Written by Carol Werth
I was living in a flat in the suburbs and had a kitten named Fabiani; this little guy regularly took himself downstairs to greet a neighbour’s cat, Magita. The two of them were the absolute best of friends. In time, Magita moved into my place and we all relocated together to a farm in Rondeberg, near Cape Town.
Magita moves out
Two years later, we moved to where I currently reside, about seven kilometres away. Over the next few years, I took in numerous stray cats as they just kept coming (I would sterilise and release – and they just stayed). One in particular was extremely nasty to Magita and she took to living out in the fields and spending her time with the horses.
In May 2016, Magita was cornered by a pack of dogs. The dogs’ owner caught them just in time before they caused too much damage or, worse, killed her. Her tail was matted and one of the dog’s teeth had gone straight through her nostril. I brought her home to recuperate in comfort in one of the enclosures (I’ve built a small cattery). Once she’d healed, Magita took off again to live out in the bush.
But this year, for no apparent reason, Magita’s behaviour changed. She was constantly at the gate wanting me to fetch her and put her in the enclosure for the night, as if seeking security. This carried on every night with Magita coming home and being put in the enclosure. During the day I always left the gate open for her to do as she pleased.
Home is where the heart is
Three weeks passed with this becoming a nightly routine. Then, one weekend, I arrived home and made a lovely discovery: Magita, who’d once spent all her time as far as away from home as she could, had climbed onto the carport, through the top window and settled herself on a lounge chair.
Concerned that the other (newer) cats would try to oust her whilst I slept, added to the fact that it was cold outside, I kept her in a large pen in the spare room. After a few nights, she begged to get out, so, despite my concern, I let her go. But, amazingly, she didn’t want to run off back to the great outdoors; she just wanted to settle close to me whilst I painted. And when I retired to bed, Magita followed. A truly amazing feeling after so many years of not having her around to have her as part of the family again.
Magita now spends her days on a shelf that I have cleared for her behind my art easel, near the window. She is home at last.