A cat tale
While some world leaders are rattling their sabers, some of us had other, more important things to do.
There was Mr. Gray Cat.
My first instinct was to find out if he was someone’s pet.
He didn’t seem like the typical stray or feral cat. I posted a picture of him, admittedly a poor one, along with a simple description on Facebook.
“A gray cat with a white blaze on his or her chest, sweet and affectionate.”
Not being that close or even that knowledgeable, I had no idea whether the cat was male or female.
I fed him.
I mean who could resist? Even my husband became pawn to his pleas.
His little gray head would pop up between the window box and the edge of the open kitchen window.
“I’m hungry. I’m hungry.”
Using a rather rag tag series of containers, I would put out a half and half mixture of dry and wet cat food.
He would start to eat, stop and come over to me and rub up against my leg or arm, begging to be petted. He (I’ll use “he” because we eventually found out that he was a he) would try to get into the house as I opened the door to fill his dish. After friendly ministrations, he would return to his meal. This must have been someone’s pet.
He would often repeat the process in the early evening.
Rain or shine Mr. Gray Cat was there. We even worked out a scenario where, if it was raining, I would put his food out on the covered front porch and he would show up just as I was placing the dish on the floor, asking, as was his custom, for some human touch..
My queries as to his patrimony on Facebook created a minor flurry of discussions about the other gray cats of Marcellus and their owners.
Volunteers even ponied up the money, or at least promised to do so, to get one rather decisively male cat…how should I say this? Fixed?
He began to nap on the back deck or the front porch, totally at ease.
Where he slept at night was a mystery. It was clear that this cat spent his time outdoors.
His coat was dusty and filled with burrs.
He appeared to have a healing wound on his right front leg.
Our cat, Kiki also know as the KeeK, has been with us for 17 years.
He suffers from arthritis, very bad dental problems which can’t really be fixed because of his advanced age and an insidious hyperthyroidism that steals his weight and energy.
He used to weight 14 lbs. At last weigh in, he weighed 8 pounds.
His medicine, designed to calm the thyroid, also calms his appetite and we do the dance of additional meds to increase his failing appetite. He also hates others of his kind. He really hates other cats.
We have holes in the screens where he made that known to interlopers in our yard.
So, we couldn’t contemplate bringing our mystery cat inside which compelled me to find a safe and permanent home for this little guy..
I asked on social media if there was anyone who would love a cat with the Mr. Gray cat’s resume: A handsome, charming, loving, gentle roaming feline with a big appetite.
Erica responded, “I have four cats and a dog. I work from home and the kids would love him. I’d like to come over and meet him and see if this is a good match.” So, one sunny day when he was taking his afternoon snack on my front porch, Erica came to meet him. It was love at first sight. I told you that this cat was special…she brought a carrier and took him home.
She sent pictures of him asleep on a pillow that evening.
He was on trial, the contingency being that the other fauna in her house accepted him.
I got a call early on Wednesday morning. “We love him. We are keeping him, we made arrangements for her to visit Dr. Megan Williams in Skaneateles for a checkup that morning.”
I was thrilled. My day took off. I can honestly say that my heart was singing a happy song.
It soon became a sad song, one that repeated over and over all day.
The phone rang again. A tearful voice informed me that a blood test showed that Mr. Gray Cat had feline immunodeficiency virus or FIV.
“I can’t take the chance that he will pass the virus on to my other cats. I’m sorry.”
A quick consultation with Dr. Megan assured me that FIV was not contagious to humans and very difficult to pass on to other cats.
Cats with FIV can live perfectly normal lives, she said.
I told her to go ahead and fluff the kitty up: neutering, immunizations, the whole feline spa experience. “He’ll stay overnight to recover,” said Dr. M.
Do I bring him back to the mean streets of Marcellus to sleep wherever and pick up burrs and fleas and ticks? What about winter?
Back to the internet, now armed with the picture of Mr. Gray Cat and a plea to kind hearted cat lovers.
Facebook friends and friends of friends shared that plea and Amy, who lives in Camillius who had no other pets and who agreed to make Mr. Gray Cat a house cat, met me at Animal Wellness in Skaneateles, where Mr. Gray Cat had been temporarily renamed Montel by the staff to gather her family’s new companion animal.
Their first encounter occurred when Mr. Gray Cat was daintily eating, giving the people chatting about him one of his flashing turquoise eye smiles.
He laid elegantly stretching his paws under him in contentment as Dr. Megan reviewed his new medical history.
He, at last check, had melded well into his new home.
Yes, he was trying to get outside, an understandable action from a year old cat who had to make his living outside, but he will accommodate his new home as they will him.
The little girl who lives in that house has only one wish, that the cat will sleep in her bed. I bet that will happen sooner rather than later.
Yes, we would have gladly taken him in.
His sky blue eyes remain firmly in my memory, but my old Kiki-boy takes first dibs.
I did the best I could for this little guy and send out my blessings to all who shared and cared in a world where sharing and caring are often subverted to the bottom line.
Amidst the saber rattling of government, we all did a good thing.
Nov 24, 2017
Nov 23, 2017
Nov 22, 2017