Mister Cat

Logically, and on paper, it wasn’t the greatest idea.

2 months ago, a stray cat followed Billy home one night, as he was coming home from a late shift at work.  I got a call at around 1 am, saying “come outside, but be quiet”.  So I opened the front door, to see a little black blur dart behind the corner of the house and then peek around the corner and look at me.  With giant green eyes.

ImageOur neighborhood is no stranger to stray cats.  In fact, there are more strays here than in any other street I’ve lived on (and that includes the street in Van Nuys that had roosters walking around).  People put out food for them, and you can often see it sprinkled and crushed on the sidewalk, alongside the cigarette butts and the (sadly more than occasional) used condom. In other news, we really need to move out of this place.

But whenever I come across the cats themselves, they cross the street to avoid humans, run under cars, scoot under gates.  But this little guy followed Billy 2 blocks, trotting alongside him, matching his pace, and constantly looking up at him, mewing, as if to say “Hey man!  What’s up” (Billy’s word’s).  He seemed like a sweetheart, and somewhat domesticated, so we let him inside the house, and fed him one of Billy’s chicken patties (cats being carnivores, so I didn’t think my soy ones would agree with him).  We played with him a bit, and then went to bed.  Harley was beside herself with excitement and confusion (she loves cats, and freaks out when she sees them through the window).  The cat was a bit frightened of Harley’s exuberance, but slept curled up in my arms the first couple of nights.

We had discussed getting a cat for awhile, mostly for Harley’s benefit, so she would have someone to keep her company when we were at work, and also for something for her to mother.  She was fixed when Billy got her as a teeny tiny puppy, but has such a mothering instincts, we thought we would get her a kitten for her to love and take care of.  That would know Harley from the very beginning and therefore not be frightened of her.  We had images of some tiny baby kitten being licked lovingly and ever so gently by Harley’s tongue, the way she gives us kisses.  We imagined them falling asleep next to one another, and our hearts exploded by the potential cuteness of it all.  The main thing stopping us was lack of space, and lack of money, since most adoption fees are usually $70 or more, not to mention upkeep and food.

Mister Cat, which we just started calling him out of convenience, was sweet and adorable for the first few days, but didn’t really warm up to Harley, and started getting aggressive and moody with her, and later with us.  How was he supposed to know that Harley’s butt wagging and excitement whining were of the “I just want to play and love you!!!” variety?  But we figured since we had seen such a sweet side of him in the first place, that he would make a great pet for someone else.Image

I put the word out through Facebook, word of mouth, etc., that I was trying to find him a forever home.  A few of my friends were interested, but it came down to their apartments not allowing animals, they already had too many cats, etc.  So the search kinda halted.

Meanwhile, Mr. Cat was becoming kind of an asshole.Image  He didn’t want to play, he hated being held, and he kept trying to escape (partly due, I’m sure, to the million lady cats around the house being in heat).  He also stopped using the litterbox, and started doing his business in the shower, and one spot of carpet (on my side of the bed, no less.  Thanks a lot, jerk).  He had his moments of sweetness, and Harley and him developed a sort of respectful cohabitation that seemed to agree with them both for the most part.  We knew we had to get him fixed, not only to hopefully affect his behavior positively, but because it was our responsibility to make sure we didn’t add to the hordes of homeless kitties all over this city.

One night, he actually tore a hold through the screen window above our bed, and went.chasing after some white and fluffy piece of ass that occasionally naps on our roof.  We were sad and hurt, mostly because we had invested all this time and effort into this cat, only to have him run away.  The next morning, however, Billy found him out behind the house, dirty, his brand new collar missing, and mewing for food.  Not being able to put it off anymore, we found a place near Downtown L.A that did inexpensive spays and neuters.  He came home that night, stumbling around like a sad, drunken man all drugged up, and it was the saddest/cutest thing ever.  He even had a little cone to keep him from licking the stitches, and he was immediately much sweeter, though I think it was partly just being a bit humbled, walking around with his cone, knocking into things all the time.

ImageThat was about 3 weeks ago, and while it’s been a slow process, he seems to have improved.  He still keeps to himself a lot (he sleeps in a little cube in our entertainment center), and uses the litterbox.  He and Harley don’t really play together, but they get along.

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He falls asleep cuddled in our arms and laps now

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And last night, apparently he slept on my side and stomach while I was asleep last night in the bed.  (I wish Billy had gotten a photo of that).

Harley is always going to be our favorite, no doubt about it.  But he has become this unlikely, lovely little addition to our family.that we love more and more everyday.  He’s soft and sweet, and is like a little heating pad on my stomach while i lie on the couch and watch tv or read a book.  I’ve never had a cat before, and it’s been…interesting to be sure, but nice to have multiple animals in the house.

And he is most definitely a character.  And his name is still Mister Cat.

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~ by Alli on Tuesday, March 20, 2012.

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