Friday, June 25, 2010

The abandoned cat that found a home

One afternoon, the neighbor called to me, "Is that Scruffy?"  He pointed to my dad's car (we had not sold it yet--it took me months before I could let it go) where hovering in front of the back wheel was a gray striped cat.  I knew Scruffy was miles away in B'ville being cared for by a neighbor.  I crouched down and it came to me immediately. It was so skinny.  I gave it some cat food and watched as it literally gulped the equivalent of a small handful down over and over.  My cats nibbled one morsel at a time. Not this cat--he shoveled and gulped---he was starved!
It was obvious in all sorts of ways that he'd been a pet. To make a long story short, we discovered that his owners had abandoned him as they just "up and left" one night.  He settled in here with my husband.  I had only intended on feeding him, but not totally adopting him. Then one night there was a terrible storm--a downpour with lightning and thunder.  M. let him in. 
From the other side of the state, I gasped over the phone, "You did what?"  M. wasn't one to take in strays.  His response, "I couldn't leave him out there in that storm!"
We never found out his name and my practical husband just called him Cat, which seemed fine with the cat.
As you can see, he settled in:

Then the stories began.  M. would tell me Cat's latest favorite spot--his routine--his quirkiness.

For example: Every morning this was the state of the bathroom while M. got ready:


Then as winter came, Cat got attached to the kerosene heater that M. kept on in the living room.

M. has a habit of tossing the parts of the newspaper on the floor after he has read them.  When he's finished reading, he gathers the paper up.
Cat liked the paper.

Cat was at home here.

The ritual Cat established was he would go meet the neighbor when he got home from work and the neighbor would let him in our house (M. wasn't due for 3 more hours).
This was cool with M.  When he came up to visit me at B'ville, the neighbors would let Cat in and out of the house.  The neighbor girl got paid for setting out the food and water and letting Cat out before she went to school and making sure he was back in before she went to bed.
Then came the weekend when cat didn't come back to be let in.  He disappeared. 
When M. arrived home, the girl was distraught. Cat had never returned. M. gave him that night and the next day. Then when M. came home from work  and still no Cat, he went looking for a dead body or the remains of one.  Woods border the back of our property and we have coyotes (they are appearing in many suburbs of Cincinnati). He had a sturdy box to put him in.  But no body, no remains.
It's been 3 weeks and still no Cat.
M. took it fine.  I think he was dreading the time when I would have to take him and have him put him down.  You see he had FIV (the feline version of HIV) and he could never be put with my cats.  My cats would not welcome him and all it takes is one bite and he could infect mine.
You can't give a cat away that has FIV and we weren't going to abandon him. M. moves up to B'ville this August and our house here in Cinci goes on the market.
So we can only hope that Cat died quickly or perhaps sensed something and let another family take him in.(It's obvious we're moving ---furniture is 'disappearing' and boxes are 'appearing'.
Cats are not stupid.
Meanwhile, my cats are back here.  I couldn't expect my neighbor to give two insulin shots a day to George and I hadn't figured out what I was going to do, because I couldn't bring them around Cat.
But now that Cat's gone, I could.  My vet gave me sedatives that I could squirt in the side of their mouths.  The sedatives worked quite well --it didn't knock them out, but neither did George stridently meow for 4 straight hours. Praise God!

As you can see, George and Scruffy  have settled in.


  1. Well, the end is kind of sad, but I love that he was named Cat! I also thought it was Sam when I first saw the picture.

  2. Oh, I feel kind of sad about him. He looks so much like our favorite childhood cat, Junior. I prefer to think he found another family. Have you ever read any of the James Herriot books? He tells a very similar story about a cat who adopted their family and then eventually went back to his original home. Maybe Cat adopted your husband when he needed him, then moved on to love someone else.

  3. I like Cat in the sink ... and everywhere.

  4. I so enjoy cats. Haven't had any for years b/c life interferes with that opportunity. BUT, I can still enjoy them being enjoyed. Glad he had a time of love and welcoming and appreciation.

  5. this is a wonderful story and so glad that cat got a good home for the time he needed it.


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