Our neighbors’ cat got lost a few days ago. She must have got out in the morning as they left for work, and they spent two days doing what owners frantically do when their pets go missing, namely print flyers, talk to their neighbors and the neighborhood kids and spend hours walking around with cat food. She was an older cat who’s never been outside, and they were understandably upset and worried.
As professional cat owners we contributed a donation of a cat trap, moral support, cat food on our front porch and several walks around the neighborhood late at night, when the traffic dies down, and the night is still. So last Saturday night found us walking around the neighborhood around eleven thirty at night trying to spot one shy cat. One shy cat was nowhere to be seen, but we did spot a very young cat sitting curled up on the steps of a townhouse.
We stopped to say hello, and the friendly kitten approached, gurgling something in cat and arching his back. He was very skinny, and allowed himself to be picked up without resistance, purring all the while. Offering to return him home, I knocked on the townhouse steps where the lights were still on, and asked the family who answered whether the kitten is theirs.
“Oh no, no” came the answer.
“Well have you seen him around?” I asked, “perhaps he’s your neighbors’ cat or anyone’s from around here?”
“No, no, he’s been around for a couple of days, but he doesn’t have a home” came the reply. “Perhaps you can take him?”
“Thanks, I sure can” I said. The kitten was not wearing a collar, had no tattoo, and was skin and bones.
The kitten was still sitting contentedly on my shoulder during this conversation, so we traced our steps home, got in the truck and drove to the wonderful 24 hr vet at the local plaza. The receptionist checked him for a microchip – none, tattoos – none, and said he can spend the night there, and be sent to the SPCA in the morning. She also mentioned that it looks like he has worms, his ears are dirty, his tail may have been damaged and he may be a barn cat, which would make him the friendliest barn cat I’ve ever seen. Feeling like our good deed is done for the night we drove home.
A week later the vet phoned.
“The kitten you brought in is still here, any chance you want to take him?”
“Sure!” was my reflexive reply. No, we don’t need another cat, but over time we have fostered and adopted cats through a wonderful local shelter – The MEOW Foundation, and I was hoping they could place him for adoption on their website if we foster him at our house. Like many no-kill shelters they are perpetually running at above capacity, and they hardly ever have room at their facility. Fortunately they agreed, and the kitten arrived at our house that same night. He’s been cleaned and de-wormed and was looking wonderful. The vet staff named him Stretch which fits him wonderfully as he has a very long and lean torso.
Soon he’ll be neutered and micro-chipped and be ready to go to his permanent home. His incredibly sweet and affectionate nature will likely get him placed very quickly, but in the meantime he’s enjoying his place in the sun.
Oh and the neighbors’ cat? Was found under a deck of the house directly behind them. Luckily the cat didn’t make it far, and was spotted by a caring soul. Which is a great happy ending.