The other night, something happened that I never thought would happen in my lifetime. It was almost midnight, my husband and I had just finished letting the dogs out for their final out for the night (after watching The Hunger Games) and there I was, in my white, fuzzy, polka dot bathrobe, feeding and petting our two cats.
I am becoming the crazy cat lady. And I don’t really like cats that much.
However, what I dislike more than cats are horrible, asshole owners who move and leave their unwanted pets behind. And then said pets are left to fend for themselves, yet are unable to do so properly and find themselves malnourished, scared, and covered with ticks and fleas. And because I cannot watch an animal suffer, that cat then comes into my care because apparently on my house there is a flashing neon sign that reads “Homeless Cat Shelter. All Are Welcome”. And the cats know it.
Over the years that we’ve been taking care of Boots, our actual cat, numerous other cats have come and gone. They stay for a few days, eat the food, rest up a bit, and then move on. I don’t mind the transient population so much. At least they’re kind enough to do what they need to do and don’t leave us any presents (like carcasses, hairballs or something even more disgusting). But every once and while, a cat comes to our shelter and stays. Then she gets a name and voila! She’s now our new pet.
This just happened to us a few weeks ago. We’re pretty sure we know where this new cat came from because the timing of her arrival is way too coincidental with people who admittedly hate their cat moving away very suddenly (I’m deciding it’s an eviction because why not?). When we found her, she was so skinny you could see her spine through her fur. Her collar, which was still around her neck, was hanging so loosely she could slide it over her head (you know, if she had the ability to do that). She was starving, covered in fleas and desperate for some sort of attention and affection. So we did what anyone would do.
We feed her. And treated her fleas. And play with her, give her treats and somewhere comfortable to sleep. It’s the best we can do. We’re also actively searching for a new home for her. But that search is going very, very poorly.
You see, this poor cat is an indoor cat and my husband is severely allergic to cats. So we can’t keep her once the weather gets cooler. She needs to be inside because honestly? We don’t think she’ll survive a winter outside. But just like her previous owner, no one wants her. No one’s come out and said it directly but I think it’s because she has no tail. I don’t think anyone wants a defective cat, regardless of how sweet her personality is. Which is just a damn shame. Because anyone would be lucky to have this cat as a pet.
I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that this cat is indefinitely ours. We’ll have to think of something to do for the winter that does not involve moving her inside and plying my husband with Benadryl until he’s comatose and doesn’t realize there’s a cat in the house (this might not be a practical solution since he does, in fact, need to go to work). It’s also expensive. Then again, so is keeping a second cat, particularly one that’s indoors since there’s a whole new set of costs that come with it, and I’m not sure our budget can afford those right now. Our budget is having a hard time just keeping up with the cost of two outdoor cats, given the extra food that we have to buy now (not to mention the flea and tick treatment). But I refuse to be an asshole like her previous owners and toss her to the streets (or worse, the SPCA) so I’m finding a way to make it work. Because that’s what I do.
So, I’ll make a plan, I’ll rework our budget, and I’ll accept the fact that now we are a two cat family. I’ll just try to avoid feeding them in my bathrobe. I don’t need a reputation.