hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Interviewing Cats, Part III

We got to a street that I've never been on in Point Roberts.  It puzzles me that I could have lived in such a tiny place for almost 20 years and still find myself on streets that I've never seen.  'Don't get around much, anymore,' must be my theme song.

We knock, a nice lady opens the door, explains the situation with the cat to us.  She has taken the black cat in as a fostering situation to get him past his medical procedure.  It has now healed and she now has to leave for some considerable time so the cat needs to move on.  She has named the cat Smidge.  I guess it was she, since the cat did not come with a name.  And the reason is that the cat is a feral cat.  There are a lot of those around here.  I know several people who have indoor cats AND 4 or 5 feral cats as well that they feed.  They are truly wild.  This house has a bunch of them outside and they are lively and absolutely uninterested in having a random human get too close to them.  They bounce about behind a bunch of wood, outside, and seem to be exploding with astonishment at the thought of us coming nearer.

The Black Cat, however, is not outside.  She is living inside a small kennel box with wire windows, inside a lovely glass shower which, in turn, is inside a bathroom where she can be alone (and definitely not in communication with the house cats that are elsewhere inside the house).  Ed takes a first turn sitting with her.  Smidge stays in her box; indeed in the back of her box.  She tolerates his petting her (which is to say she didn't do anything to object to it).  Then I sat inside the shower stall for awhile with her in her box.  I didn't try to pet her; just sat there.  She didn't come out or even move closer to her box's exit door.  She was clearly aware of me, however.  'What,' I thought, is it to me if she wants to live in a box?'  She turned her head and I glimpsed her eyes briefly: gold-ish.  I spoke to her; she did not speak back nor move toward me.

An hour or so of this cat interviewing and we were ready to move on back to our other tasks.  We were advised that we would need to come and sit with her like this for several more days while she (perhaps) got used to us.  We made an appointment to return the next day.

When I got home, I wrote an email to my daughter-consultant who quickly replied (after consulting with her consultant--no one does anything anymore without a consultant, I guess) that this did not seem like a good idea for a cat for me to live with, although it might be OK for Ed who, as she put it, likes taming wild birds.  He, she thought, might want to rise to this challenge, but I, she was pretty sure, had enough other challenges already that were claiming my attention.  Taming a wild cat probably did not need to be added to that list of challenges.  Her shelter manager consultant concurred: a feral cat is best trapped, neutered, and released.  That is, released to continue being a feral cat.

Ed and I talked, considered, cancelled our appointment for the next day, and wrote to our knowledgeable local friend to confess our inability to rise to this challenge.  She replied that she understood completely and that there were other cats to be had.  Just be patient, I said to myself.

(The end of Cat Interviewing, Part III)

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