I have said in the past that nothing is absolute.  Now I want to say that unpredictability surrounds everywhere. 

Can you imagine running into snow shower as late as the end of April?  Can you imagine witnessing sleet in early May?  You probably can’t imagine all of that, but I did experience all of it.  We had a solid six months of winter, an extremely long winter.  Just two days ago, I was finally able to take off the outer layer of my snow jacket and wear the inner fleece jacket instead. 

Last Saturday, a cat dropped by our house out of the blue.  By the way, I am not a pet person. I did not grow up with a pet.  To be honest, I don’t think that I can handle pets.  I can’t stand the odor, the shedding of animal hair, the damage of the furniture, the peeing and pooping accidents, and etc.  The list just goes on.  We have walked away from adopting dogs when we visited the pet store to buy pet fish.  Yes, I do keep pet fish as a compromise.  It is easy and cheap to keep an aquarium.  You only need to clean half of the tank once a week and they are confined to a small fish tank.  You don’t have to take them to the clinic to get shots or worry about them getting lonely.  I am able to keep six tiny fish in a ten gallon fish tank.  In addition, you don’t have to worry about leaving them home alone for two or three weeks.    

Oh, I forgot to mention that my daughter is a dog person.  Our house is flooded with dog stuffed animals.  I almost gave into her tears when we went to buy some pet fish in a pet store and accidentally ran into the dog adoption event.  My husband likes dogs too.  He used to have a pet dog but he was able to stand on firm ground and took her out of the pet store, ignoring her cries.  I am much easier to give in. 

Anyway, back to the cat.  That cat came to our deck and found my husband washing the dishes at the kitchen.  It decided to meow at my husband.  My husband asked my son if he wanted to see a cat and let the cat in.  When I came back from grocery shopping with my daughter, my son let the cat out to the garage.  Since we were going out, we put out a box filled with blankets on our porch to keep the cat warm in case it decided to stay around.  We were surprised that the cat stayed at our porch until we came home.  I decided to call the neighbors to see if anyone knew the owner of this lost cat.  One of our neighbors seemed to fit the bill as she had in the past let her cat out getting the sunshine.  We decided to bring the cat along to see the neighbor and let the cat out to see if it can find its way home.  Unfortunately, the cat can’t find any entrance back to the house.  We were somewhat worried about what to do with the cat.  I was thinking of calling the animal humane society about the stray cat later.  We kept the cat overnight and the neighbor returned the next day.  I was a little disappointed that she was not the owner. 

We let the cat out the next day.  That cat has a love for nature.  It can’t stand staying indoors too long.  Maybe it is the birds that keep luring him out.  It likes to hunt.  The youngest kid of our next neighbor came over to our house with the cat around dinner time.  We told him that we had been trying to locate the owner.  We took the cat in and let it out again after dinner time.  When my husband pushed out the garbage can, the mom of that teenage boy came over to tell us that the cat was with them.  They started to put out flyers in our neighborhood and the adjacent neighborhoods.  I wrote an email to her indicating that we were thinking of contacting the animal humane society on Monday and if no owner claimed the cat, we might adopt it.  That was a pretty hasty decision as I had no idea what it would take to be a cat owner.  The sole reason for adopting the cat was that I couldn't resist my kids’ tears.  I should have discussed more thoroughly with my husband before I wrote the email to my neighbor. 

Our neighbor kept the cat for two days and brought it back to us.  We could tell that the neighbor’s teenage boy really loved the cat, so we told his dad that he could keep it.  However, his dad told us that they had a cat at home already and it was declawed.  Again, I don’t know anything about cats.  To be more precise, we don’t know anything about cats.  Is there a problem with cats being declawed not getting along with cats having claws?  If we keep the cat, we will keep its claws.  It would be too cruel to the cat not able to hunt.      

This morning, I asked a mom of my son’s classmates at my daughter’s daycare’s “Muffins with Mom” celebration if she knew any of her neighbors who might have lost a cat.  My daughter and her younger daughter are in the same daycare center.  They will also go to the same kindergarten together.  I am sorry to have digressed.  That mom lives in the neighborhood behind ours separated by a creek.  She told me that one of her neighbors, a family of my son’s schoolmate's, kept their pets outdoors.  That familys seems to fit the bill of the cat owner as well. 

As we left the house this morning, the cat ran outside as well.  We didn’t have time to chase after it, so we left the garage door open by a few inches in case it wanted to get back to get some drink or to seek shelter.  We thought that it might not want to come back being a cat which loves nature so much.  We were wrong.  Our kids found the cat next door near the dog’s drinking fountain.  I was surprised that it would venture to the dog’s territory as it had shown to be afraid of dogs. 

I haven’t heard anything back from the mom.  Maybe it is not her neighbor's.

My husband thought that the cat is male as he can see two huge testes.  However, our neighbor who posted the flyers insisted that the cat is female as according her that cat has the ability to nurse the young.  I could see the huge testes as well, so I think that my husband might be right.  By the way, it costs roughly $450 to get the female spayed and about $300 to get the male neutered.  In addition, the annual immunization costs roughly $200.  You might think that I am a cold-blooded person.  How can I think of the cost at this moment?  Again, I am not a cat person or a pet person.  I can never warm up to the animals.  I like to watch them from a distance.  I don’t know if I am allergic to cats.  My skin crawls and itches whenever I carry the cat.  Maybe I am just over-sensitive.  I just can’t stand this cat rubbing its skin against the dirt and coming into our house.  If only I can wash it.  My husband wouldn’t let me because he said that the cat may not have enough trust in us.          

I am still debating whether to keep the cat or not.  I lack the desire to keep a real pet other than the pet fish.  The reason to keep the cat is so weak that I can’t convince myself.  In addition, I kept thinking that it is unfair to the cat to be with a family who doesn’t stay home most of the time.  We are only home for a short period of time and then we have to go to bed.  The cat is left alone by itself for an extended period of time.  Oh, we keep the cat in the basement, in which it is neither too warm nor too cold.      

Anyway, in the meantime, I will just have to start reading more books about cats to understand what it takes to keep a cat.  I just bought the book:  The Natural Cat.  It has very good reviews.  I hate to rob the cat’s pleasure of being a carefree cat roaming freely in the nature.  Maybe we will keep the cat in a way that it can come and go as it pleases.  Oh, when our next door neighbors come back, I will have to ask what kind of mint that they planted in their garden.  That cat keeps eating their mint leaves.  We have to plant some so it won’t destroy their garden.

That’s it for now.  I may have more cat stories as it continues to stay with us.  I really hope that the owner will show up.  It will be the best outcome.  We believe that this cat has an owner from its interaction with humans.  In addition, I believe that it probably turned stray the day we saw him as it looked really clean, nothing like a cat that has lived on the street for some time. 

 

Written by Elisa English

On 05/06/2011

                       

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