I had been down and out before but not quite like this.
I was devouring information and drink by night and micro-farming in my parents backyard during the day. I had just been fired for being weird from a volunteer position on a bio-intensive farm.
The problem is that I can be super charming- in small doses. I don’t really do well around other people for longer periods of time. I wear out my welcome, unless of course I like you, then you are doomed.
So here I was, growing food on a 20’ by 30’ piece of land I had prepped the year before. I grew broccoli, kale, huge “Mammoth” sunflowers, potatoes, herbs, all kinds of good stuff… it was very gratifying. All from seed too!
The trouble was that the ideas and concepts I was tackling during that time were socially isolating. Friends and family were turned off by the truth I was pursuing. Rewarding work by day crashed into drunken nights and a special hue of deep, deep, blue.
I was as alone as anyone ever was, except him...
The first time Roky B came around, the seeds were just sewn. He was a terrible mess. Ribs sticking out, matted hair, an eye infection… My parents had two spoiled, pig-cats, so I ran inside and got a few cans of grain-free cat food. I opened a can and spooned some onto a saucer. The mostly dead cat was up on the hill. Suspicious. I wondered if he wasn’t completely feral. I set the plate down and backed up the other side of the hill and sat down slowly.
The saucer lay between us.
I sat down on the grass and watched him. He closed his eyes and his nose started to sniff as his head bobbed slightly. He picked up the scent. His eyes were back on me. A moment passed. “Go ahead buddy, eat.”
He followed the scent, then stopped at the dish, hunched over in such a way that he could keep two eyes on me, and he began to eat. Slowly at first, and always eyeing me. His eyes finally dropped and he caught his rhythm.
“There you go.” I said soothingly. “Yeah… Eat up... You are loved.”
Only his ears turned towards my words. I was so happy to see him eat. The food was gone. He straightened and looked at me, licked his chops once, then hastily retreated. Off to survive another day. This routine would continue most days. The few days he didn’t come around I felt like the inevitable had happened. I was happy to be wrong.
Each day I would retreat a shorter distance away from the plate as he ate, always telling him the same thing, “You are loved.”
After two months or so he would eat as I stood next to him. I gathered the nerve and made my move. I reached down and brushed the first molecule of an ear hair. I didn’t even feel it. His head whipped upward and his eyes were on my neck. A look of, “We ain’t there yet bro.” on his face.
I backed up slowly, “It’s okay… enjoy… you are loved…”
The next day I reached down and stroked his head lightly with a knuckle. He froze. Progress. I backed up slowly, “It’s okay… enjoy… you are loved…” The next day he allowed me to pet him gently as he ate. I wasn’t greedy.
“You are loved.”
I went up the hill 20 feet and sat down as he finished eating. We both sat in the sun on a beautiful Seattle day in late September. He cleaned up a bit and started leisurely heading out into the day. I was used to this and said goodbye.
He stopped, licked his paws and ran them over his face a few times and sat facing me. I did not know what to do but talk to him. So I did.
He began to walk up the hill towards me. I stayed still as I continued talking to him. He was at arms reach now. I offered my the top of my hand as you would for someone to take it and kiss it. He butted his head into it. I let him rub his head on my hand. Then he sat down next to me in the sun. We sat there quietly. Peacefully.
We were no longer alone. We were now a tribe of two. We were loved.
After that I trapped him and had him neutered. He almost had to have an eye removed due to infection. He did need to have one fang removed, which is fine, now that he eats squishy food out of a can. Roky also accompanied me when I moved to Chile! The two of us went from half dead to world traveller's!
From our tribe to yours, Roky B and I wish you a Virginic day! You are loved!
What a cutie-pie!
A quick reminder peeps: I am paid to do this. I am able to write freely because we we want you to like me. So buy some of our wicked-awesome products and ALWAYS use the promo code VIRGINICJEFF for 10% off your purchases!
Oh and my micro-farm produced well and was delicious! Tell me about your tribe in the chat below. Or tell us about your own freshly grown produce for that matter! We can make some salsa together…