Friday, March 27, 2009

The Cat Came Back

This is Steve. He's possibly a Himalayan mix, with what the vet called "flame points," and he was a stray. My daughter found him wandering the streets around Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, MA. He followed her from the parking lot to the library, where she left him, expecting he'd be gone a couple of hours later when she went back out to the parking lot.

Not only was he not gone, but he miaowed at her continually, and followed her up a very long flight of stairs to the parking lot, and all the way to her car. So, she felt sorry for him, felt he had chosen her, and brought him home, and tried to hide him in her room.

Well, that didn't work out, because he is quite vocal in that Siamese-ish sort of way, and around Thanksgiving, Keith, Daphne, and I were introduced to Lord Steven Catsby.

Did I mention that I have a horrible allergy to cats? As in, full-blown asthma attacks?

Or at least, that's the way it has been all my life, up 'til now. Perhaps breathing filtered air through my CPAP machine is what's helping, or maybe this is an allergy I have finally outgrown, or asthma meds are just so darn much better than they used to be, or....?

I did not react at all to my sister's three cats when I spent a long weekend at her house in January. This is a first. Of course, I medicated the way I always do, but in the past the meds have only just taken the edge off.

So, I have been rather fearlessly spending time with Steve, patting him and holding him, and always being sure to wash my hands well with soap afterwards. So far, so good.

Until Last Tuesday night, when Steve snuck out the door, unbeknownst to my husband. We were up half the night, calling for him out in the woods behind our house, and fearing the worst, as we do have coyotes around here.

We left food out for him twice a day, and the food disappeared, and we knew Steve was the recipient, because we kept seeing him at the dish at odd times of the day and night. However, he would not allow himself to be caught, and if any of us went near, he turned into a hissing Halloween cat. We would have worried about possible disease, if not for the fact that Steve got all his shots on Balls-Away Day back in December. This was definitely a case of him being Ornery, probably due to the fact that it's Spring.

Monday night, we almost had him. He had been coming into the porch twice a day to eat, as we had left the door open for him, in hopes of trapping him whilst he porked down the cat food. Too bad he heard the dogs barking, and Daphne's feet in the leaves as she tried to sneak up to the door and shut it. He was off like a streak, hissing with a vengeance, and Daphne had to back off.

Tuesday, we were out for the evening, and though I left food for Steve, I did not refill his dish until 6:30 AM on Wednesday. As I opened the door, a little white streak dashed away around the corner. So I put food out, and figured he'd be on the run yet another day, and toyed with the idea of buying a Havahart trap.

Then Daphne spotted something white on the stone wall behind the house, while she was waiting for the bus. I didn't hear her say it, as I was at my computer, trying to whip my Etsy shop into shape. So, when Keith yelled, "We got him!" it didn't quite register in my mind for a few seconds, who was "we" and whom had "we" got.

Then, as I went into the living room, there was Phoebe coming in through the porch door with Steve in her arms! Well!

He had gotten in a scrap with another cat, judging from all the scabs on his neck and body, and he had some ticks, which he did NOT enjoy having picked off, but he was back, safe in the house, purring his head off. He is acting now, as if he never left, and we are so happy to have him back!

I gave him two full cans of salmon Fancy Feast to celebrate, and also bought him a new feathers-on-a-stick toy, and a big jar of Pounce salmon treats. His first night back in the house, he slept on the bed between me and Keith. I have never heard a cat purr so loud!

Right now he is sitting on top of my printer, looking up wistfully at my mother-in-law's canary. (I'm only babysitting the bird, and hopefully he'll go back home soon, when my MIL is well enough to take care of him again.)

I feel like I cannot get enough of this kitty! I didn't realize how attached I'd gotten to him, until he was gone and I feared he would come to harm.

Picture above was snapped yesterday, while he napped on my kitchen counter, in between the microwave, the Kitchen Aid mixer, and a bunch of bananas.

Did I mention that I'm thrilled beyond belief that he came back?

Oh, yeah, I guess I did...

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