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Monday, January 4, 2010

Crazy, maybe. But cat lady, no.


For the past couple of weeks, a very handsome black and white cat has been hanging around my back porch. Black fur with white underbelly and white paws, green eyes. I'm really not a cat person (despite the fact that I'm the one who spurred the adoption of our gray tabby named Dungy), but this kitty really is cute.

Dungy didn't seem to mind this cat hanging around. They seemed a little like pals. The kids named the visitor "Georgia" and were convinced that she was Dungy's girlfriend. Georgia didn't have a collar on, but she seemed well taken care of. However, she consistently appeared on the back porch every morning. Probably the fact that Annie was putting out food for her had something to do with that.

As the temperatures dropped into single digits over the past few days, I've been a little worried about Georgia. It seemed to me that she was homeless because she was spending hours on our back porch, meowing often to come in. So I called the emergency vet over the weekend to ask about bringing her inside. They advised that I shouldn't bring her in the house until I was sure that she didn't have feline leukemia or AIDS.

So I put a box outside to give her some shelter and lined it with a fuzzy blanket that might offer some warmth. That didn't seem to be enough because over the past few days, Georgia has been trying to come inside the house. This morning, when she attempted to come in, I let her. Then I scooped her up and put her in Dungy's travel crate. (Well, on the first try, I didn't have the crate ready and she scratched up my arms in a successful escape attempt.)

I took Georgia to our vet to see if she had a microchip. I was pretty certain that the vet was going to tell me she belonged to someone in our neighborhood. Imagine my surprise when they told me there was no microchip. Then imagine my greater surprise when they told me that Georgia was actually a George! (In my defense, a) I'm not sure I've ever seen cat balls and b) I never really looked at the cat's rear end.)

No microchip. No collar. Perhaps this was our kitty now? I gave the vet to go ahead and do the testing to make sure he didn't have any yucky cat diseases and to vaccinate him. Then they called and said that not only was George a male, but an intact male. Did I want to neuter him?

Because the neutering was $220 more than the $180 I had already spent on the testing and vax, Mike and I decided to hold off, thinking we'd take him to the low-cost spay/neuter clinic for $20 instead. Plus, I was getting a lot of "don't do it" messages from folks on Facebook who had nightmare stories to tell about introducing a second male cat into the family. I also decided to send a note to the homeowner's association, asking if they could send a "Found Cat" announcement out via e-mail.

Given that George (By now, the kids were lobbying to change his name to Tony or Caldwell. You'll understand if you're a Colts fan.) had no collar and no microchip, I assumed that I wouldn't get a response. But at least I would feel assured that we weren't adopting someone else's pet.

Wrong-o. The first call I got informed me that this kitty -- named Boots -- is well-known in the neighborhood (except, obviously, to me). He belonged to a family who recently moved away and who intentionally left him and at least one other cat behind. Even when the family lived here, Boots was an outdoor cat and roamed where he wanted. The first caller said if we wanted him, we should take him. Ok.

Well, the second call was from another woman who told me the same thing about Boots being abandoned. Except that she and her kids have been taking care of him. They named him Oreo and had kept him inside for the past 2 weeks. However, George/Tony/Boots/Oreo had peed several times in their house, so she let him out again, leaving the garage open for him. She'd been in contact with the former owner who at first accused her of stealing her cat and who then admitted leaving the cat behind on purpose. The second caller said she planned to take him to get fixed later this week.

It was pretty clear that this lady and her kids had already claimed the kitty. She said they had even bought him a collar and tag, which he must have lost somewhere in his travels. So I told her that I'd paid to have the testing and the vaccinations done and could give her the paperwork so she'd have the records. I wasn't real eager to take in a cat that might pee all over my house and whose former owner seems a bit unstable and might come back for the animal. I was also hoping the lady on the phone might offer to pay me for the vaccinations or at least contribute to the cost, but no such luck yet. Maybe when she sees the cost on the paperwork she'll offer.

I may be crazy, but apparently, I am NOT a cat lady. No new cat for us. However, there is a dog...


Anonymous said...

A dog? Tell us more!

Joanie said...

I rescued a cat who was only a few weeks old. We named him Java. My other 2 cats, Cameron and Mason both hated him (probably because he wasn't neutered yet and they were). Just as we were going to have him neutered, he ran away. we haven't seen java in a very long time. I wonder if someone took him in?

Eternal Lizdom said...

Aw!! What an adventure! I was about to suggest my own name... which would work well for a dog...


And it goes perfectly with your Colts theme!!!

Sharon said...

It's my opinion that cats are evil, and not just because I'm allergic to them. so I'm glad you're not a cat lady!

Anonymous said...

It doesn't take multiple cats and one bathrobe and curlers to make you a crazy cat lady.

You spent $160 dollars on a cat that isn't ours. You are a certifiable crazy cat lady!

Just kidding, that's why I love your heart ;)

Shelley said...

Wow, what a story! And a pox on your loathsome former neighbor who deliberately left the family pets behind to fend for themselves and for kind-hearted neighbors to take responsibility for.

I hope your other neighbor will pay for "Oreo's" vet work.

And, yes....please tell us about the dog!

adraider21 said...

WHOA! Where did this dog come in the picture?! Annie said SOMETHING but i thought she was kidding!