaks' trails.

A few times I found paw prints that looked suspiciously like a cat's and were maybe the right size.  But no luck. No answer to my calls.

So six weeks went by, and at this point I was severely depressed. Despite the fact that the yaks were missing, I knew they could handle the cold weather, that there was plenty of grass nearby. We've got a few dozen arroyos on the land, so they had places to shelter from the winds (and the winds have been SCARY!) and there's a streambed, so they have access to water.

Squeaky missing scared me though. "He can protect himself," Quantum said. "You know he's a good hunter, and he has all his claws. He'll stay close to the treelines and if a predator comes along, he can climb a tree."

But how could I not worry? We've got coyotes here, and I know how canny they are. On her recent visit, my aunt told me about a time they'd tried to bait her dog into following them. Probably to make lunch out of her.

All the locals warned me that coyotes were the biggest danger. And we've got a bobcat - I found its scat while I was wandering the woods looking for Squeaky and the yaks, and I saw the sucker dashing across the road a couple months ago. And we've probably got weasels and who-knows-what other predators that would compete with him for food and shelter.

Quantum pointed out the many burrows in the cliffs of our arroyos and said that Squeaky would find shelter in one of those. And I knew there was plenty for him to eat. Lots of birds. I'd seen rabbits on numerous occasion. And the treacherous holes dug in the earth pretty much everywhere that our neighbors said were voles.

So I walked and I called and I cried. A lot.

I knew Squeaks was a good hunter. Back before I stole him from my previous roommate he'd been an outdoor cat, menacing the squirrels in the back yard, and actually killing one of them. And there wasn't a single anole lizard near our house that had a full tail.

So last night, the miracle happened.

CK banged on our door, and told Quantum, "Whatever you're doing, drop it now and get out here."

CK doesn't have a bathroom in his trailer. My aunt was kind enough to gift us with a portable potty, but for some weirdo reason he doesn't want to use it. (We have a closet in our trailer that we turned into an indoor bathroom, with a wooden seat that Quantum made and a bucket underneath. Oh yes, after the fire, our friend RY and his wife Sue, gifted us with a pickup-top trailer. It's tiny and cramped, but the heater and the stove work!)

So here's CK out taking a dump in an empty cat litter bucket. He has a hat with a flashlight on the rim. He sees a pair of eyes glow in the light. "Oh crap, it's a coyote," he says to himself. Then he says, "Maybe not. Maybe it's Squeaky!" He calls Squeaky's name and the kitty comes out of the brush. CK pulls up his pants and goes after the cat, bribes him with a can of cat food and gets him within reach.

So now Squeaky is sitting on our bed. He's eaten a heck of a lot of catfood, some dogfood, some chicken.

He looks emaciated. He's lost about 30% of his body weight. But he looks whole, and above all, he's home.

Raz, the cat who adopted us the day after the fire (more about that another time) is fascinated with him and has been following him around all day. Zen is super excited. And Squeaks is purring.

Depression? Gone. Squeaky is home. The yaks will be found and gotten home. I didn't half believe that two days ago. Now I do.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for my baby boy. Your prayers have been answered, your magic has worked. I am so grateful that our little guy is back.

Blessings, and may you find your own holiday miracles!