A couple of months ago, my mother-in-law’s beloved cat, Finnegan, died at a fairly young age. I wrote about his adoption three years ago here. Recently, a stray cat started coming to her door. I think the word has gotten out amongst the homeless cat community that her house is the place to go.
This new cat was very friendly and must have had a home at one time because he had worn-out nail covers, but he was not neutered.
I don’t know how long he was coming around. I assume long enough to know he was separated from his original family. So my mother-in-law decided to bring him in and make him an inside cat.
We were there visiting Sunday morning and the cat was happy getting attention from all of us. She had an appointment to get him fixed this week and the only thing left is to name him. Someone suggested Zorro and she liked that name but I don’t know if she officially decided yet.
My wife is in charge of several apartment communities in Florida, Virginia, and West Virginia. One of the closer ones to our house is about fifty miles away. The manager there told Rose about a friendly stray cat that started hanging around the office. They decided to help the cat by allowing it to come into the office. Rose ordered several supplies for him on Chewy, including a litter box, litter, food, and toys. She visited the property last Wednesday and sent me these photos.
They named the cat “Gato” which is essentially the same as naming him “Cat.” I don’t think Gato cares what he is called, he is just happy to have people to love on him.
He comes and goes during the day, taking advantage of the many people who open the door for him. At night, he stays inside and someone comes to take care of him on the weekend.
One of the maintenance guys from the property came to our house on Saturday to help install two new windows in our house and I give him one of our carriers so they could take him in to be neutered.
From what I hear, he is super friendly so he is probably not feral but was someone’s pet at one time. I have seen this several times before and wonder how they become separated from their humans. I know at apartment complexes people sometimes move out and leave their cats behind. Sometimes they leave them inside an apartment with no food and water. I would like to think humanity is better than that and most strays end up on the streets for innocent reasons.
I looked out the front door yesterday and saw one of the beautiful white stray cats in our front yard.
A day earlier I saw her and another white cat hanging out together at the house behind ours.
Frankie was scratching and crying at the door like he knew someone was out there. I was tempted to open the door so he could look out through the storm door but decided against it. It wouldn’t have mattered because the cat soon walked out of view.
I went back to whatever I was doing but Frankie insisted I let him out on the catio, which is in the back of the house. When I opened the door, he and Floki went out and there was soon a commotion. I looked and saw the white cat walking through our back yard.
By the time I took the above photo the cat had walked through the picket fence. With no more cat, things should settle down. But wait! Suddeny there was more commotion on the side of the side of the catio.
The neighbor’s cat was outside on a table in their backyard and Frankie and Floki both noticed. Fortunately, the cat didn’t come over for a visit like last time and our cats quickly got bored and dispursed.
Imagine if humans acted like that whenever another human walked by. I bet New York City would be even more interesting.
My wife and I were on the catio with the cats yesterday afternoon when we heard the sound of a cat crying. I saw that there was a kitten in a tree next door so Rose started talking to the kitten. Upon hearing her voice, the kitten decided get down from the tree and come visit us.
Unlike the last two visits from cats, this one was not tolerated very well by Frankie.
I had to get up and stop Frankie from tearing at the screens because I was worried he might get through and attack the kitten. I guessed this kitten was a male because of Frankie’s attitude compared to the last two cats.
Frankie did settle down a little bit when he knew I didn’t like what he was doing. There was a little hissing and growling but I have heard much worse. Perhaps because he was a kitten he wasn’t much of a threat.
He was indeed a male because the neighbor came out and we talked to her about him. Rose asked if that was her cat and she said “It looks like he will be.” She had already given him a name like Sugar Plum or something with sugar in it. She was calling his name trying to get him to come back to her side of the yard because she didn’t want him to annoy our cats. Like a typical cat he didn’t pay much attention to her but he did eventually listen and went through the hole in the fence back to his side.
It was very good to know that at least one of the stray cats around here is going to have a home.
The window by my desk overlooks our back yard. From time to time I will see a white cat walk through our yard. I think I saw the same cat in our yard last winter so we must be part of her territory. Yesterday, Frankie and Floki were on the catio and I went out there to check on them. When I did, I noticed their attention fixed on the white cat.
Nobody was howling or hissing or making a fuss. They were just looking at each other.
The last time this happened with another cat it was also a peaceful encounter. I speculated then that it must have been a female because another male would probably have elicited a different response. If I am right, this white cat is probably also a female. If anyone has a reason to confirm or reject my hypothesis, I would like to hear about it.
I mentioned before that there were a couple of older kittens that came around our house. One of them returned yesterday evening while my wife and I were out on the catio, without the cats.
I put my hand up against the screen and the kitten was rubbing his head on it. We talked about how bad we felt because we wanted to give him some food but we didn’t want to get him used to it because we are leaving in less than a month. Instead, I thought it wouldn’t hurt if I went outside and pet him for a while.
After a short time my wife decided to throw caution to the wind and brought out a plate of food. At first he didn’t want the food. He seemed to want attention more, but after a while he started eating.
The next door neighbor was outside at the time and I overheard my wife talking to her. According to the neighbor, the kitten, along with at least one other, are being cared for across the street from us. She also said the neighbor doesn’t want the kittens and is looking for homes for them. I wish we could take this one in because he, or she, is so cute and friendly, but we have a one cat limit in Florida and traveling with three cats is hard enough.
