Rufus 2007One thing the shopkeeper told me: an outdoor cat survives one to four years in the mountains of Colorado.

I believed him, having lost Rufus last year to the fox trotting through the park, or the pair of coyotes casing my yard early one morning, or a pack of raccoons. My neighbor cleaned up his guts before she knew what they were. My husband and I took the bloody gravel and buried it with the disco green collar Rufus had lost in the yard.

Now I content myself with the neighbor’s cat who spends his days here and his nights elsewhere.Bailey is in the house

When I see him through my door on these winter evenings, I think of his front claws that Rufus lacked, the fences he could climb. I hope, when I don’t let him in, he returns to his owners and paws at their door.

Drifts so hard, I leave
no prints on the snow beneath
the bird feeders.

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  1. Saint December 22, 2008 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Claws make the difference between the 1 and 4 years.

    Though around my parents house in the mountains, it’s hard to believe cats to be low on the food chain. They’ve got some huge ones hanging about!

  2. Beth Partin December 22, 2008 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Yes, but when the claws are being used on me, I can see the point of removing them. 🙂

    And when I see the raccoon walk casually by my back door in Broomfield, it looks huge compared to a cat. I don’t think raccoons make a habit of eating cats, but they do like to chase them.