Why is it that the odd things happen to me when I'm quietly minding my own business? Like yesterday, I was sitting in sight of my back-yard patio and talking on the phone with my friend Jane, and I saw a little black and white cat climbing up the retaining wall.
That kind of scene puts me on alert because Mike and Tiger have claimed not just this house as their territory but anything they can see from the windows, too. When another cat crosses their sight path, their tails puff up to three times their normal sizes, and they growl and hiss and roar a terrible roar. They're like cranky, old cat men yelling, "Get off my lawn." Neither of them saw the intruder cat, so as soon as I hung up the phone, I set out to keep the peace.
I went outside and found this cat, not a little cat but a tiny kitten, confused as to how to get out of the fencing around the pool. I coaxed him out through the gate, and he immediately attached himself to me. For such a tiny creature, he's got a meow like a mountain lion, and he followed me everywhere—to the mailbox, to the trash can, to the gate. He's sweet and affectionate, and judging by his protruding hip bones, he hasn't eaten in days.
He tried to beat me back into the garage door, but I shewed him away and went inside. Out of curiosity, I went back a few minutes later, and he was waiting right by the door, meowing and calling me "mother." So, I fed him. I know, once you feed a stray cat, he's yours for life, but what could I do? I can't keep him—my two big boys would never allow it, not to mention Husband's disdain for cats. And I have no idea what outdoor-cat diseases this little thing might be carrying around with him.
Yesterday morning, mid-Ohio was enjoying 40-plus degree temperatures, but that dropped last night, and we were expecting snow. So, Husband went out to check on the kitten and found him huddled up against a landscaping light for warmth. How sorrowful and pathetic, especially when you consider the lights are on a timer and were scheduled to turn off just after midnight. We brought the kitten in the garage for the night with a little box stuffed with pieces of an old towel and food and water. He was quiet and happy all night, from what I can tell. But now, how to find a home for him?
Small Town has a no-kill cat shelter, and since no one I know can take in Oscar—yes, his name is Oscar—I'll take him to the shelter, and it's going to be a very difficult thing to do. He did call me "mother," after all.
UPDATE: After eating some mushy food, getting a warm bath and cuddling in a warm towel, Oscar has moved to the trusty cat shelter where I believe he will find a loving home.