Six or so weeks ago, my dad moved in with us. Bringing with him a truckload of stuff and a big beautiful German Shepherd. Which promptly tried to eat my cat.
I had already mentally prepared myself for the likelihood that the two wouldn’t get along, it would sort itself out, or not.
Sorting seemed to end up meaning the cat would bugger off out into the wild and anytime it, or any other cat came within 100 yards of the house, Dog would take off after it like a flash and Dad would get his exercise for the day chasing Dog down and trying to keep him from getting mowed down in the street.
That went on for a while, and I had found a way to smuggle the cat in through the garage door so she could at least get in to the laundry room and eat. But eventually it became clear that I was only feeding the bravest of the neighborhood cat-gang, to which mine did not seem to belong.
At one point, a whole week had gone by without any confirmed sightings and I was trying really hard not to be depressed. Dad was feeling bad, but I assured him that I wasn’t upset with him or Dog, and that “shit happens”.
She did appear finally one morning; skulked into the house early and pigged down a whole bowl of food and took off again. I was relieved- she wasn’t wasting away or limping or maimed- she was just doing that “cat thing”.
And again she disappeared. poof. vanished. I knew when I went away to work for that week that the guys weren’t going to bother with the garage door trick- it’s been getting cold out overnight and it just sucks right into the house from there. I asked Dad to leave food out front and he says “Haven’t seen her, but what does she look like?”. *sigh*
So I get home last week and make effort to go out and call for her (like a cat ever comes when it’s called) and make sure there was food on the porch- but reality set in when I went outside one night and there were no fewer than 4 cats in my front yard waiting for food, and not one of them was mine.
I realized that it had been nearly 3 weeks since I had actually laid eyes on the wee beast, and that by then, she was either doing just fine, or she was dead. So I shook it off and decided to just get on with it. Dad- who’s away on a roadtrip offers to bring me a kitten from my Uncle’s farm- and so tempted but I tell him “well you’re going to have to make sure Dog doesn’t want to eat it first”, and ” When I’m not home it will have to be you taking care of it” (Husband tolerated the cat for my sake. Part of the deal was “you don’t have to feed it, clean up after it, or like it at all, just don’t kill it when I’m not looking”)
Though even Husband had waxed lukewarm to the thing- she was persistently cute and quite soft.
So last night as we were pulling up to the house, he suddenly stops the truck and there under a car in the neighbors driveway, is my cat. So out I jump and go over to lure her out. She squawks and squeaks and eventually comes out from under the car so I can grab her. Not a whisker out of place but definitely lighter. And I get her into the house where she promptly devours a large amount of food and sets about checking the house for the Dog- who thankfully isn’t here for at least a day or two more.
Turns out Cattard, may not necessarily have been starving for food- but was definitely starving for attention. She followed me around for the rest of the evening squeaking and purring and when she realized I wasn’t going to sit still and let her be my new hat, she zeroed in on Husband the “cat hater”. Which I found to be absolutely bloody hilarious- watching as she stretched out full length against him purring (she sounds like a tribble) and kneading and head butting into his chest while he watched TV- and pretended to accidentally pet her and scratch her ears and talk nonsense to her.
Finally it was time for bed. And of course Cat thinks she should come with us. And by 3am I became convinced that it was not actually my cat we had found, but a Lesser Demon in possession of her corpse. She had no intention of sleeping- rather she wanted to kill my hair, kill the pillows, and when she snagged her claws in the bedspread, kill the bedspread. Every exposed inch of skin on my body has been pin-cushioned with adoring/feral kneading marks, and when I finally got fed up and banished her from the bedroom she stalked around the upstairs yowling in despair- Husband woke up and muttered “I’d rather listen to that weird purring” so I let her back in.
Suffice it to say, I’m “relieved” that the cat is fine and for now, home safe and sound… now for a wee nap…