Pussy Snatch

I can’t wait for the search engine hits on that one.

I have no idea how this is going to turn out. All I know is I am determined to do the right thing while I still can.

Over the past couple of weeks — since the first of the month, give or take — there have been several days when Torvald was around nearly all day long, possibly more than I realized since I work six days a week. (The day it flooded, he even leaped the torrent to invade my basement.) In fact, he’s been almost a persistent nuisance, pestering to get in and following me into the front porch enclosure. He was here at eight a.m. on Thursday last, he was here when I came back from that day’s run, he was here when I returned from a lunch date and he stayed here till dusk. Then Friday it poured buckets. Saturday it cleared, but I still didn’t see him at the close of work, which seemed odd — a departure from recent pattern, though only since the beginning of this summer has he been such a constant presence, despite first appearing in my yard nearly two years ago.

So when I walked down the hill yesterday, forgoing my usual Sunday workout for a four-miler so the Engineer and I could set out for the orchards and wineries (stay me with wine, comfort me with apples), I was gobsmacked to see a For Sale sign in front of his house. Little mushroom lights on spikes, you know the things, which I had seen sitting for months or possibly years on the porch, had been set up in a nice little row down the sidewalk.  Torvald’s apparent family, whom I am fairly sure are renters, would have found them inconvenient at best, since paterfamilias appeared to have a jackleg car repair business on the back patio and overflow cars have often been parked on the lawn, athwart the walkway.

I had a breakdown. The Engineer, being an engineer, has two emotional settings so far as I can tell, Neutral and Slightly Less Neutral, so I think he finds me utterly baffling at these moments (you can sort of see him riffling through the Help section to the page where it says, “Crying: Enter <Hug> And Restart To Save Your Settings”). You do not want to know the kinds of incendiary things I can say about people who don’t fix their cat, let him wander, don’t even (according to the conversation I had with their knee-high daughter) buy him a litterbox, yet own a gigantic plasma TV visible from the street and a honking big SUV; who live here for years without learning enough English that I can talk to them about the matter, and then book? Just when I was close to the cat treating my house as his own, to the point I could handily sneak him to a vet for shots and neutering?

I had too many haunting memories of Taffy, the spiritual ancestor of Mr. Ferguson, whom I stole when I moved out of a duplex shared by a very similar family fifteen years ago. Taffy only ever saw a vet because of me; the dumb asses once took their other cat, Felix, to Aunt Rosa’s for a weekend and came back completely puzzled that when they let him out, “he ran away;” they left Taffy out in all temperatures and on the Fourth of July, which was the day I lowered the boom. I had a horrible picture of these idiots taking Torvald to a new place and immediately letting him out to pee, because you know, litter costs money that could go to payments on the plasma TV.

Engineers fix things. Mine proposed to go see if he had been dumped at the shelter; Thursday was after all the 15th, not an uncommon date for a move-out. I managed the drive to the orchard and the rest of the day okay, but I got up this morning feeling like misery on stilts.

Then David, my gardener, who loves Torvald, said to me about ten this morning that oh, yeah, he was here Saturday.

“Look for him and if you see him, no matter what I’m doing, knock,” I said. Then I put out a dish of kibble.

Ten minutes later Torvald was there, buried to the whiskers in the dish, fressing with unaccustomed fervor. Most days since we first met he has spurned food. Most days he has not even been around till late afternoon.

Snaking him into the laundry room was the work of a moment. I kept the dish to his face even when we were in motion. Nom nom.

He has a checkup appointment tomorrow at nine a.m., and spent a chunk of the afternoon exploring the bottom two floors while my troops hung out upstairs. Along about five it became apparent he felt comfortable in here.

Maybe his people are still down the street. Maybe they moved on the 15th. Maybe signs will go up saying “Gato Perdido.” Probably not. Whatever happens, he’ll at least have his shots, and unless there is an awful meltdown of the situation, his balls off.

He rolls on the rug and speaks and butts me with his head, and treats every chair in the place as if it belongs to him alone.

I have been in love with this cat for over a year (and the feeling seems mutual), so I know my perspective is skewed. I mean, quite possibly I have stolen a cat. Then again, quite possibly I have taken in one that had been abandoned or was about to be. Whichever the case, I am morally certain he has never seen a vet, and I can take care of that much.

News as I get it.

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9 thoughts on “Pussy Snatch

  1. Well, we’re back from the vet, who says he’s remarkably healthy, weighs 8.9 pounds (making him a pound smaller than Nickel Catmium and three-fourths Fergie’s size), no fleas. He got his rabies and distemper shots and he’s getting lab tests for anything contagious. They want to give the vaccines a week or so to percolate before neutering him.

    He hadn’t used his litter box (he may never have seen one before) when I packed him into the carrier, but the tech who took him back for the blood draw said “He gave us a fecal sample.” I guess if you’re a small cat with a limited vocabulary and have been experiencing 24 hours of disruption and intrusion, you finally have to yell Merde Alors.

  2. I took my new ten year old cat to the vet this week. He’s got dental problems that are going to cost over $600.00. His previous owner said there was nothing wrong with his teeth even though he has one hanging out that is twice the size of all the others. He also had worms though he has only eaten Science Diet at my place and never been outside so he definitely didn’t get them here.

    And i thought his previous owner loved him……

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