cats

Rescue is Relative (or how I stole the neighbor’s cat)

I know everyone says that bunnies multiply like mad, but I’m beginning to think there’s also a multiplication factor with foster cats.

We’ve been plugging along with our three foster kitties Cleo, Bonnie & Clyde, enjoying their company and helping them to accept that humans are a good thing. Cleo and Clyde are definitely firmly in our camp now, and Bonnie is edging closer every day. They are ready to start finding forever homes very soon.

Otis truly enjoyed playing with all of them, especially Bonnie through the crate walls, but as the weather has cooled off, we moved them out to our sun porch/storage unit. Someday that space will hopefully be a place to read and have morning tea or grow plants or watch the sun set on the mountains just over the top or the town, but right now it is stacked with bins of all the stuff that will go in our kitchen (if we ever have a real kitchen—cabinet delivery has now been set for December 9!). There’s a defunct gas heater out there and some decidedly out-of-date carpet, plus super cheapo windows (according to Nick) that barely open. The window issue has meant that all summer it’s been a sauna out there and we’ve kept the door firmly shut.

But now it is a cat heaven. They love hiding between the bins and lounging on the window sills looking out the crack that the windows will open (at least on the three windows that have screens). It’s given them room to run and romp and Otis can still watch them through our bedroom window that looks out onto the porch.

All was going well until early this past Saturday.

Nick and I were a few blocks from the house, walking dogs down Main Street when a small white cat came sprinting up the sidewalk right to us, despite the fact that Fanny and Otis reacted as if we were under attack from a Zombie-werewolf-monster of epic proportions. At the last minute, the cat took a right and ran into the street where it froze still looking at us wide eyed and was almost hit by a truck that Nick waved down. She didn’t move even as the truck went around her and it was a busy morning, so I handed both leashes to Nick and he began hauling our catterwhauling, freaking-the-heck-out dogs down the sidewalk away from us.

The cat came darting back across the street to me, again nearly being hit by passing cars. Now, I’m not really a cat person and my experience with them is limited to the three cats we had in PA, plus numerous barn cats (who NEVER run towards a human). It seemed like odd behavior for a cat to run toward me and this one seemed panicked and terrified. I scooped her up and she leaned against me hard. I looked around, but there was only a bank, a Catholic Church, and a funeral home nearby. I didn’t know what else to do but carry her home, so I did.

She is a Siamese-ish looking cat with beautiful blue eyes and she definitely loves people. I figured she belonged to someone and that someone must be looking for her. I checked in with the rescue that we are fostering for and Robin directed me to call the shelter and report her in case anyone was searching for her. I did that and then drove her (I was now calling her Blue) to the shelter to be checked for a micro chip. Surely a cat as beautiful and friendly as this was microchipped. But, no, no chip. The shelter said she was probably about a year or so (going by the little bit of tartar on her teeth). They thanked me profusely for agreeing to hold on to her until we found her owners.

So I took her home and installed her in a crate on the cat porch.

Commence yelling.

This sweet little cat began hissing and spitting and growling and making sounds I’ve never heard come out of a normal cat. My other three kittens dove for the bins and hid out of sight. Eventually it was clear they were not going to ‘sort it out’ as dogs often do, so I moved the crate to our dining room downstairs.

Commence crying.

Every time Blue caught sight of any of us or heard us, she began crying for our attention. The dogs circled her, and she was not the least bit afraid and continued crying for us trying to be heard over their excitement.

We survived a day with this set up and then I moved her upstairs to my office with a baby gate to protect her from the affections of Otis, the threats of Gracie, and the play invitations of Fanny.

Commence driving me batty.

Blue is such a whore for attention. She walks over my hands as I type, climbs all over my desk, knocking everything off, and even crawls up my back. Eventually she settles down and naps on the bed, at least until I move or speak and then she goes back through her motions of stalking my desk, climbing the window screen, and knocking over whatever I righted on her last pass.

I posted her on a local Facebook page, and thankfully there were two responses of people who think they know her owner, so I’m hopeful. If not, the rescue has agreed to take responsibility for her (although I’ll be fostering her) and find her a new home.

Here’s the thing, though—I’m pretty sure I basically stole this cat. Her actions and her desire to get outside make it clear she lives outside a lot. So, my best guess is she’s somebody’s cat and they let her run amuck in our little town. Of course, I will return her to her people, but I also feel pretty confident I’m going to see her squished on the road one day.

I hope I don’t. I hope KiKi (that’s her real name) is actually very smart and stealth and can dodge traffic like a boss. I once saw my cat Crash run under a moving car and time it so well that he came out the other side unscathed and the car never stopped. But that was on our farm in PA and it was rare that he would go down the hill to the quiet street. We didn’t live on Main Street in the county seat.

I guess rescue is relative and if I was a serious militant rescuer, I would secret this cat away out of state to somewhere she could be safe and live a long and happy life far from a busy street.

Maybe I’m not a serious cat rescuer. Or maybe it’s just that I know how many cats are going to die in shelters this year and would rather take their chances in a home where someone loves them the best they can.

[UPDATE: We found the owners of this cat and it turns out they can no longer care for her – hence, she was turned out on the street. I am fostering her for Furry Friends and after a thorough vetting, she will be adopted through them.]

Until Each One Has a Home,

Cara

For information on me, my writing, and books, visit CaraWrites.com.

If you’d like regular updates of all our foster dogs past and present, plus occasional dog care/training tips, and now foster cat updates (!) be sure to join the Facebook group, Another Good Dog.

And if you’d like to know where all these dogs come from and how you can help solve the crisis of too many unwanted dogs in our shelters, visit WhoWillLetTheDogsOut.org and subscribe to our blog where we share stories of our travels to shelters, rescues, and dog pounds. You can also keep up with all that is happening with Amber’s Halfway Home, our short documentary film about rescue in the dog pounds of Tennessee.

If you can’t get enough foster dog stories, check out my book: Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs. It’s available anywhere books are sold.

I love to hear from readers and dog-hearted people! Email me at carasueachterberg@gmail.com.

12 thoughts on “Rescue is Relative (or how I stole the neighbor’s cat)”

  1. Wow Cara! People can be so disappointing. So glad you got feedback about her and she will have the right kind of home. Might not get a bit of work finished though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bless you for being in the right place at the right time. I can’t help but be steamed when people just turn their pet out because they can (or don’t want to) care for them anymore. Blue, aka KiKi just won the cat lottery by you rescuing her. I’m not a cat person either but would never just turn one out like that. Bless you and the local cat rescue for stepping up. Hope your house (and ears) survive this cutie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow just like that her prior owners just put her out to fend for herself and forget her! How sad! Some cats are amazingly like dogs as a past owner of both but right now I am catless because my rescue guy likes to nip at them. I really do miss them living in the house but I have plenty of feral outside ones that I feed. Mostly trapped and neutered/spayed until a new one shows up. They tolerate some tender words but no touch. The one feral female will go on walks with me and my dogs and is even tolerant of my one guy’s occasional nip’s, she is very “dog like”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m fascinated by the TNR work that is done. But not quite curious enough to get involved. I do seem to see cats everywhere now. This morning there was one on the sidewalk in front of our house, but it bolted when I approached.

      Like

  4. Thank goodness she was smart enough to run to you! I don’t understand why people who can no longer care for a family pet just “turn them loose” to fend for themselves. We both know they don’t fend for themselves at all…they just suffer and then they die. So glad she’s in rescue and I hope she finds a home she deserves!

    Like

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