"I've got a cat." Those shocking words came out of my Ladyfriend's mouth a few weeks ago. Surprising to me because she is a "dog person," and at best only found my cats down through the years interesting.
But being the big-hearted person she is, she fed the scrawny little scared kitty.
We bought a carrier for the cat so she would be protected from the elements, but kitty preferred to hide under Ladyfriend's house.
The presence of the cat made her two little dogs - Bella and Scooby - quite unhappy. Ladyfriend wouldn't leave her front door open so the dogs could look out the storm door and bark at passersby. Her dogs are natural hunting dogs (dachshunds), and couldn't resist the urge to attack the cat. She also curtailed their outdoor time because they smelled kitty and acted all crazy.
This went on for a while as Ladyfriend tried to persuade me what a nice addition kitty would be to my world. The last of my cats died off earlier this year and I had said I was out of the cat business. Besides, my cats were outdoor cats I had befriended. Ladyfriend's kitty seems to have once been someone's pet. She shows no fear of humans.
Finally I gave in, without having ever met kitty and with just the picture above to go by, and went out to purchase a litter box, grooming aids, a supply of cat food, and, of course, some toys. It has been a very long time since I had an indoor cat. I wasn't sure I wanted this headache/responsibility. (I'm still not.)
But Ladyfriend informed me that if I didn't take in the cat, she would be forced to take it to the animal shelter. Her dogs were just too unhappy and she is too dedicated to them to make any changes. Besides, she isn't and never has been a "cat person."
Long story short, I finally gave in.
It took three tries and two weekends of disappointments for her finally to be able to corral kitty into the carrier for the trip to my house. She had first tried to just put the cat in her car and drive over. Bad idea. That sweet, docile little fur ball quickly morphed into a wildcat. Mission aborted.
The next weekend we got a friend who has quite a bit of cat experience to go over and put the cat in the carrier (I didn't want to be involved in the deed because I wanted to get off on the right foot with kitty). She got the cat in, but kitty pulled a Houdini and escaped from her confines before the delivery could be made. Another aborted mission and another disappointment for me. I had allowed myself to get "psyched up."
I waffled all during the past week but finally said I would give the idea one more try. Ladyfriend got her son to put kitty in the carrier. Shortly after a most unhappy cat was delivered to my house.
I had wanted a weekend off from work and without a lot of activities planned in order to have a chance to bond with my new cat and get her used to her new digs. Good thing, too. This has been a long weekend.
When I first let Toonces out of her carrier (Ladyfriend hates that name, has trouble pronouncing it, but anyone who is a longtime of viewer Saturday Night Live will probably recognize it as a skit-character name - but I have no plans to let Toonces drive!), she tried to find an exit. Failing that, she crawled under my bed to hide. And there she spent a good portion of Friday evening. However, she finally came out to eat, then jumped on my bed and went to sleep. In fact, she slept beside me on top of the covers all night. Awwwwwwwww.
Saturday was better, but she still spent the bulk of the day under the bed. She will sit for long periods in my lap and nap. I would say awwww about that too, but I was afraid she was just scared and coping. She spent most of Saturday night on top of the covers in my bed, but woke me up around 1 a.m. wanting to be fed.
I was afraid she had been outside long enough that she would have trouble transitioning to a house cat. I watched carefully that first night to see if she would use the litter box. I never saw her go. However, Saturday morning found me happily (just a tinge of sarcasm here) scooping out kitty waste.
It is Sunday morning now. Toonces has been in my lap once already - her idea. Yesterday it was warm and I had my windows open. At one point Toonces jumped into the window and sat on the sill just looking out. She moaned a pitiful moan that I interpreted as a longing for the outdoors. This morning I have the storm door open so she can look out. She did briefly, but without moaning. She has absolutely zero interest in playing with toys I bought for her (some little balls with bells inside and some stuffed mice). She will rub against me and especially my hand when I hold it down to pet her. She "talks" to me, especially when hungry. She is under the bed now as I type this.
I guess this is an experiment. For me at least. I can't begin to imagine what is going through Toonces' head. I bet she wonders what happened to Ladyfriend. And I bet she wonders why I keep calling her Toonces.
We will see what happens....