Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s Raining Cats and Dogs! Not Messing!

 

The veterinarian finished his examination of the three-legged, short-tailed, grey and white cat with one blue eye and one green eye, shook his head wonderingly, and looked over at her owner.

“Don’t you have any normal pets?” he inquired.

“Actually, no,” I replied.

It isn’t as if I’ve gone out of my way to seek out the unusual, the bizarre, the damaged, the halt, the lame, or the blind when it comes to four-legged, three-legged (or even two-legged, trust me), companions. They find me. And they always have. In Africa, during my childhood, it was monkeys, lynxes, deer and parrots; for the last thirty years, it’s been cats and dogs, with the occasional rabbit or bird mixed in for good measure–not so exotic, but just as capable of worming their way into my affections, a shortcoming and weakness which, perhaps, I need to work on. And I am.

The last pet I made up, out of thin air, that I’d really like to have, and which I deliberately pursued, was an Old English Sheepdog, early in 1986, and shortly before Mr. She and I moved into a field in extreme Southwest PA to build a house. We got him as a puppy, we named him Wulfie (after St. Wulfstan), and he was a total lovebug. Smart, stubborn, and in terms of any practical application, utterly useless. He died at the age of twelve or so (a venerable age for the breed), probably of a heart attack, leaving Boris (girl, long story, don’t ask) a golden retriever mix we rescued from unfortunate circumstances in the city in 1985, alone. So, what to do?

Enter, out of the blue, the Old English Sheepdog rescue people, who offered up Harry, a three-year-old enormous exemplar of the breed. A people doctor would probably have placed Harry squarely in the middle of the autism spectrum, but this was the late 1990s, and he thrived on the farm. Alongside the creatures who, thanks to the kindness of strangers, kept turning up: Kirby (part Australian Shepherd and unwanted); Duke (appeared on the back porch full of buckshot, three weeks after Boris died at the age of about 18–another trenchant comment that my veterinarian made as some point was along the lines of “My God, I’ve never seen pets live, consistently, as long as yours do”); Houdini and Twiggy, rescued from running loose on the ridge in 2005; Penny, found by a friend of mine wandering at the junctions of SR-40 and I-70 in Washington, thin as a rail and reeking from some awful skin disease; Cinnamon, a small chow-looking mix who died at the age of about 19 and never quite got over what seemed to be a grudge against men in uniforms; my stepson Sam’s Boston Terrier, Leon (who I include here for the purpose of completeness, although small, yappy little dogs are so not my favorites); and Buddy, wonderful Buddy who, already aged and with few teeth when I first met him in 2008 sitting by the side of the road, seemingly with nowhere to go, simply got up, marched into the passenger side of the car, and moved in, living for another seven or eight years, when it seemed his course had already pretty much run.

Since then there has been Levi, dishonorably discharged from his work at the farm up the road, and Xena, his pal, and a gradual decrease in the number of canines on the farm as anno domini and its inevitable effects have taken their toll. I can’t say (as anno domini takes its inevitable effects on the two of us) that Mr. She and I mind all that much. So, at the moment, on the canine front, Xena and Levi are it. (Shhhhh. Please don’t tempt fate on our behalf.)

This says nothing about the regular eruption into our lives of those dogs who don’t belong to us, who aren’t abandoned, and who just need to be returned to their owners. These include Ace, the black Labrador from Claysville who likes to roam, Bear, the Husky mix from a mile or so up the road in the other direction, Jimmy the Chihuahua mix, and (my favorite) Riley, the deaf and geriatric beagle, who occasionally wanders off from his equally deaf and geriatric owner, gets lost in our woods, and stands howling loudly (usually in the middle of a nice little stand of poison ivy or poison oak) till I rescue him and return him home.

So. Those are the dogs. On to the cats.

As the saying goes: “Dogs have owners; cats have staff.”

