When the entire garden is open to explore . . .

I could never feel right by embarrassing her, except by relating the tale, but we have never seen a cat in such excited ecstasy before, and when she’s happy, well, she drools. Three months on, and since we’re finally settled in our permanent home, it was time to introduce Kali cat to the garden.

As it turned out, she ventured outside on her own steam through a door inadvertently left ajar, but since we were sitting nearby on the garden seats, we welcomed her with our own joy — and no little trepidation. Would she bolt?

No, it was just a case of eager exploration, checking out the neighbour’s too, where there was a gap in the fence, and darting hither and thither in widening circles. All was well, and within moments she felt familiar with an open window that for now will be her passage to the great outdoors. But she had been quite overcome with cat emotion, it seemed, and the drool glands opened. Had she been human, it would have been tear ducts, we’re sure.

Freedom is its own reward, of course, but with it comes risk, and possible danger. We’re not set back so far from the road as we used to be, and though Kali had once had road sense, that surely has long passed into oblivion during her lifetime up in the North Pennine moorlands. Too, there’s danger of another kind: will the flitting little birds that enjoy the feeders hung so close to the house, right beside the garden benches, be safe from cat predation? Their wing throbs are so close to our heads that they seem to thrum as they pass by. We hope we’re not exchanging one kind of joy for another, accompanied by some sort of sadness.

Time, as always, will tell, but meanwhile, we’ll revel in the joy that freedom brings. We’re experiencing that ourselves, both directly in the sunshine, and vicariously through the cat’s lived excitement!

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