Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A View of a Home Invasion

So I'm coming home from work about a week ago, and I'm exhausted. All I want to do is get in my house, stretch out and get some rest. Turns out, I wasn't the only one.

As I'm walking up the steps to my front door, I hear a very insistent sound behind me.


I turn around and there's a grey and black tiger striped kitten running up stairs behind me. He's about six months old, nothing but tummy, and strolling up to my door like he forgot his door key.

"No, no!" I try in vain to shoo the little guy away. He just frowns and maneuvers around my ankles.

"Meow!" He then tries to stroll across the threshold. My two cats inside are watching our every move.

Cal, a seven year old black cat I adopted from the Michigan Humane Society last year, watches from the front picture window. If I didn't know better, I'd swear he was laughing.

Bucky, a Siamese mix whose terrified of everything and everyone gets all wide eyed and runs to hide. More about Bucky in a minute.

I manage to get the interloper out the door and on the porch before he makes it into my living room.

"Wait right there, little guy," I say, then I shake my head because I'm trying to hold a rational conversation with a cat well versed in home invasion. As I walk in the door, Cal hops down from the window and follows me into the den. He never makes a sound, but his eyes are huge. The not making a sound thing is very intriguing because he's been known to howl loudly and fling himself against the living room window if another cat comes up onto the porch. For some reason, this little cat inviting himself in to his house doesn't rattle him.

Cal takes off when I open the den closet and pull out the dreaded cat carrier. Instead of running to the bedroom or some other unseen hiding place, he runs back up front to the door, where he sits to look out the window. Again, no kitty freak out takes place. Bucky is nowhere to be found, but I hear her meowing from the back of the house. This is par for the course with her.

I go back out on the porch, and the kitten is in my front yard at the foot of the steps. I put the carrier on the bannister and open the door.

"Meow?" How interesting that this sounds like a question. The little tiger striped kitten bounds up the steps, hops up on the bannister, gets to the edge of the carrier and looks up at me.


"It's okay. Go on in." I am not making any of this up, by the way.

The little guy sniffs a bit, then walks right in. I close the door and head back in the house. Once the front door closes, the little guy gets nervous and unleashes a torrent of meowing. He doesn't try to get out of the carrier, mind you. He doesn't paw at the door, or claw at the floor, or try to make an escape. He just meows. And purrs. Loudly.

Bucky, who came into my house in a similar fashion and at almost the exact same age six years earlier, slowing creeps toward the carrier, which I have on a small bookshelf. She walks over, stands up on her hind paws and sniffs the carrier. The kitten, still meowing, sniffs back. Bucky then gets down and walks away with no further drama. The kitten continues to meow while sitting in the carrier. Cal, who was curled up in the living room window, hops down to go eat.

I try to get in touch with the Michigan Humane Society to get info about surrendering a stray.

"I cannot have a third cat," I keep telling myself. I try not to look at the kitten in the carrier in a failing attempt to not notice how cute the little guy is.

I can't get through to the Michigan Humane Society. The one number I can find keeps going to voice mail. I try to look up their hours online. The website seems to say surrenders are only done until 5:00, but animal rescue is available until 7:00. I call my family, who had been talking about this crazy, ultra friendly stray cat in the neighborhood, to see if they can help. They have only one suggestion.

"You have to keep it! It's so cute! It's meant to be! We'll help take care of it!"

Remember Bucky, the scary Siamese? They said the same thing about her. I'm still waiting for them to give me their share of her sterilization costs.

"I cannot have a third cat," I tell them. They counter with a question that I find difficult to answer.

"Why not?"

I say the cost of food and litter, and that it's just silly to have three cats but I know that unless I get that kitten to the pound that evening, I'm going to end up having three cats.

I get my coat on, ask them to ride with me, and head over to MHS. When we get there, it's been closed since 5:00. The doors are locked and gated shut. This little kitty has to go back home.

We get back home, and I get my sewing room set up for what I say is a temporary boarder. I put in some food, fresh water, a litter box, and some toys. As I'm setting up the room, I leave the carrier on that bookshelf in the living room. Cal wandered up and stretched out to see what was inside. The kitten stretched out his paw through the door, and Cal reached up to the door. I swear they did a little kitty fist bump, then Cal walked away. No hissing, no growling, no drama.

Did I mention that the kitten never stopped meowing or purring?

Anyway, I bring the carrier in the room and close the door. Then I let the kitten out to explore and eat. What's the first thing he does? He walks right up to me and, purring loudly, let's me rub his belly. Then he hops onto my lap, stretches out and nuzzles my neck. Bucky and Cal sat outside the door and never made a peep. They took turns over the next couple of days sitting outside the door, purring, meowing, trying to fit their paws under the door to touch the mystery kitten on the other side, and making noise or running if they heard something that raised some sort of concern.

That next day, I bought the third cat I absolutely couldn't have a collar, some more toys and a name tag. I also made an appointment for him at the vet. When I got home, I gave Cal a tummy rub, said hello to Bucky who was hiding under the living room couch, and went to visit the third cat I absolutely couldn't have. When I opened the door to walk in, he marched right up to me and wrapped himself around my ankles.


"It's good to see you, little guy," I said as I reached down to pick up the third cat I absolutely had to keep. He started to purr as if he knew he was home.

That's also how I ended up with Muffin, the third member of the TEM's Fuzzy Bunch. It's also the probable start of my transmogrification into the Eleanor Abernathy of Detroit's New Center.

More later, after making this vow - I cannot have a fourth cat.

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Anonymous Blogs Browser said...

ha ha ha nice post. The little devil charmed his way to you. I like kitties when they young because they're playful, they become mean and boring when they age.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Blogs Browser said...

ha ha ha nice post. The little devil charmed his way to you. I like kitties when they young because they're playful, they become mean and boring when they age.

6:47 PM  
Blogger TEM said...

I've only encountered one cat who became mean when he aged. It was my grandmother's cat - an orange and white tabby named Tuffy. For some reason, that cat had it in for me. Every time we went to visit her, he'd come up to me and smack me in the face. Every. Time. I'd. Visit. I hated that evil orange bastard and he hated me. Still, it broke my heart when he had to be put down after she died. He was old, in bad health himself, and frankly too mean to be adopted out. All the other cats I've had in my life have been cool no matter what their age.

12:11 PM  

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