DOG RESCUES CAT
One afternoon over a week ago, Magical-Dawg bolted upright from his doze to stare out the patio door windows. I’d seen a flash of motion, too, but figured it was a field rat (they’re huge!), and never would have bothered to investigate without his interest.
Not a rat. A cat. Specifically, a lynx-point Siamese type kitten.
The temps that day were mild, but forecast to turn bitter cold. This youngster wanted inside in the worst way, even when nose-to-nose (through the glass) with Magical-Dawg.
STRAY CAT ARRIVES
The blue eyed stray had a blue collar, so I figured the youngster came from a neighboring home. The shivering kitty wasn’t full grown–a bit bigger than Seren (but she’s only 5 pounds)–and looked like coyote bait to me. Anyway, I planned to bring the stray inside at least for the night, and find the owners who surely must be frantic missing the little thing.
Magic barked when I opened the door, and sent the cat racing away. Well dang, that solved the issue! But just in case, I called for the pretty thing.
“Here kitty kitty kitty….”
No response, until I meowed. The kitten not only answered my meow, but came running and let me pick him up. The handsome boy-kitten had no ID on the collar and still had his jingle-bells (ahem). He immediately began face-rubbing my chin.
Do you think he could read the “sucker” label on my forehead?
I had several concerns. First, I couldn’t allow Seren-kitty to come in contact with this unknown feline, without risk of her getting sick. My first responsibility has to be to my own pets. Second, Magical-Dawg respected Seren-The-Boss but might not feel the same about this kitty interloper, so I had to protect the stray. Third, I had nothing to feed the kitten because Seren eats a therapeutic kidney diet not at all appropriate to a young guy.
Thanks to the BlogPaws trip last spring, though, I still had lots of food samples from some terrific sponsors including several packets of “prowl” dehydrated whole chicken kitty food from The Honest Kitchen. The “newbie” couldn’t get enough of the food, and snarfed it all down almost before I could get the bowl on the patio floor. When I shared this story later with Kate Fenner from the company–I’d just met her at the San Diego book signing–she offered to send some trial boxes of food. (Ain’t cat and dog people the BEST?!)
GETTING THE STRAY SITUATED
While “newbie” ate, I ran back inside to move Magic out of nose-sniffing range, and then transferred the visitor into the laundry room along with the bowl of food. Then I ran upstairs to find the extra (too small) clean litter box that I used to store a variety of extra pet paraphernalia, raced back downstairs with the pan, litter, a bowl for water, and a scratch object, and got the little guy ensconced. Once offered the water, he drank the bowl dry–and then drank another half a bowl as well when it was refilled. That told me he’d been outside for more than a day, since cats typically drink sparingly.
“Along the way, Someone took a glance…”
I posted some of photos to Facebook, but nobody recognized him. I called my husband to warn him about the temporary house guest and not to open the laundry room door. Once he got a look at the newbie, he felt someone surely would want such a gorgeous cat back–but wondered could we maybe find a similar looking cat for ourselves?
Sucker, once again?
Meanwhile, Magical-Dawg camped out beside the door while the newbie kitten played paw patty-cake driving him nuts. Seren slept.
CHECKING FOR IDENTIFICATION
The next morning I took “newbie” to my vet’s office and had him scanned for a microchip. Nothing. On the way home, I stopped at the neighbors to ask if they were missing a super-friendly boy kitten. Huh uh. I called the city shelter and ask if a cat fitting his description had been reported missing. Nope. Every day I checked the newspaper. Zip.
The third day with us, Magical-Dawg got to meet “newbie” through his doggy gate, and struck up a nearly instantaneous friendship. I think the dog would like any critter that let him sniff butt–but the kitten seems to have been around dogs and likes Magic equally well. Who in holy heck wouldn’t be looking for this missing gem?
“Now can’t you see? You belong to me.“
We moved “newbie” to the master bedroom bathroom because the doggy doors in the kitchen next to the laundry wouldn’t hold him and put him too close to Seren’s dining room domain. As the days progressed I struggled not speak his name aloud, the one he’d whispered to my heart the first night we slept together.Yes, he sleeps with us (and Magic). We’re a dang fine kitty B&B!
Finally this past Wednesday I told myself that Friday would be THE day. And if he’d not been claimed by Friday, I’d make the vet appointment because he must have been dumped, and I can’t risk having an intact boy kitty become “too” mature, all over our walls.
And as much as I’d like to slap the dump-ee up-side the head–this cat came SOOO CLOSE to dying, guys! But, I think I’d also like to thank ’em. Yes, I’m smitten.
Seren probably wouldn’t, though. She’s “met” him from a distance and offered her typical crotchety old-lady snub. It took her months and months to learn to tolerate Magic but she’s mellowed since then. And you see, seventeen years ago, Seren was the dumped kitten, “…running on her own, looking for a way home, a place to stay…”
When Seren was dumped and found sleeping on a friend’s back porch it was lucky that we found each other–and so she was named Serendipity. Therefore it feels very appropriate to welcome the lucky boy cat version into our lives. By the time y’all read this, “newbie” will be at the vets getting examined, neutered, vaccinated…and microchipped.
Today, Karma comes home.
And if he could sing, I think both Karma and Serendipity (and all of the “strays” out there) would sing the final lines of the song lyric together:
“All I can give, I’ll live the life you live.
Anything forgive. Just to be with you.”
(Lyrics from the title song of STRAYS, THE MUSICAL! copr. Amy Shojai/Frank Steele)
I hope some of y’all will come out to see me tomorrow from 1-3:30 at the Sherman Town Center Petco for my Valentines & Pets free talk–I’ve even more “pet love” to celebrate! I’ll explain how I’ve been intro-ing the furry wonders, and of course will be happy to paw-tograph a book for you or your special pet. You might find the “stray” love of your life to adopt there, too. Maybe the next book will have a new feline character…named Karma!
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!