In all of its glorious mystery, the universal life energy has a way of reminding us how all life is connected. ALL life. That means even our fur baby friends pick up on our emotions and thoughts and as such are connected to us. And the most mysterious of all is that these fur children need not even be ours for that connection to be experienced. Which leads me to tell you a little story about a little cat who has decided to make our place her temporary home until her mama is able to care for her again. It wasn't planned. At least not on our part. But like animals often do, they tend to pick us. Little kitty certainly did just that.
Our union began one afternoon many weeks ago. I was outside in the yard going about my business of unexciting yardwork when I heard this crying sound. I quickly realized it was a cat in some sort of distress. I determined the location: under the house. Following the sound, I walked to one of the vents and sure enough, there was this sweet little face with beautiful light green eyes looking up at me, meowing at me, making it clear she was in need of help. NOW. Realizing that she didn't appear to be injured, I knew what she wanted was simply to be out from under the house. Considering the vents on our side of the house are closed, I set off to the other side of the house to find the open vent in which she entered. By the time I got to the other side of the house, she came trotting around the corner, walked right up to me and began what is by now her very familiar meow cry.
I have a cat allergy so I'm careful in how I handle cats. I never know which ones will affect me and to what degree. I felt such an immediate bond with this little creature that I decided to risk it, so I picked her up and wondered who she belonged to. She had a collar, but no identity tags. Well fed and groomed, she was obviously not a stray. Just as I began to put together some sort of a plan to find her owner, our new neighbor opened the front door, looked at me holding this cat and said "Oh, THERE she is!"
"Ah, so she's your cat," I said.
"Well, no. We're just cat sitting for her until her own comes to get her," he said.
"Oh, ok," I said, handing him the cat.
I went back home and thought no more of it.
That is until the next day when she appeared at our patio door, crying again. So I went outside and gave her some attention. That didn't stop the meowing. So I picked her up. Nope. That was not what she wanted.
Now I'm used to dogs and dogs don't cry. At least mine doesn't.
Maybe she's hungry? I thought.
We just happened to have some canned cat food. Our home, wherever that has been, has been a place that the occasional stray or lost pet will find. As such, I keep extra cat food on hand for just such an occasion.
So I popped open a can, placed it on a plate, put it in front of her and watched this cat eat as though she hadn't eaten in days. Her crying? Completely stopped.
After she was done, she looked up at me, gave me a little meow as if to say "thank you" and took off.
Thinking that was the end of it, I went back inside.
She showed up again the next day. And she was there when we went to bed later in the evening.
What does this cat think this is? I thought. The Hilton?
So I paid the neighbors a visit.
"Your cat keeps coming into our yard and she seems hungry. Are you not feeding her?"
I was told for whatever reason, little kitty likes to run out the door whenever they open it. And she is impossible to catch (something I have since discovered to be true). The end result is a cat who had been spending most of the nights outside, sometimes going all day without food.
What to do?
It was becoming obvious she liked being over at our place, despite our having a dog. (More on that relationship in a bit.) I'm not sure if she just doesn't like her new pet sitters or if it's due to their having a cat, but she seemed to pick our place at her new living quarters. I certainly didn't feel ok knowing this little creature was going all day without food plus not having a place to sleep at night. And it didn't seem as though these young boys were interested in changing their behavior. So I took it upon myself to take care of the cat until the owner returns. Or if that doesn't happen, find her a new home.
That means we had to invest in more cat food. Canned can get to be expensive, so we supplemented it with some dry kibble I bought in bulk. We then hauled out our dog kennel, put in some pillows and a cover, a blanket and some fleece I bought at the local sewing/craft store. It's sitting next to the house and given the rains are about to return, we have a protective tarp over the side to cover the slats. So now she has 2-4 meals a day (cats eating habits are different from dogs I have discovered) and a warm place to bed at night. She cries at our door sometimes to come in and we will let her, for a few minutes, until the dog has her disgusted, she will then cry to go outside. And now and then when she's sleepy, we'll pick her up and bring her inside, hold her in our laps on a blanket until we start to sneeze or feel wheezy (mr. n it turns out also has some cat allergies) then we'll place her outside in her kennel. I like to cover her up.
It's been a pain in the ass as well as a blessing. Just when I think my god she's hungry AGAIN I will look at her face, that sweet little face and watch her little paws bat at the food dish as I bring it outside and my heart melts. Completely.
She is quite vocal and has no insecurities whatsoever about telling you what she wants and does not want. For her happiness though I hope her owner returns soon for she is indeed an indoor cat who needs to be the only animal in the home.
In the interim, our dog is adjusting. She makes it known to little kitty that it is SHE that is princess. SHE that is the center of the human's lives. In short, she was here first and is not about to give up her seat on the animal throne. But thankfully, little kitty is amazingly docile. She's a true pacifist and as such, has no interest in the dog and cat battle. Therefore, there seems to be a mutual understanding between the two of them. Dog says "I will tolerate you". Kitty says "Yes you will."
Aside from the food differences, cats are also very nervous creatures. They also have amazingly short attention spans. I have to watch how I open doors and move things outside. A chair being dragged along concrete won't phase our dog. But this little cat? She'll leap straight up in the air and take off as though she's just come in contact with the world's biggest most meanest dog. And as far as her attention span, I will be crouched down, petting her and talking to her and she'll be digging it, then in a flash, she's running away from me, going after who knows what.
And her sleeping habits are also just as unpredictable. Sometimes she will be out most of the night and sleep most of the day. Other times she's full of energy during the day and is out like a light for the night. I check on her every night. Sometimes she's sleeping in her kennel. Other nights she's nowhere to be seen. Our dog? Same sleeping habits every single day, no exception.
So there you have it. Adventures in kittyland. Kitty tales, or tails as I like to refer to this experience. I know it won't last long, which is why I'm closing up this post so I can go get in some kitty laptime snuggles before bedtime. That is, if she will let me. Afterall, cats really do rule their universe. Including the homes in which they choose to live in.