Wild Waldo and Valentine’s Day

Goats are said to become tame and go wild faster than any other creature. And since recent attempts to integrate them with Waldo, they have learned to return for corn whenever I turn up. I recently took in three feral kittens/young cats as mousers in the barn. Only one is still visible (the others MAY be hiding, or they may have been eaten). It is said they will never seek human contact, and one should not try. But this one black/grey little guy … is slim, sleek, and desperately affectionate, curling his body around my legs. So, early today I set out flyers about Waldo-Lost Dog, including one at the church at the bottom of Sunny Slope road just before their morning sevice. A Miss Scott called from way back in the hollow on Hollis Creek Rd. She had him, and when I went round, he was on the road walking with yet another lady, who was surprised to learn I was his ‘owner’. Two other dogs turned up, and there were various attempts at canine fornication (though I believe they were all boys). I took him home in the back of the truck, walked him up to the barn etc. He checked out his hut, found no food there, and set off into the distance round the lake. At the same time as my dear Waldo was going rogue and I was sitting on the rocks, the little barn cat was shedding his ‘feral’ label, enjoying being stroked and petted. On this Valentine’s Day, I am thinking I have been sent a big lesson. You will lose what you don’t keep stroking … And you can conquer even a wild creature if you put it out there. But I am especially sad about Waldo, who I assume, has gone back to his new friends. I guess I blew it. Just then he came bounding up from behind the barn, having obviously made a very long circuit, probably peeing on every tree trunk. I gave him food in his hut, heard the scuttling of mice, the ‘feral’ kitten joined the party (and smelled the mice), Waldo chased the kitten, ate some food, and came back with me to the house, where he wouldn’t come in, and where he was greeted with hissing from Berzerker, asleep on the recliner on the porch. I gave him more food. He hung out on the porch, ate the food while I combed him out, then after barking at ?? (a deer?) he disappeared. It’s not so much a dog-eat-dog world as one in which tastes and affections, and food are unpredictably distributed. But if you want to keep it, stroke it.