Miss Peanut passed away sometime this weekend – I’m guessing around Saturday night or Sunday morning since I found her body in an area where I had been working on Saturday. It’s possible that I missed her since her fur blended in perfect camoflage with the earth and oak log that she lay across, but I don’t think that she had been dead that long. I’m glad that she chose to die in the Back Forty, but I wish that I could have done something for her. We buried her under the fig tree, since that was a place that she liked.
I’d post a photo of her but I never could get a good one. She hated having her picture taken. I always wanted one of Mama Kitty and Miss Peanut walking away from me with tails entwined. I saw that many times. If I find one, I’ll post it, but she looked exactly like Mama Kitty except that she was fatter and had two brown back feet, her “peanut” feet.
So that is the end of the Feral Family story. Mama Kitty brought Miss Peanut and Ozzie to our back door about 12 years ago. Mama Kitty was not even full-grown herself. About ten months later, she brought us Squirt and Nick, which was when I knew that something had to be done. A feral cat catch and release program helped us spay, neuter, test, and vaccinate all five cats (and later a couple more!). We kept Nick inside only a day before releasing him, and we never saw him again. Ozzie died unexpectedly at age four – he was a sweetheart and I had just tamed him so that he would sit on my lap and let me brush him. He looked like a long lean version of Squirt. My readers know the story of Squirt – my heart is still broken at his and Mama Kitty’s deaths.
I never intended to end up feeding and caring for all these cats, but Miss Peanut was the one who was responsible for melting my heart. She would stretch way up and peep into our screen door while I was in the kitchen. One day I noticed that she had an extremely nasty scrape on the side of her face. I thought, “How will she survive that if she doesn’t get good nutrition?” That was the day I began feeding the feral cats.
Mama Kitty taught Miss Peanut to hunt. It drove me crazy. Before she was blinded in one eye, I often chased her yelling at her to drop the squirrel/rabbit/bird she had in her mouth. Once the rabbit she had was almost her size. That’s the only prey I ever saw get away from her, but she ran with it in her mouth for about 50 feet.
I loved Miss Peanut and I’ll miss her. But I began grieving for her when she lost her eye several years ago. She went through a lot of pain and misery, and she was never the same again. So in a way it is a relief for both of us.