His name is Simba

Our story has a happy ending, one that doesn’t include a new addition.  The owners called me this afternoon.  Their house was on my flyer route this morning, and they called me when they got home from school.  The girl was very happy to get her Simba back.  I suggested, nicely, that they get him a collar.  You know, just in case he gets out again.

And hopefully, now that I can stop obsessing over what on earth I’m going to do with a cat, I’ll be able to concentrate again.  I was useless today.

Okay, story’s not over.  I just got a call from a woman who lives on the same street as the cat.  I told her I took him home this afternoon and she was like, “Yeah, well, I’m looking out my window and a cat who looks just like the one on the flyer is standing outside.”  And then I was like, “You have GOT to be kidding me.  No.  Way.”  And she was like, “Way.”  And I was like, “Oh.  My.  God, Becky.”  And then I was like,  okay, I can’t write like that anymore.  The gist is that she’s going to take the cat back to the kids.  I can’t decide if I hope it’s the same cat (’cause GAH, could they really have let the poor thing out AGAIN?) or a different cat.  I don’t know if I have another crusade like this in me.  Not so soon.  John and I passed out almost 300 flyers last night and this morning, and I spent part of the day calling every local vet and the shelter and I emailed the flyer to all of them.  That reminds me, though, that I need to go to Starbucks and Giant and take the flyers down.  Now that I think about it, there are almost 300 people out there who have my phone number.  Not so cool.

I haven’t heard back from that woman, and again, I don’t know what that means.  Was it the same cat and she returned it again?  Was it a different cat and she’s going to be in charge of finding the owner this time?

STOP.  Not my problem.

No, I’m not keeping this cat

I can’t have a cat.  Riley would spend every minute bouncing off the ceiling.  Every minute he’s not trying to eat the poor thing.  He’s high-strung as it is.  I got further proof of that this morning when I brought a cat inside.  Briefly.  After I threw him and Roxy out on the deck.

Let me back up.

I went out this morning for a jog, as usual.  (Kind of as usual.  You know, every other day usual.  The way I left the house was as usual for when I go for a jog.  Oh, hell.  Leave me alone.)  About a half mile from the house, on the opposite side of a busy-for-my-town street from my neighborhood, I saw a cat narrowly avoid being hit by a car.  It was okay, hanging out on the sidewalk when I got there, not even a little bit afraid of me.  He’s a pretty little cat, not a kitten, not full-grown.  I guessed 6-7 months old (the vet said maybe 8 months, but not more).  No collar, no tags, not neutered, but he’s clean (and definitely a he) and seems well-fed.  Almost definitely not a stray.  Like 98% not a stray.  He was right behind a house in this other neighborhood, so I walked to their front door to see if he belonged to them.  He followed me.  Right by my ankles.  I knocked (it wasn’t even 7 yet – a little early for a doorbell), but no one answered.  I saw people at a house on the next block, so I headed that way.  He followed me.  They didn’t recognize him.  I tried another house.  Same thing.  I went back to the first house, closest to where I found him, and since there was a light on now, I rang the doorbell.  A guy and his little girl answered the door.  Not their cat.

Three houses with no luck, and the cat’s still following me, so I picked him up and headed home.  Easier said than done.  He let me carry him for a couple of minutes and then he struggled a little.  I calmed him enough to get by another house or so, and then he twisted again.  I put him down, thinking maybe he’d keep following me.  Nope.  He headed for a house like maybe he lived there, so I rang the doorbell.  No answer.  And then he went to another house like he lived there.  So, yeah, this little kitty doesn’t know where home is.  Scooped him up and continued home.  Repeat twice more, without the doorbell-ringing.

I finally got back to the house, but John was out running and I needed to get in the door without getting my face and arms clawed off when the cat tried to escape from the dogs.  I got the teenager across the street to hold him while I shoved the dogs into the backyard (more difficult than usual – Riley’s nose was glued to my cat-hair-covered shirt).  Then I locked the adorable little kitty whose patience was wearing thin in the hall bathroom.  He immediately starting yowling.  I don’t blame him.  I called a couple of the local vets.  All I was looking for was a place to leave this cat for a day or two while I post flyers (fliers?  Looks like fleers.) and look for the owner, and the shelter is kinda far in the wrong direction (wrong if I’m trying to get to work close to on time).  The first vet I called won’t hold a pet unless they know who the owner is.  Not helpful.  The second one was sympathetic, though, totally understood what I need, and was willing to take the cutie-pie, at least for a day or so.  In the meantime, Riley tried to throw himself through the sliding glass door to get at the CAT!  THERE’S A CAT IN THERE!  LET ME AT IT!

John came home about then, so I explained why awful screaming noises were occasionally coming from the hall bathroom (not hurt noises, just hilarious lonely noises) and why Riley (who was no longer trying to hulk his way into the house) was stomping his foot (he really does that) and whining urgently.  John got his camera, and I opened the door to find Stan (he looks like an Oliver, but we know a cat named Oliver, so he’s Stan and no, we’re not keeping him) on the bathroom sink.  John took some pictures (see below) for the flyers I’ll make later today, and I threw him (Stan, not John) in the car for the drive to the nice vet.

He was fine in the car (we no longer have a pet carrier of any kind, and we never had one small enough for a cat), and he was happy to go with the vet tech.  I have their number, they have my number, and when they can’t keep him any longer, I’ll move him on to the shelter.  If I haven’t found the owner by then.  After work, I’ll stop at FedEx Office (I think that’s what they call themselves now, not FedEx Kinko’s anymore), make a bunch of flyers, and shove them in mailboxes in my neighborhood and the neighborhood across that street.  I’ve already posted in the community forums, so hopefully I’ll get some response.

I got a phone call from John a little bit ago.  On his way out of the neighborhood this morning, when he left for work, he got stuck behind a car going REALLY SLOWLY down the street.  He was super annoyed at the time, but it occurred to him, as he sat in traffic, that it might have been the cat’s owners driving slowly by.  That’s probably how I’d go looking for my missing cat.  We’ll keep an eye out for that car, too.

Anyway, if I don’t hear from the owner in a couple of days, there’ll be a cute cat on the market.  Free to a good home.  Want one?

It’s a happy coincidence that I’m rescuing a cat on Wombat’s Random Act Wednesday, but there you have it.  Also, Spokeit‘s post from yesterday ran through my mind all morning.  Gotta love our online community.