And never was that more true than with Pookie, the tiny, blind kitten I discovered in the field mewling like–well, like a kitten–with his umbilical cord inextricably wrapped around a blade of grass. He had what my stepdaughter laughingly called “Press-On Fur,” a few scraggly bits of grey fur, here and there, reminiscent of the advertisement for “Lee Press-On Nails” at the time (about 1990) and he was extremely weak. Nevertheless, I put him in a shoebox with a wad of sheep fleece to snuggle into, an alarm clock to listen to, and a cc or so of Jim Beam to warm him up, and disappeared up the road to find the kitten milk replacer. He remains the only cat I’ve ever raised from so very young an age (probably 2-3 days old), and he lived 19 years. He was a pistol. He turned into a beautiful, long-haired Persian-type cat with an aggrieved and jealous disposition, and is the only cat I’ve ever had to ask the fire department to rescue, when he disappeared for about a week and I finally discovered him about 40 feet up a tree, 1/4 mile down the road, just after a hellatious thunderstorm. The first fire department I begged for help laughed at me. (Truly, a mistake on their part. Promise.) The second one sent their truck, their ladder, and their men, for their October “ladder training” to rescue my cat. I’ll always be grateful to them. (And, for that, they get the money. And always will.)

I’ve also bonded with my veterinarian over the hundreds and hundreds of dollars (thousands, probably) I’ve spent over the past thirty years, getting the neighborhood and feral cats spayed and neutered. If they’re dumb enough, or desperate enough, to show up in my barn for food, they’re going down. No questions. No excuses. (Only once have I had a medical “incident” as a result; when I got bitten by a cat and ended up with what looked like elephantiasis of my leg, but which was really a variant of “cat scratch fever.” That’s when I was prescribed a massive regimen of “doxycycline,” an antibiotic which I learned was first used to mitigate STD’s, and which led me to wonder if the doctor who discovered its propensity, and so named it had been aware of the eighteenth-century use of the word “doxy” to describe prostitutes. But I digress. Imagine my surprise.) Still, the doxycycline worked for me, and things returned to normal. Apropos of nothing, it’s now the favored drug for treating dogs who have a positive reaction to the ‘lyme disease’ test.

Cats are dumped and released in country surroundings in staggering numbers, every day. While my kinder self wants to believe that people who do this think (kindly) that they’ll survive, this isn’t usually true. (It is especially not true for rabbits. Please do not release domestic rabbits into the wild. It’s a death sentence. Please take them to your local animal shelter, where at least they’ll have a chance.)

I can’t count the number of cats we’ve found, in the woods or in the driveway, or which we’ve placed, been gifted with, given away and kept, over the last thirty years. Dozens and dozens. Perhaps a hundred or more. At the moment, the reckoning is as follows:

Little Levi: Dumped by the people who lived across from my stepdaughter. They moved away, left their apartment, and just turfed the cat out into the street to fend for himself.

Am:  My stepson Sam’s cat. She’s very old.

Darlene and Wookie:  Gifted by friends of ours in Pittsburgh. There were six kittens delivered under their porch by a mother cat who was thrown out by a woman who lived up the road from them. Darlene is one of the most beautiful cats I’ve ever known. Wookie is one of the dumbest. They’re prone to having little conversations along the following lines:

Wookie: Darlene. DARLENE! I killed a mouse!
Darlene: I highly doubt that.
Wookie: I did! I did! I smacked it off the desk and onto the floor and it was dead!
Darlene: How do you know it was dead? Did its whiskers stop twitching? Did it stop breathing?
Wookie: No, but its batteries fell out.
Darlene:  Oh, Wookie!!

Or

Darlene: For the love of God and Two Policemen, Wookie, now what are you doing??
Wookie:  Look. It’s a spa.
Darlene: Huh?
Wookie:  It’s lovely. You get inside, and lots of lovely soft, warm cottony things bat you around, and it blows warm air all over you. It’s very relaxing.
Darlene:  WOOKIE!! GET. OUT. OF. THE. CLOTHES. DRYER. NOW!!
Wookie: . . . Whoops . . .

