But there is another cat........
|Please Take Me Home|
Muck is a tortoise shell kitty, whose fur looks like it is all mucked up. She looks exactly like Sideways Kitty, same fur, same half pint size, except that her head is sitting straight on her neck, so no one stares. She was not feral, so it was clear that someone had thrown her out into the field. She and Puck, after a few testy weeks, settled down and became friends.
I was not happy about some things though. Since the children were grown up and gone, we had pared down our menagerie to the two cats and had no more ancillary animals, such as gerbils, etc. I was ready to be less intense about animal care and less tied down to home. Most especially, I hated, hated, hated, the mess of the litter box. When we traveled for the weekend we could put the cat food and water outside in a bowl and that worked pretty well. Unlike dogs, they don't eat it all up at once and it lasts the whole weekend. Because they are easier to maintain is why we have mostly stuck to cats anyway. Except for the blasted litter box. However, the food became a problem because of the raccoons and possums, who ate it all in whatever quantities we put out and who became bolder and bolder in their pursuit of it. And they became bigger and bigger.
It took Puck and Muck a very long time to figure out how to use it. We swung the flap back and forth. We stuck our hands through it. We stuck them through it. We put bowls of tuna on the other side of the flap. We waved sardines in front of their noses and snatched the sardines through the flap as the kitties grabbed for them. Finally there was a breakthrough and it has been heaven since. No more litter box. No more having to feed them outside where the raccoons can steal the food. They are completely independent. They are free to come and go as they please and so are we. We can go away for a weekend with no worries.
Nothing is ever perfect. Though Puck--the lazy one--is not, Muck is a hunter. I think it comes from his time living in the field on his own. He quite frequently catches things and brings them in through the cat window. (see earlier post YEECH SOME BUGS DESERVE THE DEATH PENALTY) Usually they are not dead; in fact, they are often quite lively. I try to catch him if I see him come in with something in his mouth, but if he sees me approaching, he dashes down the hall with the garden snake, cricket, field mouse, baby rabbit, frog, or bird and decides its fate. If it gets away, it may live in the house for several days before we rescue it or he recaptures it. Then it is released back into nature or suffers a slow death at his paws in the same way it occurs in the wild on Animal Kingdom. Except it is our rug that gets all bloody under the bed and all. Yuck!
This window thing has worked well for many years. There have been naysayers. So many of our friends have warned us of the dangers. "What," they say, "if wild creatures from the outside--raccoons, possums and such, come in through that window? What will you do then?" Of course, it has not happened in all these 9 years, so why should it now? I have seen no raccoons, no possums, no deer, no bear. Not in all these years of Muck and Puck going in and out 10 or 15 times in the day and in the night.
About a year ago, a big black cat came in that window. This feral cat, once in, did not like the inside of our house, nor the people in it, and especially the loud screams they made and he tried desperately to get out. The people did not like the feral cat inside the house, especially the loud shrieks he made and they tried desperately to get him out. We were all unsuccessful. The cat tore around the house screeching and shredding things and we sprinted after him. He clawed up the walls and slid down; he tore across the tops of the upholstered chairs; he ran up the front drapes and shredded his way down, pulling them apart as he came. Then by some miracle he found the cat window and zipped his way out.
We were all traumatized, including Puck and Muck and sat quietly for awhile, gathering ourselves until we could regain our senses and be thankful it was over.
AND THEN THE CAT CAME BACK. Again. and then again. and then again. Mostly he comes in the dead of the night. Mostly he comes straight in and out like a streak through the cat window. To get food and water and be gone. Muck and Puck, who once freaked out each time, hardly blink an eye now, though they do not approach him, or even move while he is inside for those few seconds. He has become slightly bolder. He comes sometimes in the evening while I am at the computer in the next room, but never when I am in the den--the room with the window. He comes more often. I can not post a picture, because I do not have a camera with a shutter speed fast enough to catch anything more than a blur.
So, is he ours yet? Or will he ever be? Is it time to start trying to make friends? To start picking out a name?
|Fenster and Sam|
Some years ago Jeff's kids gifted us a bronze cat for our deck, which they and Tom together named Buck, to go with Puck and Muck. Tom is quite anxious to be in charge of the next choice of names for any new animals. Considering his South Park nature, I am refusing to accommodate and, still in the nascent stage of the relationship, I am wondering, what shall we name the cat who came in through the window?