When we came to West Virginia we left Chris and Floki’s Cardboard Cat Homes at our Florida home, but we brought Frankie’s house with us. He really liked lying on top of it so I thought he would enjoy it here too.
I took it apart and when we got to our home here I put it on a shelf, thinking I would put it together as soon as I finished more important things. By the time those important things were done I just forgot about it until my wife reminded me.
I put it together Sunday afternoon while the cats were lounging on the catio and then brought it out there and set it down near Frankie. He gave it a few sniffs and seemed interested for about five seconds.
That is when a stray cat decided to walk past us within inches of the screen. It was like he, or she, owned the place. Frankie immediately ran to the screen and followed while the cat walked around the catio and into the neighbor’s yard. Neither cat made a sound, which surprised me. Perhaps it was a female and the hissing and growling are reserved for males. I don’t know how that works.
In any case, we brought the cats inside shortly after that and then I brought the house into the living room where Chris and Floki took an interest in it.
Later, when I sat down to write this post, Frankie lied down on top of the house, just like he used to do.
I guess there’s no place like home, even if it is cardboard.
Saturday night, after arriving at our West Virginia home, we decided to leave our bedroom door open even though we knew that was a bad idea. We did it because we wanted the cats to feel comfortable before locking them out of the bedroom. Of course, Chris disturbed my sleep all night long.
Sunday we decided that we needed our sleep so we closed our bedroom door and went to bed. At about 11:00 we were awakened by Chris making an awful howling sound. It sounded so awful I had to get up to see what was wrong with him.
The sound came from the bedroom across and down the hall that I use for my office. My wife left the light on in the bathroom across the hall from my office and closed the door most of the way. She feels the cats need light even though they can practically see in the dark.
Nevertheless, it provided barely enough light for me to see what was going on. Frankie was on the floor looking at Chris and Chris was on the middle part of the cat perch. I thought the two were fighting but then I realized Chris was looking out the window. I walked into the room to see what Chris was looking at. I was surprised to see a cat on the roof looking back at me. No wonder Chris was howling. I tapped on the window and the cat ran away and I went back to bed.
At 4:00 a.m. Chris jumped on the bed and lied on top my head. Not above my head, on top of it. I moved him and saw he had somehow figured out how to open the door. Maybe someday I will get a full night’s sleep. Maybe.
I work one day a week in South Tampa and sometimes stop at a Walmart near my job. Several weeks ago I was approached by a friendly black cat as I neared the entrance.
I was at that same Walmart again Wednesday morning and saw the same black cat napping at the door. My first thought was that Walmart hired a security cat that was sleeping on the job. I stopped and pet the cat for a minute before going inside.
I did not know if it was a male or female and thought the cat was either well fed or pregnant. After looking closer at the photo, I think one of the ears is tipped meaning the cat is fixed. I don’t know if Walmart or some of the employees had anything to do with fixing the cat or taking care of her, but if they did then kudos to them.
We got to our hotel room yesterday a little after 2:00 p.m. It was relatively early but the cats needed a potty break and my back was hurting from the car ride.
On the way to West Virginia we stayed at a Home2 by Hilton in Columbia South Carolina. It was a nice room inside the hotel where I didn’t have to worry much about Frankie escaping because even if he got out of the room he would still be contained inside the hotel.. This time we stayed at a Best Western in Walterboro, South Carolina. It was an outside room and not nearly as nice.
Going both ways I wanted our second day to be slightly shorter than our first because I figured we would be sick of driving by the second day, plus we needed more time to settle in at home. So with that in mind, Walterboro was the only option.
Rose typically likes to stay at Hiltons or Marriotts but those hotels, at least in Walterboro, did not allow pets. My only choices were Best Western, Econolodge, Motel 6, etc. We both thought Best Western would be the best of the worst so we picked that one. We may have been wrong.
We got a room near the end and when we pulled in a calico cat immediately came up to our car with a big story. I happened to have Stella and Chewy’s readily available in the truck so I put some down for her while Rose put the top down so we could remove our cats.
Rose thought she was pregnant but then we noticed she was ear tipped. I think she is just smart and knows how to get food out of visitors. It worked on me.
When we got in the room we noticed it smelled like dog. It also was covered with old carpet and Rose was worried about fleas. I wanted to put the litter box on a hard floor, not carpet, for ease of cleaning, but the only hard floor was in the tiny bathroom. I couldn’t put it there. Rose suggested putting it on a towel, which I did.
It wasn’t long before Chris pulled the towel back and then dumped a bunch of litter on the exposed carpet. It was then that I realized I had forgotten to bring a broom and dustpan. All I could do was pick it up with my fingers.
What surprised me was when Chris got into the crate that he was trapped in all day. I found Floki in the smaller crate too but I did not get a photo of that.
I went out later to get dinner and brought some food out for the stray. It was then that I noticed a shy black cat hanging out with the calico. Frankie noticed too.
We left this morning around 6:30. The first thing I did was bring out bowl of wet food and a bowl of dry food for the calico and black cat. The calico was there eating the wet food as I loaded the cats in the car. I never saw the black cat again. Perhaps he was waiting for us to leave.
It is now 8:00 a.m. and Floki is still howling. Yesterday it lasted three hours and then another two hours of on and off crying. Hopefully today will be better.