Do you remember my mentioning the cat who yowled all night? Well, he stayed around for the next few nights, with that tomcat yowl, but we were firm to not feed him, not pet him, and encourage him to return to his home. But by Saturday he was looking thin and it was really begin to look like he had just been dumped out by some brainless twit or something — he has orange-ish paint on his whiskers, side, and right leg, so we don’t know if he may have been tossed out for ruining a painting project or happened by the paint in his outdoor wanderings or what. So with big puppy dog eyes all five of us girls begged The Husband to let us feed him.
Now, you should know that I had two cats when we were first married and The Husband was no fan of the felines. The two cats, siblings Henry and the very unladylike Lady MacDuff (always shortened to just ‘MacDuff), were an interesting pair. Henry was a loveable, not quite Mensa material, lap cat and looked a lot like this while MacDuff was a cunning, sadistic, mean-spirited and quick-footed genius who looked like this. MacDuff would bat Henry’s head while he was sleeping, dash around a corner and wait to ambush him as he wandered by to see what had just got him. It was rather like Lucy, Charlie Brown and the football. She also had the very bad habit of peeing on things when she was mad, giving new meaning to the phrase ‘pissed off’, which was exactly where she and The Husband collided and so we have lived cat-free for about 13 years, when Henry died of feline leukemia and MacDuff was hit by a car. So I really didn’t have any expectation that this stray was going to find favor in his eyes now.
It was Saturday morning when I went to the store and bought some cat food, a litter box, flea/tick collar, and other supplies and we put The Cat in the garage to test it for litter training and to keep it over the weekend until we could call the Humane Society and place an ad in the paper. The Animal Control people had no calls looking for such a cat as this. Tuesday, the first day the ad ran, there were no calls. Wednesday as we were getting ready to eat before racing off to meetings, there came a call — is the cat male? neutered? declawed? it might be my cat — can I come see it tonight? Dinner became a subdued meal, as we tried to explain to the Tartlets that if the cat belonged to this person we needed to give him back, because we would want our pet returned if we lost it. The man came and no, that’s not my cat, he said. Tartlet 1 developed a huge grin and the whole family mood seemed to brighten. And so it seems The Cat is going to stay with us and adopt us as his own; he’s been outside a couple of times and always comes back to us. We have so far not settled on a name for him. We’ve discussed Whiskers, Socks, Fang (he’s bitten/nipped all but The Husband and Tartlet 3, so far — we’ve learned he really doesn’t want his feet touched), Tom, Mousetrap, Freeloader, but really it doesn’t matter what we call him because 1) cats don’t need to respond to human requests — it’s the other way around and he’ll equally ignore any name we choose to call him and 2) all names translate into cat language as roughly ‘royal majesty’ or ‘god’. Still, this one seems to have a pleasant personality — not needy and whiny, not mean, but definitely aloof most of the time, taking attention in limited doses and disappearing to hide when he’s reached his limit.