There are many reasons for me not to have a cat:
- I’m allergic to cats, dogs, and pretty much anything with fur or feathers.
- I’m uncomfortable about the idea of getting emotionally attached to a creature that is likely to die before me.
- When I’m lost in thought, I’m very easily startled (to the point of jumping and shrieking) when someone approaches me unexpectedly. How would I react to a cat slinking around quietly?
- The kids are finally old enough that I don’t have to run around after them cleaning up their pee, poo, and barf all the time. I have no desire to start doing that again, with the added bonus features of hairballs and dead mice.
- I don’t want to set a pet precendent, because sooner or later the kids will want a puppy, and there’s no way I am getting up every morning at 7 to walk a dog when they get bored of actually taking care of it.
Nonetheless, I do actually like cats, and I find myself in the awkward position of getting attached to the one that has made his home in our back garden. We found him mewing pitifully in one of our plant beds on 22nd July. His left foreleg had got stuck stuck through his collar, and he was walking with an awkward limp. He was extremely thin, and very skittish. We fed him some tuna, and put a cushion in the garden shed, so he would have some place to shelter from the rain. He has been with us ever since.
Our first theory was that his owners had gone off on holiday, and their feeding arrangements hadn’t worked out. Perhaps the cat flap had got jammed shut, or the person they had asked to feed the cat while they were away had forgotten about it. We have been feeding him twice a day, but trying not to make him feel too welcome, in the hope that eventually he’ll give up on us and return to his owners.
That’s…not really working out so far.
We’ve treated him for fleas. We’ve bought him a cat toy. He has made himself a comfortable home in our vegetable patch. And even though we chase him out of the house with a water spray whenever he sneaks in the back door, I think he kinda likes it here. We call him “Lol.”
So now we bring out the heavy artillery: posters. I’m going to put some up around the neighbourhood to see if anyone recognizes him and wants him back. He has a small wound on his left hind leg, and it looks like the fur there has been shaved, so it’s possible he has had an operation recently. Next week I’ll take him to the vet and see if the vet recognizes him.
Ideally, someone will claim him, and the decision about what to do with him will be out of my hands. I’m looking forward to missing him when he’s gone.