We lost Marvin this spring. He was a lovely old barn cat who actually never left the hayloft. He used to sit up in the hay door and survey the landscape from on high. He would watch us coming and going and paid close attention when we’d have breakfast on the deck in the summertime, His white form silhouetted against the darkness of the hayloft. He died of old age. The neighbours, whose cat he was, thought he was about fourteen or fifteen years old. A good age for a cat. Then he just stopped living. A mother cat and her three kittens turned up on our front porch last spring. We put out food and water for them. They disappeared again after a few weeks and we later that they had migrated to Marvin’s barn. He welcomed them and became very paternal toward them. Now we see them all grown up, hunting out back for whatever they can find and playing hide-and-seek under the spruce trees. One of them is now expecting and in a few weeks we’ll be seeing a whole new family. I wonder if any will be all white like Marvin? Did his care-taking turn to incest? I don’t think cats are fussy.

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