If you are one of several feral cats that live at Fourth of July Park in Kernersville, North Carolina, here is how your evening routine usually happens: around 7:00 p.m. you walk to either the curb or in the circle located next to the tennis courts. Next, you sit or lay down as though you’re waiting for something. Then, all of a sudden, a white Toyota Matrix approaches you. The driver honks the horn several times as though she were a mother calling her kids for dinner. The “mother” then parks her car, opens the door, steps out, shuts the door, and walks toward the trunk. You and several of your fellow feline friends run or walk towards the woman whom you recognize because she usually wears a baseball cap, glasses, a short-sleeved shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes. As she arrives at the trunk, she opens it up to reveal a feast fit for a king if they were of the felis catus persuasion. Your eyes widen at the site of bags of your favorite dry food, cans of every variety known to your pallet, and plastic containers of treats that you know she will dispense from if you let her know by speaking to her or rubbing against her leg. At last, “Peggy” whom you’ve heard her been called before, pours these items into plastic bowls that lay on the ground. And you’re not the only one who’s hungry; about five to ten of your acquaintances have been patient too and rush toward the troughs. As you and several of your dinner guests enjoy their meal, you look over and see a “regular” approaching. Even though she is a black short-hair cat, you automatically recognize her because of the injury to her right front paw that did not heal properly when she broke it awhile ago. “Ms. Gulch,” as Peggy calls her, runs and limps across the parking lot, occasionally stopping to rest before she continues to run limply once again. Ms. Gulch then picks one of the bowls to eat from which is usually the first one she sees after she finishes her pre-supper jog. While you’re devouring the food, the black short hair creeps up to the bowl that you’re eating from and before she begins to eat, she uses her improperly-healed foot as a club or some other weapon followed by a hissing sound to drive you away from the eating area. This action alone is the reason she earned her nickname from a character out of a story you heard entitled The Wizard of Oz.
Peggy, who has done this act for eight years, continues to feed her “fur children” each evening in every type of weather. If you happen to pass by the park and you see her with her trusty white Pyrenees companion named Baron, please stop by and thank her for helping those less fortunate animals that have either been abandoned or made their way to the park on their own.