Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Found, One cat. Lost, One Heart
It started when my youngest daughter phoned me Saturday night. We were catching up with old friends at the lake, and she was back at our cottage. There's a cat outside, she said. A kitten, actually. What do I do? Tell her not to feed it, said my husband. Too late, she replied.
At first I tried to ignore this little cat. She hung around the cottage, meowing hellos every time I walked by a window.
She followed me up the road, and disappeared into the woods towards one of the rental cottages next door. I figured someone must have brought her up to the lake and she escaped. Maybe she'll find her way home.
She turned up again the next morning, and wrapped herself around my ankles. My husband took one look at my face and said "absolutely, positively, NO MORE CATS." I could hear her pitiful meowing in the woods that night, and prayed one of the hawks or local foxes wouldn't find her. In the morning, she was back again and for the past four days, she has slept under the porch and popped out from under the steps every morning. It's your fault, said my husband. You fed it. It won't leave now, it won't ever leave.
No More Pets, he said again. Then he left for the city and I stayed at the lake with Fred. (Well, I have to call her something.)
I posted notices. I called every shelter, vet and animal rescue place I could think of. I fed Fred and resisted patting her. I didn't want to get attached. But her fur was so soft, and she has a habit of reaching up and batting my hands with soft paws until I relented. She bounces up to reach my hand, closing her eyes in rapture.
I posted notices. I phoned neighbours. After calling every shelter, vet and animal rescue place I could think of, I called Hilary who runs the shop where I buy my pet food. She suggested another couple of pet rescue places but they too said no sorry, too full. The problem is, everyone moves on July 1st in Quebec, and many people (too many) dump their pets. So the SPCA and shelters and vets are full to the rafters with abandoned pets and if I give up Fred she will most definitely be put down.
Hilary then thought of someone she ran into at the grocery store the other day, a former customer who had lost her cat and was considering another one.
I called, we talked and I explained the situation. Fred is a lovely calico cat, with an engaging personality. She is sweet and gentle and comical, everything a cat should be. She is not afraid of Buddy, in fact she walked up to him and sniffed his nose, then rubbed against his chest. When I pick her up, she flips upside down and stretches out fully, then drops to the ground as though made of liquid.
As the woman and I exchanged information, she called me by the wrong name. I laughed and said how odd it was to use that particular name, as it's an unusual one here in Quebec and it's my daughter's name. Then when I corrected her and gave my full name, there was a pause and she asked if my husband was a dentist.
Turns out we met on an airplane many, many years ago, as we both flew back from London. We exchanged stories of lost luggage and delayed flights. Then we learned that she knew my niece from soccer. Small world, we chuckled. What a coincidence, we agreed. And we got off the plane and never spoke again.
I've tried for three hours (and counting) to email a photo of this lost cat. Now I'm trying one last time to get a photo up on my blog. I'm hoping this works and that Fred will be adopted. She's too sweet not to go to someone who can love her.
So here is Fred, the cat who showed up on my doorstep this week.