Little Alice, a/k/a “Psycho Cat:” She was a kitten offered to us by a little girl when we were entering the supermarket one day–“Hey, mister, do you want a free kitten.” “No thank you,” I said, on behalf of us both. Second thoughts caused me to wonder if the little girl and her adult companion would give the kitty to a creep who’d feed it to his pet python, so we went back. This little girl was Mexican, was traveling with her family while her dad followed the “fracking” work, and had rescued the kitten from behind the motel where they were staying. She’d gone to Walmart, found the milk replacer, studied what to do on the Internet, and obviously loved this little kitty. But they were about to move on, and her dad said she had to find a new home for the cat. Soo . . . enter, She. In terms of ingratitude, this cat wrote the book.

And, 

Psymon: A beautiful orange and white cat I’d been trying to entrap for a several months, who suddenly (after spending the winter in the woods) marched into the house sometime this past March, and hasn’t left since. He’s an angel.

So, I think that’s it for now. Two (very large) dogs, and six cats. Relatively few. Please, may it stay that way for a while.

Of course, there’s the all-black, rather old looking cat who turns up occasionally for a meal and who I haven’t succeeded in rounding up yet. Trust me. It’s just a matter of time . . . 

Please. Support your local humane society. They do great work. And get your pets spayed and neutered, unless you’re in the breeding business. And if you are, please keep all the creatures as healthy as possible. Thanks. Bless.

In Memoriam, Zippy the Pinhead. 1998-2001.

A tiny, tailless, sweet little cat who never even made it to four pounds in weight. She was special.

 

 

 

There are 38 comments.

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  1. KentForrester Moderator

    Loved your post.

    Keep up the good work, She. For your kindness to animals, I want to believe that, when the time comes, your spirit will be translated directly into heaven.

     

     

    • #1
    • August 1, 2019, at 5:47 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We will take Psymon off your hands, he was a real sweetie.

    • #2
    • August 1, 2019, at 5:49 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    My beloved cat Boo, whom I lost in 2003, came to me as an abandoned, flea infested kitten. She, like Little Levi, was just put out of the house to fend for herself after the owners were told they couldn’t have cats. Grrrrr! These were graduate students and should have known better. She was and always will be the love of my life-she turned into one of the most gorgeous cats I ever saw and every move of hers delighted me, including her prodigious hunting skills (ok, delighted is the wrong word, but I admired her skills). Since then, I’ve always had rescues and often wished I lived in a place like yours where I could take in so many more. Alas, my tiny condo is capped at two. I did, however, feed a big male stray cat for many years. He used to beat my cats up, but stopped after I started feeding him. So I called him “Vinnie” and joked he came for his protection money every day. Bless you, She, for your compassion and caring for those who are lost or thrown away. It’s a shame we can’t save them all, but we do what we can. They are all unique and all worthy of love.

    • #3
    • August 1, 2019, at 5:53 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. MarciN Member

    May the good Lord bless you and all your furry friends. :-)

    • #4
    • August 1, 2019, at 5:55 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Loved your post.

    Keep up the good work, She. For your kindness to animals, I want to believe that, when the time comes, your spirit will be translated directly into heaven.

     

     

    When you get to heaven, waiting under a tree will be all the dogs you ever loved. And a big pile of sticks.

    • #5
    • August 1, 2019, at 5:59 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We have a lot of cats. Nobody has the energy to clean up after a dog.

    “Fixing” an animal is very problematic according to Jewish law. So we often rely on cars to curb the population. Our cats are outdoor cats, and have incredible, if relatively short, lives. I have bird feeders that attract dozens of birds at a time, and my cats have no shortage of entertainment.

    One thing I know for sure: Baltimore is surely rat infested. But we have absolutely no rodents in my half acre.

    • #6
    • August 1, 2019, at 6:11 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Arahant Member

    She:

    That was one beautiful Tortie.

    • #7
    • August 1, 2019, at 6:16 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Arahant Member

    There’s nothing like a hungry kitten showing up on the porch.

