Stuff and Nonsense (and a new book review)

My latest book review (a fictional novel which is a departure for me) can be found here. It is a quick, fun read about book-banning in a small town in the South.

Other things going on here over the long holiday weekend include some angst (on my part, anyway) about this little guy. I’d tell you his name, but there is some dispute about it, given that he doesn’t really belong to us. Or maybe he does. I’m not sure at this point.

The day before Halloween I was in the driveway cleaning out my car (a weekly necessity thanks to the carpool snack consumption that goes on inside) and I heard a pathetic maiow. I looked up to see this skinny black kitten watching me and slowly, tentatively making his way toward me. I managed to convince him to come to me and I scooped him up and brought him to the garage. I called all of the neighbors to see if he belonged to anyone and we decided to keep him around until at least after Halloween to keep him safe. By the time I heard from one neighbor who claimed him, it was November 1 and he had settled in quite nicely to our garage and back porch with several periods a day of snuggling inside on the laps of Bubba and the girls. We couldn’t let him live inside because of our other cat, but he seemed perfectly happy to play and sleep outside and come cuddle a few times a day.
When I told our neighbor I’d bring him back home, she said, “Whatever. He lives outside, anyway. He’ll come back on his own.” This cat was not destined to live inside their house, in any case, so she figured he would just roam the neighborhood at will and roost at their place. We disrupted that, I’m afraid.
At this point, two days after Thanksgiving, I’m not sure they’ve seen him at all. We have settled in to this pattern of feeding him in the morning, snuggling with him often during the day, and feeding him again at night. Bubba generally claims him for an hour before bed, messing with his tail and ears and paws in a show of masculine affection.
I know, I know. We have stolen the cat. I have considered not feeding him but that feels mean. We have plopped him back inside the fence of the neighbors’ yard and he promptly jumps on top of the posts and follows us back to our place. They won’t let him inside their house, so there’s no keeping him away (and we’re not terribly motivated to, in any case). Lola has expressed some concern from time to time that we are doing the wrong thing and I understand her sentiment, but this little guy is so lovely I can’t stand it. I have this squishy morality going on in my head that says he can go home anytime he wants – roaming the neighborhood until he gets there (they live next door) and, if they offered him any affection, he would choose to stay. I know we’re tipping the balance by feeding him.
But wouldn’t you?

5 replies
  1. Dee Ready
    Dee Ready says:

    Dear Kari,
    As a person who has lived with cats for the past 39 years, I would do exactly what you're doing. If the cat wanted to stay with the neighbors, he'd do so. The are
    simply claiming him, yet they are not feeding or sheltering him. In what way is their house a home to him? That's not the way to treat an animal who can become a member of the family. And that's how the three cats with whom I live and I feel–we are family.

    It's love that makes the difference.


  2. Deb Shucka
    Deb Shucka says:

    It's pretty clear, the neighbors don't really want this gorgeous boy. I'd have moved him in the house by now, given him a name and bought toys. 🙂

    I hope you continue to enjoy the newest member of your family. He's chosen you for good reason.

  3. Carrie Wilson Link
    Carrie Wilson Link says:

    You didn't steal him, he has some sort of sacred contract with you! We did the same thing years ago, loved that darn cat. When it died, everyone thought it had always been ours, we found the original owners and they were sort of unfazed by the whole thing!

  4. graceonline
    graceonline says:

    We had almost an identical situation when my youngest was a baby. Our oldest fell in love with Belle, also a black cat, immediately. My children grew up with her, were with her when she died. She was ever our dear friend.

    If I were you, just to make sure there is no misunderstanding, I would talk to the kitten's people again and see how they feel about his taking up permanent residence with you. After all, you'd be the ones assuming feeding and vet responsibilities.


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