Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Definitely a Male

It was interesting being home all day yesterday. Can't do that today; I have plans. But since I never saw Mr. New Cat until nighttime, my being home all day didn't seem important. Shadow will tyrannize him anyway. Well, he is definitely an unfixed male. He urinated on the bathroom rug, but luckily there were newspapers down, because that was the spot where I had put the extra litter box. Too bad I covered them with the rug, a decorator touch that Mr. New Cat must have appreciated.

Now the box is back there. He may want to hit the same spot, find the box there, and figure it out.

Either he doesn't know about litter boxes or Shadow wouldn't let him reach it, where it was in the living room. I'm not crazy about having a litter box in the LR, but was willing to try it because it's closer to the couch. Shadow spent most of her time behind the couch, too, when she first came. Her litter box has been there ever since, till I moved it to the bathroom on Sunday for Mr. New Cat. Looks like I need a third litter box. Bella uses the one in my room, and so does Shadow if I leave my door open. I could also use an extra door here, to separate the cats. Another room would be nice.

I hope Shadow doesn't go into heat with a male loose in the apartment. "Keep them separated," one of the women at the ASPCA told me. Another "duh" moment. I have to get her spayed. I'm also worried about her breathing. She sounds like she's snoring sometimes. I hope the vet can give her anesthesia in that condition. One step at a time, Barbara. You don't even have the spay certificate yet.

At that meeting, they said feral cats really do prefer to live outdoors. I believe it. Shadow spent a lot of time yesterday on the windowsill, watching the leaves fall from the trees. It's her first autumn, and falling leaves must look odd to her. We are on the second floor, so anybody on the LR windowsill has a good view.

Mr. New Cat was on the windowsill, too, wistfully breathing fresh air and looking out. He showed himself last night, walking from the kitchen. I was not aware he even went to the kitchen, but when he saw me, he ducked under the hutch. He's pretty fat, and he had a hard time fitting. He hid pretty well. Shadow didn't even know he was there. His move to the windowsill happened later, and I gave him a saucer of food on the sill. He didn't eat much.

Oh, I know why I missed his appearance: I was doing laundry, in another building.

This all makes me think of Lucky, who we got as a kitten when my daughter was in kindergarten.

She was a beautiful tuxedo cat with deep velvet fur and roaring purr and we had her 12 years. She had the best cat life. She went outside almost every night and came in in the morning, sometimes in the wee small hours. We'd hear her yelling, clinging to our bedroom screens, especially if it was raining. I'd go up on the porch and call her, but she wouldn't want to get wet by running through the rain to get to the front door. Many time my husband or I would have to go out in bad weather, detach her from the window screen, and carry her inside. I'd towel her off, till she purred. It's strange how sweet the memory is, even though it was terribly annoying at the time.

Poor Lucky died shortly after we moved here to Queens. She got out, and I wasn't too worried, but it's true what they tell you, not to let a cat out in a new location because they can get disoriented. Lucky must have. I kept going out and calling her. Finally I looked in the street and saw a black body. It was her. I hate to think she was hit by a car while running toward my calls, but she may have been.

Some people suggested she killed herself out of unhappiness at being cooped up in an apartment. She was depressed. She was certainly not feral; she just loved being able to go outdoors and hunt, climb trees, run around, whatever. She often followed us when we walked the dog in our hilly suburban neighborhood. She'd be with us the whole way, sometimes.

Ali offered to come over today and see if we can get Mr. New Cat into the bathroom, where he can at least eat, drink and use the litter box in peace, if not freedom.
I don't want to cancel my plans, so I guess that makes me irresponsible. Ali may come over tomorrow night, after work. Hope so.

Uh-oh. I have buried my lede.
Shadow let me pet her last night. It was pretty late, about midnight, and I had just turned off the TV. She came to me and rubbed around my ankles. I reached down and touched her gently on the side. She let me, so I stroked her there a few more times. I also touched her on top of the head, and rubbed behind her ears. She purred.

What am I going to do with these animals?

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