Thursday, October 22, 2015

No Good Deed. . . .

The Stephen King movie, Cujo, was on last night, reminding me that I had a blog post to write.

          It's been a year since the best cat in recorded history, Satchel, finally curled up in that sunshiny nap spot in the sky. We've had a succession of cats since 1980, and in spite of my husband’s best efforts, I've been getting twitchy without a daily dose of fur and adoration.

          We dug out the tried and true cat carrier and headed for the animal shelter.

          Not surprisingly, there were big cats and little cats, gray cats and orange cats, polydactyl cats, shy cats and friendly cats. There was a whole room for what the shelter called “spirit” cats - a term I’d never heard before for feral cats, which around here are often adopted as barn cats.

          The kittens were as adorable as kittens always are, and while we’ve always taken home the starter models, we were won over by a beautiful three- year-old tuxedo (black body, white chest) who had been surrendered the day before. The background on his cage – “owner had to move to nursing home” – told us we were doing a good thing. 

          We reached into the cage and patted him; we’ve had cuddly cats before, but with this guy our hands disappeared into depths of soft, black fur. He rubbed his head against the cage and looked winsomely into our eyes. Paperwork and payment and then we were on our way home, filled with the warmth of rescuers.

          We brought the cage into my office, closed the doors, and opened his carrier. Out he came, unafraid, and he immediately ran to the window and stood on his hind legs to look out. His head was above the windowsill. This was One Big Cat. We were thrilled; his tail was long and bushy, his feet the size of a snow leopard’s with tufts of fur between the toes. Somehow we had scored a Main Coon cat.

          Dr. Google gave us more information: Main Coons are independent, smart, and easy-going. Perfect. We opened the office door and gave him the run of the house.

          That was the zenith of our weekend. It went downhill from there. 

          When he wasn’t hiding in the basement, he was loping through the house like a timber wolf, searching for a way out. We were allowed to pat him, but then off he’d go again – window, door, window, door. 

          Sunday morning I shuffled downstairs in jammies and robe. Just like the good old days, there was a cat, rubbing against me, waiting to be fed. I patted him and took out a clean dish and can of food. I turned to put his breakfast down, and suddenly I had thirteen pounds of angry cat attached to my left leg. 
 He looked up at me with murder in his eyes, and tore out of the room. I put his food down and he trotted back in, tail in the air, all smiles.  

          From that point on, every time he saw me he hissed. Heart pounding, I would clear my throat before entering a room so I wouldn’t startle him.  For some reason, though, my husband was still in the cat’s good graces but that eroded over time, too. By the third day, food, cat, and litter box went into the basement. Not helpful, however, we discovered, when we needed to lure him out of the ceiling to put him back in the carrier. 

          Yes, back to the shelter we went, our tails between our legs. I felt like the lowest life form ever, but I can’t live like Peter Sellers in those old Pink Panther movies, wondering if Cato is lurking just around the corner. 


  1. That's so sad, for you and the cat. Hope your wounds heal. And better luck with your next cat. We got ours from a shelter too, went looking for 2 male cats, came home with Miss Kitty and she's taken good care of us ever since.

  2. Something tells me there was more to that cat being turned in than a trip to the nursing home. You did right.

  3. Owner moved to nursing home for care of wounds, apparently. I guess he was a one owner type. I hope you're not discourged, and came home with a starter model. They even come toilet trained, even if they have the srcabble over the edge of the box at first.

    1. We're going to wait awhile before plunging in again, but I can't see a permanently pet-free future.

  4. how sad. but, I agree, can't live with a monster lurking about. we eventually took my grandmother's cat after my parents threatened to take it to a shelter. they didn't really want her and didn't give her any attention and so she had taken to using the bathroom in the dryer. she never gave us one bit of trouble but then we loved on her.

  5. How sad. I was so happy for you, sitting here reading this with tears in my eyes, but then when he attacked and bit your leg, it scared me to death! Keep a close watch on the bite. I almost died from a cat bite, from our own big black and white rescued cat, Bickett. He bit me on the hand one morning. I washed the bite and used Neosporin and wore a bandage all day. By 5 pm I was in the emergency room at the hospital sick with red streaks running up my arm. They put me to bed and gave me intravenous antibiotics. I do hope that you will get another kitty. Most of them are sweet. Take care.

  6. Oh dear.
    That poor cat - and poor you.
    I hope a more amenable cat is in your near future.

  7. Oh, dear. He looks so angelic in the photo! Personally, the longest I've been without a cat is six months. I hope you find the right one real soon, especially before winter so you can train it to sit in your lap and keep you warm when the snow flies.

  8. I am so sorry. Having suffered a cat bite from my own, I know how serious they can be. I hope you find the right match and that the tux finds the same.

  9. I was so delighted at first you were taking in an older cat whose owner was going in a nursing home. How sweet of you. Then Stephen King stepped in. Mercy, that was scary. I always believe there is a lid for every pot. Hope you and the Maine Coon find your lids.

  10. Maybe he thought you were going to take him to his original owner and when said owner never showed, he started to lose it. Very out behavior. Shy and aggressive. Now the shelter knows!

  11. That's such a shame, for him to start out so friendly, then turn on you. I hope you told them at the shelter so they are better prepared to match him to a new owner.

  12. How bizarre! I wonder if he was an outdoor cat before. Maybe he wasn't used to being cooped up inside? Sounds like he had a lot of energy to work out!

  13. So sad. I guess he really needed another place to live, and he felt somehow trapped, and you were his keeper. You did the right thing.

  14. So sad it didn't work out...perhaps he was missing his owner something fierce. Maybe one of those kittens will work out better:) Good Luck!


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