All the animals are all right

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The kitten disappeared. for a couple of days. She was probably trying her luck out on the wild some more and just getting skinnier. Finally she showed back up at the neighbor's camper, and the plan for her future was set in motion. One of the ladies from the office came down and scooped her up.

I went over to visit her. The kitten had the full attention of five women. That kitten must be a new breed of cat. She loves everyone. As soon as she saw me, she took a break from some Arby's leftovers she was eating from a foil wrapper and hopped up on the counter to say hello.

"That's a special cat," one of the women said.

Someone else said, "She is a special cat."

I felt the kitten press against my hand, moving like a weasel. She remembered the Arby's on the floor and hopped back down and tucked back into it. The she went over to Mary, who was sitting in a chair, and hopped up on her lap for a nap.

John, the Oklahoma cowboy who owns the ranch, okayed the adoption of the kitten and the associated expenses, but he drew the line at letting her stay in the office at night. He was opposed to keeping a litter box in the office. She would have to stay outside. The risk with that is the highway right there.

The kitten was agreeable, though, and she didn't wander at all. She seemed relieved to put her wandering days behind her. She stayed close to the bed and box that had been set up for her on the back porch. It's a nice place, overlooking a lake. A fine territory.

Sometimes, though, people change, and the hard line on the kitten's overnighting in the office softened. By the second night, it was clear that you don't risk letting a cat like that get into the traffic.

She's already fattening up. There's never any telling what the future brings for a cat. She might get it into her head to wander off again. Cats do, and though I know a lot of people don't like hearing it, it's better for a cat to have their freedom. Hopefully her luck will hold. That she has a good home, and will get to keep it, is assured.

And Roo is feeling so much better, too. Today she ran around like such a maniac that later she stiffened up and walked the way I usually do. Before that, she kept playing with me when I washed her and brushed her, cracking the jokes she likes to — pretending not to hear me when I ask her to take one step closer to where I'm trying to sit in a chair to brush her and then pouncing on me and giving me a touch of a tooth with a big wag.

"You old bear," I told her. "Best bear in the world." She always likes hearing that.

After that she was done. She ate her dinner and conked out. Outside, a mockingbird was pecking at a five-foot-long rat snake who was intent on climbing into her tree. THe bird pecked at it ferociously on the ground, but the snake kept going and went up. I suppose there was a nest up there. I don't know for sure, but I don't think the snake got the eggs.

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