Cat woman: There’s a new girl in the house

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Full-figured Bingo is not quite sure where she is just yet.

But, with typical feline curiosity, she is exploring every corner of every room, every cupboard, every closed door, every possible hidey-hole.

In fact, this morning — her first here, having arrived only yesterday — I almost panicked because I couldn’t find her anywhere. We had become chummy in her room (previously Lisa’s) that first evening, and I knew there was no way for her to slip outside, so she had to be here somewhere. And I knew she’d figured out she was among friends.

It took a flashlight to find her in the cellar. She was actually beneath the old, long chest freezer and how, with her considerable girth, she’d made it under there, I can’t imagine. How to get her out? It would have to be the broom.

I came upstairs for it, and suddenly, there she was at the bottom of the stairs, looking at me and meowing softly.

Once in the kitchen, she remembered that we’d made friends. And even though Winnie is still a bit afraid of her — this kitty has to weight at least 15 pounds and is so much bigger and darker than dear Lisa — they are gradually getting used to being in the same room without either of them freaking out.

About Bingo

Three-year-old Bingo is a shiny, dark, tiger stripe with white feet in front, white hind legs from the hock down, a white medallion on her chest, and lovely white and beige fur on her tummy, which she loves to have rubbed.

Her story: She was rescued two years ago as a stray from in front of a church hall by a dear animal lover who had taken her mom to play bingo. Of course, she was named Bingo, and life was good. She had two little boys to play with, two other kitties and a terrier, and after being spayed, she settled in for the long haul.

But circumstances changed, for the worse. Her Samaritan’s mother had a stroke and had to be placed in a nursing home, and since the house was in her name, complications arose. Most apartments do not allow pets, and the economy made pet care terribly expensive. Something had to give.

Bingo had to find a new home.

Pre-destined?

It just so happened that word of my Lisa’s passing and of my search for an older kitty, one who really needed to find an extra-special home, reached the Samaritan whom I had known for years!

Doesn’t it seem there had to have been some divine guidance?

I have had many wonderful kitties in my life, and already Bingo is finding her niche. It is not that she is replacing Lisa. Lisa was irreplaceable.

It is that she is easing the ache in my heart — and a vacancy in this house where there have been cats as long as I’ve been here, and that is a long, long time.

I will keep you posted!

* * *

The red, red robins

Marks your calendar: I heard a robin this morning, Feb. 26. And a dove managed a quick dunking in the bird bath, filled with melted snow water.

I am seeing more house finches than usual, and their cheerful trilling certainly pays for the bird seed they consume. I’m keeping an eye on a one-legged sparrow that has managed to survive the winter. It probably lost the leg when it literally froze to a branch.

Also of note: A chipmunk surfaced on the back porch Feb. 9 and has been making himself very much at home, even dining on the window feeder and paying no attention to my efforts to shoo him.

And those several days of high wind brought unwelcome starlings and grackles, which also are oblivious to my shooing.

* * *

Many thanks

My most sincere thanks to the many readers who took the time and trouble to send me condolences about Lisa’s passing. I lay them out on the dining room table where there is a single rose also sent in sympathy.

About the Author

A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Janie Jenkins retired in 1987 as a feature writer and columnist at the Youngstown Vindicator. In June of that same year, she started writing her column, "On My Mind" for Farm and Dairy. She loves all animals and is an accomplished equestrienne. Local history is also one of her loves, and her home, the former Southern Park Stables, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More Stories by Janie Jenkins

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