Now in her teens, Snowflake is a happy, contented and very loved cat, but that wasn’t always the case. Stephanna B. rescued the flame point Siamese cat when they were both very young.
Stephanna spent much of her time exploring the outdoors and engaging in imaginative play in her big backyard, often getting lost in play for hours at a time. Inevitably the local wildlife made an appearance, including blue bellied lizards and many different types of birds. The family dog was usually included in playtime and exploring. They were often spotted playing in the tall wild grasses and digging in the sandy soil, perfectly happy and content.
Unbeknownst to the young girl, an underweight, very wary half-grown cat was keeping an eye on the activities, deciding if this interesting, free spirited little girl was safe to be around. She had cause to pause, as she was an abused cat and humans had not been her allies in her young life.
Slowly the cat began to come into the yard, and Stephanna would talk to her. She made a little bed for the cat out of a cardboard box and lined it with soft bedding, then placed it up in her wooden fort at the top of her swing set. Safe under the overhead canvas roof of the fort, the cat soon found the little house to be a sanctuary and the young girl to be gentle and affectionate. They bonded, but the cat still wandered. She returned more and more often to the big untamed back yard and the happy little girl.
Stephanna left bowls of food and water out for the cat up in the little fort. Never sure when the wandering cat might make an appearance, she wanted her to have a place to come where the cat would feel safe.
Sometimes when the cat showed up, the signs of the abuse she was receiving in her home, wherever it was, were all too present. More than a few times the girl and her mom tenderly nursed the cat’s wounds.
Gradually the cat had accepted Stephanna’s mother as well, after she allowed the beautiful cat to approach her while she quietly sat in the back yard. The cat carefully and slowly approached the taller human one warm, sunny day while Stephanna was at school.
Aware that the cat was untrusting and nervous, the mother sat patiently and talked to her until the cat felt comfortable enough to approach. The initial visit was short, but the ice had been broken. The little cat decided the other humans in the house were okay, too. Even the girl’s father, who only barely tolerated cats, didn’t seem to mind this particular cat being around. She seemed different than other cats.
Stephanna decided to name the free roaming cat Snowflake. To mother and daughter, she was one of the prettiest cats they had ever seen with her creamy fur and piercing blue eyes. They found out she was a flame point Siamese cat.
Although Snowflake still roamed outside and seemed to need that freedom to explore, much as her human counterpart did, she began to trust enough to enter the human domain. Cautiously she allowed the little girl to bring her into her home. Although the family dog was not too sure about this new cat making her way into her domain, eventually even she tolerated the cat. Snowflake had found a new home where she was loved, nurtured and wanted.
Snowflake’s food and water bowls were moved from the swing set fort to the kitchen, placed up on a counter or table where the dog could not reach it and would not instantly devour the cat’s food. Although not the best of friends, the dog and cat tolerated each other, and could even be found cuddled near each other on occasion. The small cream colored ball of fur was a stark contrast to the very large black and white dog.
Snowflake earned her keep as well. Definitely a hunter, the wild field mice and rats that had been an occasional problem stopped showing up inside the house destroying things. She kept an eye on the local wildlife as well, but soon learned not to harm the birds and lizards.
Nowadays, the older cat is the constant loving companion to the teenaged Stephanna. Not a wanderer anymore, and very much a homebody in a different new home, Snowflake’s best friend is the girl who rescued her years ago. They will always love and trust each other.
Photos by Stephanna B.
Read more articles by Laurie Darroch