25 Nov 2005 ... The Stray
Another stray cat has found me. And I finally woke up and started taking care of her (him?).
Significant Other and I noticed the cat on Tuesday afternoon, when we went out to buy our Tofurkey. She had made a little nest in the leaves next to the front of our townhouse. She looked so comfortable and warm in her corner, we didn't want to disturb her. So we just looked at her for a few minutes and she looked at us. Black cat.
She came and went, sometimes she'd be there, sometimes her bowl in the leaves was empty. But that was definitely her favorite place in the world to nap. I assumed she was someone's pet. There are several people in the neighborhood who have outdoor cats. I will never understand these people, exposing their cat to so many dangers, but whatever.
I had only seen the cat curled up, and when I talked to my mom on the phone on Thursday, she told me to offer some food and get the cat to stand up and see how she looked. Yeah. I finally realized my responsibility.
I checked the status of my cat food. A half full bag of Science Diet, well over a year old, kept outside in 90°+ heat in the summer, a mouse chewed hole in the side. heh. But opened it up and it still smelled like cat food, so I figure it's okay.
When I offered Black Cat the bowl, she spoke a couple hoarse Meows. And when she stood up, oh I felt awful. She is thin, terribly thin. She has goop coming out of her eyes. She has a skin condition with thin fur in several places. *cries*
I can't believe I ignored her for two freaken days. Stupid.
She didn't quite finish up her bowl of food. I wasn't sure if she was friendly or not... I had told her I wasn't going to touch her so she could be comfortable eating. She came up to thank me for the food, but didn't try to rub up against me with that "ownership" move that human-friendly cats do. So I just let her be. She went back to her leaf bowl and I left the kibble out for her.
And then I had to start worrying about her. Is she feral or is she friendly? If she's friendly, will I be able to take her to the Humane Society? Then I have to worry about the Humane Society... will they bother to nurse her back to health? How are their adoption rates? They are probably not even open until next week. And their website is not even helpful. bah on crappy websites.
The Humane Society in Phoenix was wonderful. They are well on their way to being a no-kill city. 100% of the dogs are adopted, and something like 98% of the cats are adopted. I never had any qualms taking lost pets to that Humane Society.
I went out this morning and Black Cat was feeling better. She had cleaned up the goop from her eyes and her voice sounded less rough. She head-butted my knee and I petted her head, yay. She didn't eat much breakfast, tho, and then she left.
I guess we'll see how it goes.
I don't know how stray animals who need help find me.
In Phoenix we had a bird feeder which attracted finches, and some feral cats. But that doesn't explain the big white dog that came to the door, tail wagging asking to be let in. (Found his people via his rabies tag and the pound.) Or the cats that have just walked up to me, telling me they are someone's pet and they are lost.
Or this black cat, just sitting for days outside our house, waiting patiently for me to bring her a bowl of food.
My Grandma tells me that the animals just know. I suppose I can accept that. Tho it begs the question: How do they know? Am I giving off a vibe or an aura that says "I take care of animals who need help"? And if so, how big is my aura... it extends beyond the space of my living quarters, so how close does a cat have to be walking-by to catch the vibe?
And then also, I've not been attracting strays all my life. My first cats came to me in Phoenix, say about five years ago. Was I just not paying enough attention before? Or did working at the veterinary clinic flip a switch in me after I left? Or does it have something to do with living with my SO... giving me a more stable and solid ground than I had before?
Eh. Questions without answers.
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