    • #8
    • August 1, 2019, at 6:19 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. Mark Camp Member

    i, She, whatever,

    I’m only a tenth of the way thru this as I knock off for the evening, but I just want to say this. Hats off to Mr. xxx She. And your vet. You’d have just been too much for me. I can’t honestly say that the Brown-Eyed Beauty wasn’t too much for me, but you, well.

    Arahant,

    When it comes to getting the right pronoun for all these dames, I know you got my back, thanks.

    • #9
    • August 1, 2019, at 6:51 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Arahant Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    i,

    Psst…it’s She, not iWe.

    • #10
    • August 1, 2019, at 6:59 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GLDIII Temporarily Essential (View Comment):

    We will take Psymon off your hands, he was a real sweetie.

    He’s a lovebug. And the fan club goes both ways, judging by his determined attempts to stowaway and go home with you and Mrs G.

    • #11
    • August 2, 2019, at 4:36 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Thatcher
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    She (View Comment):

    GLDIII Temporarily Essential (View Comment):

    We will take Psymon off your hands, he was a real sweetie.

    He’s a lovebug. And the fan club goes both ways, judging by his determined attempts to stowaway and go home with you and Mrs G.

    Yeah if was not for me searching for my misplaced glasses he might have been successful with his attempted hiding in the camper, and we would not have discovered him until we got to Oshkosh.

    At that point he would have had at least a ten day vacation before we could drop him back off on the way home.

    What a clever cat!

    • #12
    • August 2, 2019, at 4:46 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thanks for the kind comments; thank you, from the land where it’s always “raining cats and dogs.”

    It never ceases to amaze me how they end up here–even just the lost ones. I see “lost dog” signs miles away, and think to myself, “no worries, sooner or later they’ll be on my back porch,” and more often than not, they do. (I have quite the little section of my phone “contacts” list reserved for people whose dogs cross my path now and then.)

    I’ve long thought that there’s some form of communication that must go on, invisible to us, but like the system that hobos used during the Depression to let others of their number know where they might expect to score a meal.

     

    • #13
    • August 2, 2019, at 4:46 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    i, She, whatever,

    I’m only a tenth of the way thru this as I knock off for the evening, but I just want to say this. Hats off to Mr. xxx She. And your vet. You’d have just been too much for me. I can’t honestly say that the Brown-Eyed Beauty wasn’t too much for me, but you, well.

    Arahant,

    When it comes to getting the right pronoun for all these dames, I know you got my back, thanks.

    @markcamp, the cardinal rule in matters of this sort is to remember that it is almost always better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

    Arahant (View Comment):

    There’s nothing like a hungry kitten showing up on the porch.

    @arahant, what a cutie pie!

    • #14
    • August 2, 2019, at 4:49 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Hang On Member
    Hang On Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There’s probably a hobo sign out in front of your place that’s a tip off.

    Kind hearted woman sign

    • #15
    • August 2, 2019, at 5:23 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Front Seat Cat Member

    One of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read. Animals obviously sense that your address is a safe retreat – I’m going to forward this to my vet assistant friend – you’re a lot alike (she was my best friend growing up in Pgh). 

    • #16
    • August 2, 2019, at 6:46 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    One of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read. Animals obviously sense that your address is a safe retreat – I’m going to forward this to my vet assistant friend – you’re a lot alike (she was my best friend growing up in Pgh).

    Thank you. And best wishes to your friend. Is she still in Western PA?

    • #17
    • August 2, 2019, at 7:20 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hang On (View Comment):

    There’s probably a hobo sign out in front of your place that’s a tip off.

    Kind hearted woman sign

    It’s Tripod!

    • #18
    • August 2, 2019, at 7:20 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Al French, PIT Geezer Moderator

    A related story:

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/tennessee-veteran-who-lost-leg-to-ied-adopts-puppy-with-amputated-leg

     

    • #19
    • August 2, 2019, at 8:09 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I found a couple more of the several transcribed conversations between Darlene and Wookie that I’ve overheard over the years. They are an endless source of entertainment:

    Wookie: Well, that was nasty. I wonder how she knew I was in there.

