As we walked along the fenceline that encases the graveyard, we heard meowing, and a little calico cat with golden eyes sauntered out of the undergrowth. She was the friendliest cat I've ever met, and she immediately rolled on her back so we could scratch her belly. She was a little skinny, but her coat was glossy, so we assumed she belonged to one of the closest neighbors to the woods. Husband and I forged through the dense weeds and bushes in search of black raspberries, and the little cat followed us for an hour or more, picking her way gingerly around stickers and tall grass.
She followed us back to the truck, and I gave her a small bowl of water, which she eventually lapped up. I hated to leave her, but I hoped she really did belong to someone close by.
The next morning, however, I got a phone call from my dad. It began as many conversations with my parents begin, a preface to some crazy thing they'd gotten themselves into, "Well, you'll never guess what we did..." My dad has a wonderfully soft heart when it comes to animals. I've never seen him be cruel to any living creature, and he never turned away the various animals that were dumped off at our old farmhouse (a common occurrence in the country).
He told me that he was thinking about that little cat all night long. He finally decided he just couldn't believe the cat belonged to someone, appearing in the woods all alone. Late that night he had told mom that he thought they should return and look for the cat. They almost went that night, but they doubted the cat would be found in pitch black, so they ventured out bright and early the next morning, skipping church to look for the lost little soul. And they found her, exactly where we'd left her the day before. They brought her home (into their house, an unusual occurrence given the cat allergy of their daughter *cough* me *cough*) and gave her food and water and many cuddles. Then they found a good home for her, with a neighbor just down the road. My parents already have nine outside cats, and they didn't want the dominant male to reject her, risking her running away.
So she has a new home and my dad can sleep easy and I can remember why my parents are really, truly wonderful people. He suggested naming her "Raspberry."