The Cat Under The School House
By Ana Robar
When I was a little girl my mom used to take my sister and I to the Montauk Light House to visit the cat colony. These were the good old days, about twenty years ago when it was actually free to park and to go into the lighthouse. Right behind the parking lot was a little forest area where hundreds of cats called home and they were very friendly even though the colony was feral. We were just a few of many people that brought food, bowls of water and shelter. You can say cats are a main part of my life, in fact the first nine years of my life I was raised in Romania amongst seven stray cats that found refuge in our home. There was the twin black and white brothers, little grey witch, and the blue eyed skeleton just a few of the many characters that were found abandoned at the school yard dumpster right across the street from our house. Most of our neighbors would poison the neighborhood cats and even drown newly born kittens in the city street sewer system.
We moved to Sag Harbor from Brooklyn, and brought our little red devil cat that we found abandoned in a bush at the front entrance to our roach infested apartment. We hoped the fresh country air would calm him down since he seemed to attack anything that moved. His named was Pitec, which is a Romanian term for small. Pitec became quite an outdoors cat, he barely wanted to come into the house for his daily milk and cold cuts meal. He became the neighborhood criminal, any cat in the vicinity of our house was as good as beaten to a pulp. All of nature’s creatures were hunted down and brought to our doorstep as gifts from the Gods. Of course on a rare occasion I would save a chipmunk from his savage fangs but it wasn’t without a fight. The battles continued for a few years until Pitec got feline aids from another cat and when his time came he went into hiding to await his death, we never saw him again.
My mom worked at the Sag Harbor Industries which is a factory that made parts for the Bulova watch company back then. Not very long after Pitec’s passing she brought home a little stray from work named Kiki, there is not much to say about Kiki except that he quickly got replaced by Kiki No. 2 after being hit by a car. They both had the same black and white stripes like they were born from the same littler and the only difference is that the second Kiki was obsessed with high spaces. He lived his short life above our kitchen cabinets and refrigerator.
The natural state of a cat is being either a bush dweller or a tree dweller hunting and surveying their pray before they pounce . No. 2 unfortunately had leukemia and died shortly after we bought our first home in walking distance from long beach, also known as short beach road. I was a student at the Sag Harbor Elementary School, where now my son attends second grade, I have reached my full circle of life at the young age of thirty eight. I feel happy but I am missing that little piece of my puzzle you will soon find out about.
So enough of my mom’s cats, between the time I moved out at 17 years of age to live on a golf course with my then “I was so blind phase” boyfriend, she had 3 more cats that either disappeared or got hit by a car. A moment of silence please for, Roscovel aka red raccoon tail, poo poo “yes, that’s what she named” the fuzzy black cotton ball, Fluffy Champion No. 1, Joey aka Dihala and last my Reeves that I found at the Quogue Wildlife Shelter and raised on the golf course until I had to give him to my mom before leaving for the United States Army.
Reeves was named after the actor Keanu Reeves and later re-named by my mom Cabus or Calu aka big horse, big head. He died from a head wound infection but he died his own way at his favorite spot in the back yard under the hammock and shade of the majestic pine tree. He wasn’t the only cat to enjoy the green rolling hills of the Pine Hill golf course in Manorville, in fact I had a cat that appeared on my doorstep one day. She was a fat, white and red cat with a big red nose like Rudolph the reindeer, so I named her Rudi. Later, after I left my boyfriend, I went back for a visit to the golf course only to find out why Rudi was so fat, she had a litter of kittens running the little studio apartment ragged. She gave birth on the bathroom floor and later the kittens went up for adoption and as for Rudi I hope she was set free to roam the golf course again.