    Darlene: It was probably the thumping, and all the yowling noises you were making.

    Wookie: I don’t think so. The door was shut tight. How could she possibly have heard me?

    Darlene: Got me.

    Wookie: I can’t believe she shut me in there.

    Darlene: Why ever not? The woman opens the cupboard door to take out a box of checks and some envelopes, and you sneak in there when she’s not looking. Then, when she puts the stuff back, instead of running out, you just hide in the back and don’t move. You’re gray, it’s dark in there. What the hell did you expect? Really, Wookie, sometimes I wonder about you.

    Wookie: Yeah? What about the time you got stuck under the fitted sheet? Didn’t feel so good, did it? Don’t tell me you weren’t just a little bit scared.

    Darlene: No, actually, it was quite cozy. I had a good nap. Did you get some sleep while you were locked in the cupboard?

    Wookie: No, I did not! And don’t be snarky. Let’s go get something to eat.

    Darlene: Good idea.

    And

    Wookie: HO HO HO!!! HEE HEE HEE! DeeDee, what ‘In the name of God and Two Policemen’ are you doing?

    Darlene: Ump. Flerf. Ugh. STUCK!

    Wookie: Where’s my camera?

    Darlene: Ha Ha, camera, yourself. STUCK! You could at least try and get me out of here.

    Wookie: How? You’re jammed upside down between the window and the screen. Your back legs are waving in the air like the Christmas turkey. What were you THINKING?

    Darlene: Oof. There was a black cat outside. He was looking at me funny. I was climbing out the window so I could bat him on the nose.

    Wookie: But how were you going to get through the screen?

    Darlene: Ouch. Umm. I forgot about the screen. It’s one of those screens you’re not supposed to be able to see. Well, I didn’t.

    Wookie: There’s another problem too, you know.

    Darlene: WHAT???

    Wookie:  Well, I haven’t mentioned it, but you have been getting a little porky lately. That doesn’t help in situations like this.

    Darlene: WILL YOU SHUT UP AND HELP ME?

    Wookie: Oh, all right then, hold on. (Jumps up on window and smacks Darlene on the behind).

    Darlene: OW! Go away and leave me alone! I’d rather just wait for someone to come and rescue me.

    Wookie: Very well then. I’m going to go find something to eat.

    Darlene: Honestly, you’ve got a one-track mind. I hope it chokes you. Whew, here comes someone now . . . .

    • #20
    • August 2, 2019, at 8:17 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  21. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Al French, sad sack (View Comment):

    A related story:

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/tennessee-veteran-who-lost-leg-to-ied-adopts-puppy-with-amputated-leg

    Sweet. It reminded me of another story, from about a year ago, which I found again: 

    https://www.foxnews.com/health/bullied-oklahoma-boy-7-adopts-rescue-cat-with-same-rare-eye-condition-and-cleft-lip

     

     

    • #21
    • August 2, 2019, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Arahant Member

    Speaking of cats with amputations and other ailments, my favorite comic strip is Breaking Cat News. Puck, one of the reporters, is missing a leg. Lupin, the anchor, is deaf and missing a bit of his tail. The main three cats are based on the cartoonist’s three cats who like to “help” her by investigating everything she is trying to do or get done.

    • #22
    • August 2, 2019, at 8:37 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Speaking of cats with amputations and other ailments, my favorite comic strip is Breaking Cat News. Puck, one of the reporters, is missing a leg. Lupin, the anchor, is deaf and missing a bit of his tail. The main three cats are based on the cartoonist’s three cats who like to “help” her by investigating everything she is trying to do or get done.

    That’s wonderful. I can totally relate. Psymon is particularly helpful when it comes to knitting and crafts:

    • #23
    • August 2, 2019, at 8:48 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  24. Hang On Member
    Hang On Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    She (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Speaking of cats with amputations and other ailments, my favorite comic strip is Breaking Cat News. Puck, one of the reporters, is missing a leg. Lupin, the anchor, is deaf and missing a bit of his tail. The main three cats are based on the cartoonist’s three cats who like to “help” her by investigating everything she is trying to do or get done.

