I have always loved cats, and fur babies have been a part of my life since I was a child. I love her grace, her quirks, her independence. I have even written five novels about cats. Most of the writers I know have cats. Let’s go together: writing is lonely work and cats are solitary creatures.
All the cats that have had me have been strays or orphans. I think they are the best pets. It’s like they know you’ve saved them. Our current cat, Rosie, showed up starving and dehydrated last summer. Before that, Gypsy showed up hungry and meowing all day. Before that, Pandora was an abandoned kitten that we had to bottle feed. Before that… well, you get the idea. Our home is the Statue of Liberty for cats. Give me your tiredness, your hunger, your curled up masses of hair.
Every time one of our cats crosses the Rainbow Bridge, another magically appears. It’s like there’s an invisible sign in our house that tells them we have an “opening” for a cat.
A couple of weeks ago we heard a cat meowing constantly. Sure enough, another hungry stray. I called the tabby and she immediately came to me. He could feel her ribs as she caressed her. So we fed her and she started showing up a couple times a day for something to eat. She was a very sweet cat who loved attention.
Cats are grateful when you help them, so five days later he brought me some gifts. First, she came up on deck with a tabby kitten. A few minutes later he brought a Siamese. Then a gray kitten. Then another Siamese. My wife corralled the kittens and brought them inside with the mother cat to our sun room for safe keeping. (Cat herding is a very real thing. The “Yellowstone” cowboys I could not do it.)
Meanwhile, our cat Rosie was giving me the death glare. I am the queen of this house. How dare you bring other cats here? Did you give away my solarium?
So Rosie’s cat tree was moved into my office, a room she’s been dying to get into since we got her. She’s settled down and loves her new hangout with a big picture window featuring a Cat TV channel showing “Real Squirrels of Alabama.”
In the meantime, we now had four kittens, who appeared to be around a month old. They were thin and still nursing. After a couple of weeks with lots of food for mom, they have put on some weight and look very healthy. The mommy cat (we really need to give her a name) has also gained weight. We let her out every day when the weather is nice so she can enjoy the sun and take a break from her now boisterous children of hers, which are more fun to watch than anything on TV. We plan to keep the mother cat and have her spayed as soon as she is done raising the kittens.
And we have to find them forever homes. I’m not going to sit in a parking lot with a “free kittens” sign because you don’t know if people will be honest about adopting a cat for life. So I’ll leave a picture with our vet and spread the word.
It’s funny how cats seem to come to our house when they’re in trouble. The other day my wife wondered out loud, “I think cats can pray to God when they need help.” It may be so. It sure seems to make sense.
I didn’t write this to make myself look like a saint. There are plenty of people out there who do so much more, running animal rescue organizations or taking care of sick pets. Just thought I’d share the wonderful feeling you get when you save an animal. The mother cat looks directly into my soul with her emerald green eyes, as if to say “thank you.”
But it makes me wonder. You know how every town seems to have a “crazy cat lady” who has a horde of felines? Given what I just said, does this make me a “crazy cat boy”?
I already have a starter kit. I mean, cat lovers should have equality!
Randy Tatano is the author of more than 20 novels, writing political thrillers under the pseudonym Nick Harlow and romantic comedies as Nic Tatano. He spent 30 years working in television news as a local affiliate reporter and network field producer.
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