Last summer a chicken appeared at my office.
I work in the country, on former farmland in rural Oregon. We’d just been granted the gift of feral kittens a few weeks earlier. They lived and romped and played in a shed on the back of the property.
One day a chicken appeared. Where it came from is anybody’s guess. For weeks it lived with the kittens (who were much smaller than the bird), eating their (chicken flavored) cat food, drinking their water, sleeping in their shed. It would stand side-by-side with the kittens and eat from the same dish. They lived in harmony.
Eventually the kittens came to see the chicken as a plaything. This caused friction in the interspecies relations on our land. The chicken began to hang back, to let the kittens have first dibs on the food.
The chicken achieved its place at the top of the pecking order, though, when one kitten was hit by a car, and the other two were quickly adopted by employees. For months, now, the chicken has stood outside the office door begging for food every morning. We’ve continued to feed it chicken flavored cat food.
Meanwhile, another stray cat appeared. Princess and the chicken live in harmony, for the most part. (Princess does like to tease the chicken, but has no real designs on it.)
Now the chicken is missing. We haven’t seen it for days. This saddens me. Fortunately, I had the foresight to film the chicken for posterity. Here is the lame little video of my feral chicken:
I still harbor hopes that the chicken is merely off on an adventure, and that it will return to beg for food outside the office door once more.