Maybe not the very next day but good 'ol Leo the white cat has returned from wherever he was all winter. For those of you who don't know, every year we have a plethra of wild kittens born around the farm. My first year here, I learned the hard way not to try and tame them all nor to get too attached. Disease, predators and male cats would guarantee that next to none would survive. Morbid, I know.
Two years ago, however, I spotted one wild white kitten. The purest white. He was positively gorgeous and when he ran (which was every time he spotted me), he reminded me of a leopard... hence the name, Leo. With due diligence and patience, I befriended him and to my surprise, he was the most affectionate cat I have ever known (that wasn't short of a few marbles)!
As time went by, he would come and greet me at the door any time I left the house. When I was pregnant with Ethan last spring, he would follow me on my walks with Anika and meow more and more fervently the further away we got from the farm. Quite the protector. And even when I would stroll my way towards the end of the yard where Duane would be working in the hay shed, Leo would follow me until I reached Duane and then he'd be on his way.
Needless to say, despite my best efforts, I fell madly in love with my pure white Leo. Even the other kittens would make their way to him and he would lovingly put up with their tugging and would even let a bunch of them curl up and cuddle with him. Not at all typical behaviour for a male cat!
One time this fall, Leo was limping and I saw that his leg had been ravaged in some attack and bleeding badly. Anytime I have interfered with nature, it has backfired and I didn't want anything to backfire where Leo was concerned so I faught the urge to bandage him up trusting that nature would take its course. Sure enough, he healed within days! But only to be attacked again by other male cats in the same spot.
That's when Duane decided to "take care" of the other male cats that kept attacking our dear Leo (and the female cats, too). Poor Leo, one time I was sitting here at the computer and the tree outside the window was shaking profusely. I stood up and looked to see a HUGE male cat climbing the tree looking straight up. When I followed his gaze up the tree, there near the top was poor Leo with a look of "hey, buddy, I don't want to fight... I just want to eat and be merry!"
That's why we were worried when Leo disappeared this past winter. He would sometimes disappear for a day or two here and there but when a week passed, then two and so on, we feared the worst.
But Duane came into the house just the other day and said, "guess who I just saw? Leo's back!" I was so happy! When I went out to see him, he looked dirty and scruffy... not at all my snow white kitten. Wherever he was, it was a rough go. He spotted me and meowed his greeting as though to say "I know it's been a while, but can I still get some food?" Anika was happy to see him, too, and tried to give him a hug which Leo tolerated in his usual loving style. So good to have him back.
Now, we'll just have to make sure we wash our hands very well after hanging out with Leo in case Ethan has allergies to him!