Iris the cat looking at herself.
Iris was feral...wild through and through and yet she allowed herself to share space in my life for 12 years.
The day she arrived, in the outstretched hands of a teenage neighbor, her eyes were still sealed shut and she fit snugly into the palm of my hand. She had been found where her mother had dropped her while moving her brood. By the time Iris's eyes opened she ruled the cottage including me and my guy, 2 Irish Setters, an Old English Sheepdog, and a coop full of Rhode Island Reds.
Never one to give away her power she used the singular "OW" for all communication rather than the obliging "MEOW" that connotes attachment.
Her favorite activity was snake hunting back in the fields behind the house. She would approach with the creature draped through her jaws calling "OW. OW" as she came closer to the door. Once she returned home with a full grown rabbit carried through her cat window and arranged like a Florentine still life outside the kitchen door.
I do not condone domestic cats marauding the landscape decimating the bird and small mammal population. I would not allow a domestic cat to do so. Iris was a wild being and I respected her origins and her chemistry and her genes. As a result I experienced the closest thing to living with a tiger, albeit in miniature, that I could imagine.
Today I celebrate that relationship and the many gifts it brought into my life. Thanks Iris, you were indeed a Rainbow Goddess spreading across the sky of my life.