Sunday, October 9, 2011

It Takes A Village To Save A Cat

How sweet is this little girl?
In the spring of 2010 my next-door-neighbor mentioned a stray cat (she’d been feeding) had taken up nightly residence under my deck. My daughter soon befriended the kitty and (much to my hygienic dismay) took to petting and feeding her.  On their sporadic outings, my two kitties (Jellie and Scratch) hissed and chased the interloper. And so it began…

The Christmas blizzard of 2010 turned our neighborhood into a frozen wasteland.  My daughter looked out the front door at the right and perfect time and saw the snow-covered stray walking up the street.  She dashed out the door, scooped her up, and brought her inside.  Needless to say I worried about diseases, fleas, and an uncivilized cat that didn’t know how to use a litter box.  Buddy (as our neighbor called her) was quickly taken to the vet to assuage my feline/human health concerns. My husband attended the check-up and registered her as Nona (short for no name).

Buddy-Nona-Cloots (as my daughter called her) lived with us all snowy winter despite the obvious protests of Jellie and Scratch. The only peaceful place for our now multi-named kitty was a secluded spot in the basement which our elderly mean girls couldn’t reach. As the weather took a turn for the better, Clootsie (as I began calling her) took to the streets during the daytime and returned nightly to my neighbor’s house.  Her latest adopted feline-step-sister Lucky Lady was a lot more accepting than either Jellie or Scratch. I accepted the change of address graciously and considered it an opportunity to practice non attachment (a yoga principle).

Buddy-Nona-Cloots-Clootsie roamed the neighborhood during the day and returned home (next door) most nights to eat and sleep.  A recent cat fight left our little furry girl now with many names (and two families) wounded. I took her to the vet who frowns upon outdoor pet life. Following an expensive hospital stay to address a nasty bite to the neck (too close to her jugular for comfort) and an abscess which required numerous stitches, our kitty has been recuperating next door where she constantly whines to go outside.

We’re all hoping Buddy-Nona-Cloots-Clootsie-Baby (the latest name) will learn to love the security of indoor life where her daily adventures include looking out the window.  It’s more likely she’ll wait for an opportunity to escape as she’s done before.  We can barely control our own destinies, how could we possibly direct the fate of a cat with an agenda of her own?

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