5/5/10 - Ginger, my cheerful and affectionate big fat sunshine cat, helped me outside yesterday. He lounged under the wheelbarrow, out of the sun and wind, while I sat nearby on the ground and added compost and gypsum to a little flowerbed I made in a sheltered alcove under one of the great room windows. He was good company. Sometimes he ventured out from his shelter, with his tail in a perfect question mark, purring as he climbed up onto my lap, looking for a love.
Later, we went for a walk down to a secret place the cats and I know on the south side of the property. It's a clearing, about 10'x10', in a ring of pine, live oak, and mountain mahogany. Clumps of grass grow among the elk tracks and the big stones there. The stones make nice sun-warmed places to sit, observe, and listen.
Bob joined us and we sat for a spell longer. The three of us went off to inspect an arroyo to see if there's anything we should do to stem the erosion that's eating away and threatens to march up the slope to the house. We decided it would take at least 25 years for it to go that far, so we moved on, past the wildflower meadow and up to the well head, looking for cockleburs. Ginger pounced on Bob, who was much annoyed.
I left the cats lying on the patio in the afternoon sun when I went in to fix supper. It's their custom to prowl in the brush near the house in the late afternoon and evening. When it gets dark out, we call them in for the night. Everybody has adapted to the routine, although Ginger would rather stay out and chase bugs that flock to the patio lights. That's usually just fine because we can keep an eye on him. He won't stray far away from the house.
Ginger wasn't around last night when we called everybody in. He didn't show up later. He's not here this morning. Vanished, without a trace. No alarms from the proximity alerts to warn of danger. No alerting body language from Obie or Bob. No noise, no signs of a scuffle, no footprints.
No more Ginger.