Picky Eaters and I Stole a Cat

I wonder if all the writers of the picky eaters posts I’m finding on Pinterest realized how many of them would be used by an adult who is pickier than her almost-four-year-old…

In other news, I stole someone’s cat yesterday.

While moving things from Mom’s house to our storage unit, Mr. Owl and I borrowed Mom’s van. We left it open while we went inside for a few minutes and when we came back out, he saw a cat rush out of it and run off. I didn’t believe him as he’d just been torturing me with an image of an owl carrying away a pet cat (because he’s an asshole), but went around the corner of the house to see a large, but thin, gray tabby-type prancing away. I called to it and it stopped to look at me, but carried on.

Then last night I returned to Mom’s to do my Epiphany work (I print the church bulletins over there because the printer is huge and I just don’t have room) and as I was leaving I nearly hit the same tabby as it came out of Mom’s yard. Fearing it must have escaped from somewhere and that someone else might run it over, I picked it up – it came to me and rubbed on my hand – and brought it home. Other than the time it tried to lay on my dashboard, the cat did fine in my car. He was easily retrieved to carry up to my apartment.

I alerted my mother so she could post on NextDoor.com, then settled in to wait for my oh-so-thrilled husband so I could explain.

The cat was friendly, but shy. Only got a few hisses, but never an attempt to scratch or bite, and didn’t mind being pet, just wanted to stay in a little hideaway he’d found. We gave him a little food at the entrance to his hideaway that he ate, took our cat to bed with us, and let him be.

In the morning, he was not as friendly. He’d moved from where we could reach him to hiding completely out of reach behind one of our bookshelves. When we got near him, even just walking by and paying him no mind, we’d get low growls and hisses. He had, it seemed, figured out overnight that he’d been kidnapped.

But my mom called first thing this morning to tell me that he has a home: apparently only two doors down from my mother, too. He is an outdoor cat that had been an indoor cat. He apparently likes to roam a little, chasing lizards. My mom explained my concern to the lady and that I didn’t mean to steal their pet, and she was understanding and actually a little amused. She appreciated my concern, too.

The trick, now, was catching the freaked out, angry kitty. I have a carrier for my cat, but we couldn’t get to Gray Cat to catch him. It was decided when he couldn’t be lured out that Mr. Owl would keep trying to watch for him while I went to church since I had to go to bring the bulletins. Right before I had to leave, though, Gray Cat came out, but only so much so that he was still behind the entertainment center and then hid in the unused fireplace behind it.

Trying to gently poke him out with a long-handled back scratcher failed to do anything more than piss him off. It wasn’t until I suggested that as a last resort we try to scare him out with the water bottle we keep on hand in case Minerva tries doing something naughty (we’ve never needed to use it, though) that we got him out – as he decided to pee in the fireplace. He dashed out, tried to get back behind the blocked off bookshelf, and I managed to pin him.

Despite the fact that he was growling and hissing his little heart out, he never tried to bite or scratch. He was just scared, poor thing. With Mr. Owl’s help, I got him into the carrier, where he continued to protest. I then dropped the bulletins at church, played hooky so I could take the cat home (his humans weren’t home, but the garage was cracked and he went straight into it), and then went home to relax with my low-maintenance fat cat.

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Low-maintenance fat cat, Minerva, on the day we got her.

And that’s the story of how I now have a fireplace full of cat piss.

But I don’t regret picking him up. Whatever the outcome, my heart was in the right place. I was afraid for his safety and wanted to see to it that he was okay. And I didn’t seem to make my parents’ neighbors hate them, so no harm done!

Now to get at that fireplace…

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