I've always been kind to every "visitor cat" that's come to my house. I prefer the word visitor rather then stray. Stray implies to me that they are unwanted and unloved. That is certainly not true because I love each and everyone one of them that pass my way. Some stay for a lifetime, like our Mocha, who has been with us for over 9 years. Others I see just once or twice and they move on. In late October I was feeding a visitor who is a big male Tabby cat. He is very timid and never allows me to pet him or even approach him. I leave him food and water and then retreat to the house to watch him through the window. Then one day I realized that he was meowing to me for food and he came closer. Then I noticed his interesting striped pattern and also that this was a TOTALLY DIFFERENT CAT then the large male Tabby.
This lovely cat came to our house every day with a very loud voice. After a week or two he even came into the shed and came close enough for me to pet him. After one touch he was purring and rubbing on my legs.
While in the shed (which doubles as Joe's Man Cave) he jumped up on the sofa and started that punching thing that cats do. Oddly enough there was no sound of his claws scratching on the fabric. I picked him up and ran my hand along his feet......NO CLAWS! I also noticed that he was a she. A declawed female cat abandoned as Winter was approaching. It took me another week to earn her trust enough to take her to my Vet. She is fixed and also micro-chipped! The Vet traced her chip to another local Vet and they called to notify the owner. The other Vet tech said that this was "Pepper" her friend's cat and that they would take Pepper in to a warm cage until her owner got off work and came to claim her. They asked for my name and phone number so the grateful owner could contact me. I was happy that Pepper had a loving home that missed her, but I was also a bit heartbroken to lose my new friend.
I had not driven half way home from the Vet when my phone rang. It was a different Vet tech telling me that Pepper's owner had contacted them and said she no longer wanted Pepper and had put her outside on purpose! What did I want to do......have them send Pepper to the shelter or come back and claim her as my own.
Well, there is no mystery here. I spun the car around and went right back for Pepper. She lives on our porch, up on the woodpile on her special heated bed. She doesn't like out cats very much because she has no claws and they know it. It's interesting how animals can sense certain things about each other. Pepper is a pure breed Bengal cat and was born 29 September 2011. She is up to date on all her shots so she will be on her way to a new, safe loving home.........
with MY MOM & DAD!!!
You can see in the photo above that she loves cat nip. I've told my Mom all about Pepper and this is the most enthusiastic she has been about anything in many years. Her Parkinson's Disease has robbed her of so much of the joy she got out of Life. Pepper seems to have brought that joy back. Now my Dad is a different story. Pepper will be a total surprise to him when we arrive at Christmas. He has had two other cats and dog and I know he loves animals. Pepper will win their hearts in an instant.
So my usual Christmas travel anxiety takes on a whole new twist this year. While I agonize over leaving my other cats behind at home with Joe, I know I am doing the right thing for Pepper by giving her a home of her own. I do wish she could stay here with us, but the next best place is my parent's house and she can secretly still be MY CAT!