    That’s wonderful. I can totally relate. Psymon is particularly helpful when it comes to knitting and crafts:

    The other caption could be: I wonder if anyone will guess it was me.

    • #24
    • August 2, 2019, at 9:13 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    I’ve always known I liked you, but this post really seals the deal. Thank you for this uplifting story of your pets. I lost my last Golden Retriever, a sweet angel named Suzi, a year ago to a stroke and still mourn for her every single day. Animals are truly the gift that keeps on giving. 

    • #25
    • August 2, 2019, at 10:34 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Full Size Tabby Member

    She: A tiny, tailless, sweet little cat who never even made it to four pounds in weight.

    Good grief! I can’t imagine a cat that small. We’ve had only five cats, but 4 of them were 13+ pounds, and the fifth was about 7 pounds and we thought she was tiny.

     

     

    • #26
    • August 2, 2019, at 1:19 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Full Size Tabby Member

    Many years ago our then next door neighbor (southern California suburbia) came home with a large adult male cat that she had found at her workplace. The cat had obviously previously been an indoor cat, as his front paws were declawed. He was low cat on the totem pole next door among a very large number of cats the neighbors fed but did nothing else for, so he hung out on our porch. One cold wet day we invited him inside our house. As soon as he crossed the threshold his behavior changed and he settled in, obviously remembering the soft comfortable life he previously had as an indoor cat, and made it clear he had no intention of ever leaving again. We were impressed with how markedly his behavior changed (for the better) as soon as he crossed into the house that first time. He did not however agree to stay inside all the time, and would get himself into scrapes around the neighborhood. 

    Our then existing elderly female cat did not appreciate the household addition, but they tolerated one another. The elderly female cat remained the dominant cat in our house for the remainder of her life. 

    The stray male (only male cat we ever had) rode in the car with us when we moved from southern California to western New York. He was very cooperative during the car ride, but got scared if he looked out the window while the car was moving. He spent most of the time on our daughter’s lap (despite it being July and 114 F as we drove through Las Vegas NV). 

    • #27
    • August 2, 2019, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  28. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    I’ve always known I liked you, but this post really seals the deal. Thank you for this uplifting story of your pets. I lost my last Golden Retriever, a sweet angel named Suzi, a year ago to a stroke and still mourn for her every single day. Animals are truly the gift that keeps on giving.

    I am so sorry you lost Suzi. Yes, our pets are a gift. And I’m grateful I’ve been on the receiving end of so many of them!

    • #28
    • August 3, 2019, at 5:59 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Many years ago our then next door neighbor (southern California suburbia) came home with a large adult male cat that she had found at her workplace. The cat had obviously previously been an indoor cat, as his front paws were declawed. He was low cat on the totem pole next door among a very large number of cats the neighbors fed but did nothing else for, so he hung out on our porch. One cold wet day we invited him inside our house. As soon as he crossed the threshold his behavior changed and he settled in, obviously remembering the soft comfortable life he previously had as an indoor cat, and made it clear he had no intention of ever leaving again. We were impressed with how markedly his behavior changed (for the better) as soon as he crossed into the house that first time. He did not however agree to stay inside all the time, and would get himself into scrapes around the neighborhood.

    Our then existing elderly female cat did not appreciate the household addition, but they tolerated one another. The elderly female cat remained the dominant cat in our house for the remainder of her life.

    The stray male (only male cat we ever had) rode in the car with us when we moved from southern California to western New York. He was very cooperative during the car ride, but got scared if he looked out the window while the car was moving. He spent most of the time on our daughter’s lap (despite it being July and 114 F as we drove through Las Vegas NV).

    Wonderful story, and beautiful cat! I’ve only ever rescued one cat who’d been declawed, and like yours, he liked to go outside and “hunt” occasionally. The only thing I could figure, since he sometimes brought me a trophy, was that he’d hold the mouse down with one paw and club it to death with the other . . .

    • #29
    • August 3, 2019, at 6:01 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member