So Tuesday afternoon I went out to my garage to get some tools, and a very friendly cat popped out from beneath my car and meowed. I meowed back and the cat went on to explain with a long series of meows that he was very hungry and he further asked if I might have some extra food please?
Now I’ve seen probably a half dozen different cats wandering around the vicinity of my house in the last year, not to mention packs of stray cats hanging around the cul-de-sac where I last lived (I am pretty sure a neighbor across the road fed them). Not one of these cats has ever walked up and started a conversation with me. They’ve always run away, like outdoor cats usually do.
Needless to say I was a bit surprised that this one did not. This cat purred and rubbed up against me like we were long-lost pals. So I concluded that he must be very hungry indeed. (I am just making an assumption he’s a he because in my life experience I’ve found that male cats are friendlier and female cats are more stand-offish.) I gave him a can of tuna fish which was pretty much the only cat-appropriate food I had on hand.
The cat ate the whole thing in one sitting. I expected the cat then to wander away again, but he spent the rest of the day in roughly this position on my back porch:
Every time I checked on him, he was still there, and it was not long before he followed me inside the house. That night he was very pleased to receive a handful of chicken pieces and spent the night in my kitchen on a chair by the window. (I thought this cat might belong to someone so I figured he would be safer inside the house than outside. Also he was totes adorbs.)
On the second morning I let the cat out again, thinking again that he would return to wherever his home was. But again, he parked himself right on the back porch and didn’t move all day. I went to the store and bought some cat food.
I was a bit worried about this unexpected feline development because I also happen to have a dog, who typically views cats as either incredibly fun play toys or mortal enemy invaders. The two animals warily eyed each other at first, but they didn’t attack each other, which I took to be a positive sign. In fact, Bella (my dog) kept a respectful distance and wagged her tail whenever she got near the cat. (Bella has actually lived with a cat before, but it has been many years.) Still, I kept the two of them separated for the first couple of days, fearing the cat might scratch my dog’s nose.
By Thursday I thought there was a good chance I would be keeping this cat (whether I wanted to or not, it seemed), so I removed all the barriers between the dog and cat inside and they got along just fine. Bella has adjusted to the new furry critter with surprising speed, and the cat actually seems to like her. They still tend to keep their distance from one another, but whenever the cat meows, Bella comes running, looking to see if it’s play time.
I’ve lived with cats for most of my life, but this is actually the first time I’ve ever started owning a cat. I don’t quite know what the onboarding process is. I’ll be getting him to the vet to get a checkup (and find out if he’s a him or a her) and to see if he has a microchip or anything. I rather doubt it though. There’s been no sign of anyone looking for lost cats, and I can make a pretty good case that this cat has been hanging around my house for at least a month prior to our official meeting. And given how quickly this cat attached himself to a steady food source, I have a hard time imagining him running away from someone else.
And now I’ll leave you with even more cat pictures!