This week’s posts have been about black cats and black-&-white cats. I started the week with a list of the names of these Winnie’s Wishers - Maverick, Hershey Bear, Truly, Shiloh . . . and Victor. Today is Victor’s first appearance on the blog.
Back in December, some strange things started happening here at my home. I couldn’t figure it out. It certainly was NOT the norm. As I’ve described before, we live WAY out in the country. Our neighbors are quite a distance from us - no next-door-neighbors like one would have in town. Our two closest neighbors have dogs, no cats. But unless both my husband and I were losing our minds at the same time, there was a cat in our yard . . . somewhere.
The first time it happened, we drove into our driveway one evening after being away to do some Christmas shopping. As I’ve said - we are an hour away from real shopping, so we try to get EVERYTHING we need when we are out. As we were carrying holiday gifts and groceries into the house, back and forth, I thought I heard a cat crying. My thoughts were elsewhere, but somewhere in the back of my mind I was trying to process the sound. Of course, it had to be one of my own. The cathouse is too far from the house for me to hear meowing from the driveway. Think, walk, carry . . . WAIT! That sound is DEFINITELY coming from here - OUTSIDE the house! Oh, dear. Now it hit me. Could one of our cats have somehow gotten outside?!? Had somebody been out the whole time we were gone?!? That just couldn’t be.
I raced in and started counting. One, two, three, four, five, . . . six. All there. Good. Back outside for the last load. And there it was again. Somebody was meowing in the dark. I got nervous that maybe I didn’t close the cathouse door all the way that afternoon when I exited. With the last of the packages and sacks in the house, I ran down to the cathouse in the dark. Door securely closed as always. Back up to the house. I started walking around in the front yard, calling - Kitty, kitty, kitty . . . Nothing.
Husband had heard it, too. But it didn’t seem possible. Cats don’t just stray up to our house. At any point in time, some or most of our TEN dogs are in the fenced-in back yard. They are bouncing, playing, barking, interacting, barking. And did I mention that they bark? Surely, for a cat, that would be enough of a warning to stay away.
I never did figure it out. Several days went by, and it happened again. All of the dogs were tucked inside for the night. I stepped out the back door to let Bailey and Gideon into the yard for one final moment of relief before bed. I heard a cat meowing. When I got Bailey and Gideon back in, I threw a coat over my pjs and headed outside with a flashlight. Never saw a cat; didn’t hear it anymore that night. This happened another couple of times. Then one night, I was going to bed and Husband was staying on the computer. I walked over to him, leaned down to kiss him good night, and right outside the window was a cat on my deck. I froze. There it is - I whispered. There what is? - said Husband. I started towards the front door, but thought how I didn’t want to scare it off. My head was spinning. A cat on OUR deck!? Really?!
The door creaked so loudly when I carefully opened it that it would have scared one of my own family members off the deck. I skip-tiptoed outside and hurriedly started scanning in the dark. I was calling Kitty Kitty, too. Nothing. I went everywhere. I went back in and got the flashlight. I searched the yard, the deck, under our vehicles. When I went back inside, Husband was still playing his game on the computer, not even remotely ruffled by this extraordinary event. I was talking at high speed about how by golly there WAS a cat, I saw it, it was dark-colored, I think black, it was right there on the deck, I saw it through the window, I know it exists now . . .
For the rest of December and until a couple of weeks ago, we looked, called, and worried. Where was it going during the day? Where had it come from? What would happen if it showed up during the day and jumped into the fenced-in yard? Was it traveling long enough distances to cross the busy blacktop road only a quarter mile away?
We decided to start setting our trap right there on our own deck every evening. We couldn’t leave it over night because of the cold temperatures. But in the three or four hours between twilight and bedtime, maybe we could catch this cat before it was too late. However - it didn’t happen. Every night, the last thing I did before turning in was to go out and trip the trap. Darn. And the really frustrating thing was that I was still hearing that cat meowing from somewhere SEVERAL nights a week.
Then one very early morning, Husband walked into the family room and caught a glimpse of something dart under his truck out in the driveway. It was a black cat. Husband raced out onto our deck and set the trap. When I came downstairs, he was walking to the door to look out and he said - I saw the cat and I set the trap, (and as he looked through the glass), and oh, my gosh, I got him! I nearly broke my neck sliding over to the window. And there he was. A slightly thin, black male cat sitting inside the trap.
I’m not sure about Victor’s age. I still haven’t seen him play with toys. He is already becoming a lover. He is definitely a talker. I had him neutered right away so he could move into the cathouse. The other cats make a wide path around him. And I would say this is because they just don’t know him very well yet. He seems to ignore them for the most part. But I saw him chase poor little Shiloh up onto the cat tree. Obviously he’s been living outside and not in a home with other cats. We will see. He could actually go right this minute into a home without other cats because he likes us humans ALOT - purring, talking, and interacting. A home with other cats I’m just not sure about yet.
Friends - Victor needs a wonderful forever home. And don’t forget about the other sweeties I’ve been highlighting over the last two weeks. They all deserve their very own families. Have a great weekend!