I never saw myself as a cat lover. They are aloof and unfriendly, hardly a pet, more of an animal that allows you to live with it. Or so I thought. Not so with this feline. It’s affectionate, attentive, warm and cuddly. Frankly, it’s everything I didn’t think cats were.
It came to us one evening back in 2009. My son was coming in the front door and said, “This cat is following me. Can we keep it?” Classic line, eh? Immediately all those parental thoughts went though my mind about another pet, another responsibility, another mouth to feed, etc. I was about to say “no” until I saw the little kitten about 8 weeks old. It was a beautiful blonde-color and slightly darker stripes and big saucer eyes. Although it was cautious, it was also very friendly. I got it a bowl of tuna from the cupboard and it ate hungrily.
It had probably just been weaned and either got lost by a neighbor or was feral. We lived in an area were there was a lot of open land around us and I’d seen some feral cats around in the last couple years. But it was in pretty good health and condition so I figured it was a lost pet. I called the neighbors and emailed the local street watch captain. No one claimed it.
In the meantime, it had found a few safe, comfortable places around the family room. It seemed to prefer being close around us humans but didn’t take kindly to the two dogs. The larger one wanted to investigate it and “mother” it. The other was suspicious of this as she is of everything. But they generally left it alone and they all avoided each other for the most part.
After a couple weeks, it appeared my answer to the question of “Can we keep it?” became a begruding “yes”. It really wasn’t much trouble. It took immediately to the litter box and liked to “hang out” with us in the family room. I guess it was a “family cat”. It liked to play aggressively with my son but be gentle and petted by me. It really liked having its belly scratched and that was something I’d not seen in cats before. They are usually very defensive about their underside. What impressed me was how it just sort of picked out our house to be its home and how quickly it warmed to us and the two dogs.
But now that I had what looked to me like a female kitten, I wanted to have it spayed so I didn’t have to deal with it going into heat. I’d seen that and it’s not pretty! They moan and groan and seem so uncomfortable. So I contacted a local clinic and set up an appointment, got a carrier (it took to it very quickly and liked to play in it), and on the appointed day, we set out. We dropped it off at eight o’clock, paid the fee, and were told we’d get a call when it was ready.
About two that afternoon, they called and said, “Your cat is ready but we couldn’t spay it.”
“Oh my God!”, I thought. It was already pregnant and they couldn’t do the surgery or there was some other issue. I know I should have said “no” and now it’s going to cost me more money and trouble and then I will have the problem of getting rid of a bunch of kittens.
“What was the problem?” I asked.
“Well, we couldn’t spay HER but we did neuter HIM”, was the answer.
Go figure. I didn’t know much about cats and this proved it. Coulda fooled me.
He really doesn’t have a name, per se. We refer to him as Mr. Puss, Colonel Cuddles, Little Guy, Little one, Puss, etc. But no matter how we refer to him, we know who we’re talking about. The cat. And after several years, he’s a real friend and member of the family.
You can expect more blog entries about this member of the family.