The return of the long lost Scaredy Cat

Last week I was hanging out at this secluded spot on the Berkeley campus around midnight, drinking beer. When a cat off in the distance in the darkness started calling out to me. Meowing at me over and over. Finally, the cat mustered the courage to approach me. And I was surprised to see it was Scaredy Cat!!

Scaredy Cat was born at my campsite 5 years ago. And she lived with me for 3 years. And then she mysteriously disappeared. Every couple of months she would show up in the morning out of the blue, eat breakfast, and then quickly leave afterwards. But mostly she was gone.

Me and Scaredy Cat, posing for our selfie.

I always wondered why Scaredy Cat volunteerily left my campsite. Because she had a cushy deal for a feral cat. Two free meals a day, and warm blankets to sleep on at night . . . My hunch was it was due to her maternal instinct. Scaredy Cat had had two litters of kittens in quick succession. And my campsite was starting to get crowded with cats. So Scaredy Cat relinquished the cat food dish — and the territory — to her kittens. Made the sacrifice. So that they would have a better chance to survive. And struck out on her own. Feral cats are very territorial like that. They know that any given ecosystem only has so many resources to go around. And they tend to space themselves accordingly.

I was also always curious where Scaredy Cat went to after she left my campsite. Apparently she’s been living in the wooded areas of the Berkeley campus for the last two years. Where there’s plenty of mice to hunt, as well as garbage cans over-flowing with leftover food.

At any rate, now that she’s managed to track me down, she’s been showing up every night at my late-night drinking spot. And she hangs out with me for a couple of hours. Scaredy Cat is my new drinking partner.

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