Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

If you've wondered why the posts have slowed down the past week and a half, it's because there's been a kitten on my lap.  I think I've become a cat lady.  Blogosphere, meet Waldo, the newest member of our family.

When we came back from Boston, I went up to check the mail and noticed a sign for a found cat near the mailboxes.  The next morning I went out to put a letter in the mail, and as I was walking back to the house I notice a small orange cat waking after me.  So of course I did the most logical thing and ran directly into the house and shut the door as fast as I could.

Later that night Kate came home from reporting on a school board meeting, and called my cell from the driveway to tell me that a cat was sitting right next to her car, and she couldn't get in the house.  Eventually I had to go out the back, bring some water and food out to the front of the house to distract him while Kate ran in the house.  But I went to sleep worried about the poor little guy being outside, since he seemed way too friendly to be a feral cat.

The next morning, we were greeted with the cat running over to our door the second we stepped outside.  He hung out on our porch all day, mostly cat napping and playing with a plant.  I've never been accused of being the biggest hearted person on the planet, but my heart melted when I saw him playing with a plant.

Observing him over part of two days, it was pretty clear this guy was not your average stray.  Our landlord mentioned people have abandoned pets in this area before because this is one of the few areas that allows pets.  A few of the other neighbors had also been putting out food and water for him, but nobody else was able to take him in for one reason or another.

That night, Kate and I decided we would try to take him to a vet and get him checked out to see what kind of shape he was in.  If everything checked out, we'd see about giving him a home.

I've never had a cat, and never really been a cat person.  I had concerns - food, vets, what if he had a serious illness?  But he was just too friendly and adorable to say no to.  And with the temperatures dropping pretty quickly as we head into fall, I didn't think the little guy had much of a chance with the coming winter.

Two Fridays ago we made a vet appointment for 6:00.  I headed to my parents' to pick up the pet carrier from my childhood dog and conveniently hit up a card show at the nearby mall.  Of course I quickly lost track of time at the card show, and had to leave early.  As I called Kate on my way onto the turnpike, she told me she was worried we wouldn't be able to find him by the time I got back, so she had just scooped him up and brought him into our bathroom.  Well, there goes the "what if he has rabies" plan.

 Fortunately everything checked out.  The vet said he's about 5 months old, and it looked like he had been outside for 1-2 weeks.  He was underweight and had some scabs from tick bites, but otherwise was in good health all things considered.  It's hard to imagine somebody abandoning such a lovable animal, especially just as the coldest time of year is setting in, but there had been found cat signs all over the area and the poor guy didn't have a collar or chip.

So the good news is I think I might have the most well behaved and easy going cat on the planet.  He's adjusted really well, and seems happy to have a good home.  Kate insisted on dressing him up for Halloween, and the little guy didn't even seem phased by it, even though the hot dog costume was about half his body weight.

In case you were wondering, we named the little guy Waldo, since we met him right after our Boston trip that included trips to the gravesite and house of Ralph Waldo Emerson.  It also gives me an excuse to say "Where's Waldo?" at least ten times a day.

So the bad news?  This cuddly guy loves sitting on my lap all evening, making it damn near impossible to type up a blog post.  So expect lots of photos and few words until I work out a better system for typing with a kitten.  Not that I'm complaining.


  1. I was never a cat person until I met my wife, who had three when I met her. One of her cats adopted me (and that's the way it works...they adopt you), and now I have the same issues with needing to let Gus have some space on my lap while I work in my office.

    1. I told my wife this is probably about the only way we were going to be getting a pet any time soon. We had to put down the terrier I had since I was a kid two years ago, and I really didn't think I was ready for another pet. But this guy won my heart, and I couldn't stand to see him outside through a PA fall and winter. He definitely isn't an outdoor kitty, and I honestly don't think he would have lasted too much longer without a home.

      But he seems thrilled to be here, and he's even nice enough to jump up on the keyboard every so often and type a line or two (which usually turns out to be a line of p's or semicolons, which seem to be his favorite keys to stand on).

    2. Ahhhh! My cat's name is Gus and has lap detachment issues as well!

      Great story, Mark! Thanks for sharing. Oh, and I love the costume.

  2. Really nice thing that you and your wife did, good for you!