I’M NOT A CAT PERSON
First and foremost, I am NOT a cat person. Second, yes this is the lowest of lowest blog-type entries. It is a blog entry about cats. Third, I am NOT a cat blogger. Now with that out of the way, let me tell you about my cats.
“He” was a stray living under a vacant house next door. He was a black and white “tuxedo” cat with a bit of black also under his nose. He wasn’t annoying and I didn’t want him to go hungry, so I put out some food for him. He was feral. There was no trust in humans. He ran, if you tried to approach him. Because of his black “mustache”, I started saying, “Hello Adolf”, when ever he would make an appearance.
One day, I noticed that Adolf was PREGNANT. And just like all the “transgender” hullaballoo in the headlines, Adolf quickly became Ava.
The name change seemed appropriate. (I opted for an A, instead of E)
A few weeks passed and on one particular day, I noticed little eyes peeking out from under the vacant house. Feral Ava had given birth to three feral kittens. The kittens’ fear of people was instinctive. But, as they ventured out from under the house and as they were ready to be weaned; I coaxed them out with a canned catfood-milk soup at first. They were timid, but I “psssssts- pisssss-noised” them out each day as Ava watched. Only when I would leave did she finish off whatever food was left. The kittens soon became accustomed to AND wanted to be held, scratched and played with. I temporarily named them Gray, Stripe and Black. We weren’t keeping them. We would find them homes as soon as kitten-ly possible.
They soon learned to climb the fence or wiggle through an opening in the fence separating our home from the vacant house. Much to Ava’s dislike, our carport became their hangout. But of course, we were still “looking for homes” for all three. And, then someone decided that since they saw cats on our carport, that one more wouldn’t hurt, and abandoned a small kitten in our yard. Ava decided that the small “wittle kitty” needed a Mom and began nursing her. The new “wittle kitty” became Willow Kitty and her new brothers and sisters told her it would be okay to stay with the Robisons; “they never throw away good cats“.
Fall came and brought cooler weather. The cats, except Ava, found themselves places on the enclosed porch to get away from the cool night winds. I hung a plastic shower curtain over the opening to the porch to block the wind and setup a small electric space heater to take the chill off the porch. The “kittens” braved past the rustling curtain to find make-shift beds and blankets waiting for them. Of course, Ava felt the cool night air was just fine or if she wanted, she could always go back under the vacant house.
I’m not sure how it happened, but whenever the”kids” were on the porch, somebody in the family would say “There ARE cats in America” and when the kids were out and about in the yard; “There are NO cats in America!”. Both were lines from a 1980s animated movie, “An American Tail“.
As winter came, there were nights that the space heater could barely keep up with cold. By then Ava was on the porch snuggled into a blanket or afghan left for bedding and surrounded by her kids. She even let us pet her, but not too much; and she said,
“Please don’t try to pick me up, I STILL have a vacant house to take care of.”
But the kids had other ideas, they began to notice that when we opened the front door that inside the house was much, much warmer. They bravely entered into unknown territory and found the carpet to be appealing to walk on, but much different from grass. There were spots in the house under the ceiling vents that were so very warm and toasty. Short visits inside with the front door open, made Ava anxious. She did NOT want her kids in another country; they should stay right there in America. We tried to explain to her that the living room WAS America, but she wasn’t buying it.
Gray and Black informed us that they were house cats. Willow and Stripe took their cues from Ava and would only visit; but always needed the door to stay open for when Ava told them it was time to go back to “America”.
Spring came and as responsible pet owners, we took everyone to the veterinarian for vaccinations, and Willow and Stripe underwent a spaying. Unfortunately, Ava was insistent that she would not be caught or trapped. Willow and Stripe didn’t care for the car ride in the carrier. Lots of “meowing” and growling went on for the trip to the vet, but an anesthesia hangover provided for a calm trip home.
Gray and Black went next for vaccinations, and enjoyed the ride immensely. They were calm and sat quietly in the carrier taking in the experience. I imagine that they knew that their day of surgery was not happening on that day due to finances. Knowing their “cathood” would be intact, allowed them to just take in the sights and sounds of the trip.
Now, with 5 cats; not 4 kittens and a cat, it would seem I had indeed become a “cat person” and we were to have a long relationship with these “feral” kittens that we weren’t going to keep.
END OF PART ONE