Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Strays: good things

stray |strā|
verb [ intrans. ]
1. not in the right place; not where it should be or where other items of the same kind are : he pushed a few stray hairs from her face.
• appearing somewhere by chance or accident; not part of a general pattern or plan : she was killed by a stray bullet.
• (of a domestic animal) having no home or having wandered away from home : stray dogs.

I am a sucker for stray and homeless things. I picked these two definitions from the meaning of the word ‘stray’ because I have both of them. One was outside but has now been brought inside; the other is still outside and not going to be brought in.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Not coming in.

This kitten started coming around about a month or more ago. It showed up at our bird feeding station eating anything it could find that the birds left. It was just a tiny baby then, with the blue eyes that nearly every kitten starts out with. I felt so sorry for it! I checked my nearest neighbors and it doesn’t belong to them. I’m not certain if inquiring further down the road would turn up its owner or not. I am assuming he/she is feral because it’s very spooky. Yes, don’t lecture me; I started leaving kitty kibble out for it on the front step. I know, I know. Not smart. But, he/she is growing now and looking good. His/her eyes have changed to a grayish-hazel. I still can’t even attempt to approach it, but now it will watch me from a distance as I’m pouring the kibble into its bowl. After about ten minutes it feels it is safe enough to come and eat.  I fear for it during the winter but I can’t bring a feral cat into my house. Hopefully he/she will find a cozy, warm place to weather it through.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Already in.

Here are my other “strays.” These begonias started popping up in the planting bed next to the front steps. They started from seed (somehow!) and I watched them grow daily. I’m not sure where they came from either as I’ve never had begonias around. This summer I had geraniums and vinca vine planted in the pots on the front steps, but no begonias. Just before we had a hard frost I went out and dug them up. I wasn’t fussy about getting all the roots—just plunked them down in some Miracle-Gro® potting mix in whatever pots I had that they would fit in. They are doing beautifully, and as you can see I have several colors!

Both my strays give me pleasure. I love seeing the little kitten coming around and hope that some day I can earn its trust enough to not have it run every time I open the door. My begonia strays brighten my day every time I look at their bounty of multi-colored blooms. To see them both growing and thriving is a good thing.


Both of your strays are delightful!

You are supposed to bring plants in? I’ve been watching my geraniums to see how long they will last…my brown thumb is showing.

ah that just the sort of kitten i love most, grey-tabby.

i’ve just got some begonia rex i’m hoping will adapt to my winter dining room - not looking too happy so far.  :o(

You are so wonderful to take care of the kitten who will know well how to fend for herself once winter comes. I salute you and your humanity!

Susan, yes you need to bring flowers in if you want them to survive the winter. At least in New Jersey you do!

Letty, it is just the cutest thing. It has unusual markings, kind of like a grey ocelot! Hope your begonias get happier!

Reya, I hope it will know how to fend for itself. I hope that I am not doing it a disservice by feeding it. I HAD to feed it! hah! my verification word here is “service”. too funny ...

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