When Animals Adopt People
He was just there one day. At first I thought the cat was throwing up. I was in a hurry – rushing around on my day off trying to get my mom’s things ready. Connie was going to be 90 in November and she lived with us.
I ran into the breezeway to look around – no piles of spit or vomited food remnants in sight. I kept moving.
Then I heard it again. Through the double bedroom windows I saw a head – a bald pink prehistoric head with blue splashes under the eyes. It peered in at me and I realized that the odd vomiting noise was coming from it. It was gobbling! A silver turkey with a blue and red head and eyes! I opened the bedroom windows to point him out to Connie.
He continued past the bedroom windows and then turned and strutted past the front door, maintaining a show. First, he fanned his tail and strutted one way. Then he turned and tilted his fan towards me and strutted back towards me. He held his large wings around himself like a toreador’s cape and dragged them on the ground, producing a scraping noise. The last part of his burlesque show was a ‘puff’ of air with a click at the end. Quite impressive.
I sat mom up in her wheelchair and drove her to the glass door. He came right up to look in at us. He really wanted admirers.
September progressed and Tommy was there every morning beneath my kitchen window roosting on the pile of timbers that would become a garden swing – calling me with his gobbles. Always watching me through the glass windows –as I ran back and forth across the kitchen, doing chores, feeding cats. We realized that he had been watching us from the woods for about 10 days – watching us herd our chickens across the lawns, working in the yard and now herding cats across the kitchen.
I guess he thought we were a safe haven. We had flocks of wild turkeys that visited our yard often. Dark brown birds – slender and unruly. But compared to them he looked like a gentleman. Much showier and actually quite polite, in his own way. And he had chosen us. He wanted in. There was no doubt that he had joined the family.