Six or eight months ago, possibly more, some sh_thead dumped a heathy male cat off near our house. He was in such good physical shape, we thought he must be a lost pet. We asked neighbors on and off facebook if they knew of the black and white shorthair cat that was missing. None did. The weather was cold then, so we set him up with upside down box with a door in it, filled it with old towels, wrapped plastic around it to keep the wind out, and placed a microwavable heating sack in their every night to keep him warm. We gave him plenty of food and water.
We finally took him to the vet and heard that his age was 3-8, got him a rabies shot, and a feline leukemia test because we had known for sometime he would end up in the house and we didn’t need that disease transmitted to either of our two 18-year-old cats. The test cam back negative. Okay, so now he’s an indoor-outdoor cat, in at night and out during the day. His name is Robbie and he’s slowly starting to recognize it.
Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
- He brings fleas inside which the other cats get but that don’t seem to stay on him. We’re buying more FrontLine flea protection than usual.
- Robbie has to be fed first because he’s large enough to shove our other cats away from their bowls if Katy or Marlo get their food a nanosecond before he does. Marlo, our lightest weight cat stands up to Robbie when there’s food involved.
- Robbie has been a house cat. He knows the sound of a poptop cat food can being opened, knows where the litter box is and what it’s for, and knows that towels on the bed or the sofa are places designed for cats to sleep.
- Like the other two cats, he comes in the bedroom at night but knows he’s not supposed to stand on top of us while we’re asleep.
- Like the other two cats, he tends to fall asleep when Lesa and I are in the livingroom watching TV. He (usually) doesn’t try to get the food off our plates when we’re sitting at TV trays.
- If he ever sees a room he’s never been in, he wants to go in there.
- It’s been amusing watching a new-to-the-household cat adapting to our routines as well as the mood and habits of Katy and Marlo. Lesa and I have been together since 1980. We’ve always had one or more cats. Even so, every day brings something new. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s, well, not so good. But we soldier on with our scratches and claw marks with critters underfoot and on the furniture.
When people ask how I get my cat details right in the folk magic series beginning with Conjure Woman’s Cat. I say “forty years of experience.”