Saturday night Chris and I came home from a quick dinner out. When we drove up our driveway, the front living room screen was pushed out -- frame and all -- lying on the ground. Our cat Rosie was sitting in the windowsill, guarding the house, and Tim was sitting in the corner by the concrete front stairs, meowing his head off. Rainy, our tortoiseshell, was nowhere to be found.
I looked over at Chris and said, not, "Honey, it looks like we've had a break in!" but "Honey, the stray cat is back! Tim must have gotten so mad he blew through the window!"
For the past month, we've had a visitor. He or she came to the living room window at night a couple times when the house was quiet (I was upstairs reading; Chris was working late), and yowled at Rainy. I flew down the stairs to see what was going on, but by the time I got there, nothing. I borrowed a trap from the shelter, put it out a couple of times, but our friend didn't show up. Then I got The Great Sinus Plague, was too sick to do very much, and was going to return the trap, figuring he/she had moved on.
When we came home to the big break-out Saturday night, I knew it was time to Get Serious. Our cats were being terrorized and the poor stray kitty obviously saw the invisible sign on my front door, knew where I volunteered, and wanted to get to safety and good meals!
After circling our yard many times on foot with the flashlight, when I backed the car out of the driveway to begin searching the neighborhood, the headlights on my car reflected on Rainy's i.d. tag (the best $12 I have ever spent!!!), where she had come (from the neighbor's backyard?) to sit under a big rhodendron bush and wait for us to find her. Searching for her and being scared she was lost in the woods was one of the most horrific hours of our life. And this is the short version.
For the following three nights I set the trap near the wooded area in the front of our property -- nothing. Wednesday morning Chris found this sweet tiger baby. I took him/her to the shelter and got her some good food and a cozy bed. (We think it's a her, but we're not sure yet). She's a little scared right now, but friendly, and she's going to make someone a wonderful companion.
All I wanted was some of that Friskies tuna!
He or she will be named Owen or Mae, once I get him/her to the vet on Friday morning. She'll get her exams and shots, spay/neuter surgery if need be, and then be available for adoption. In the meantime, I'll get to enjoy her, and she'll have lots of new friends to play with besides our Rainy!
The only cat that gets to play homeless around here is me! I have enough trouble with the other two as it is.
P.S. Our shelter director told me about paw-proof screening, so I thought I'd pass it along. Lots of companies make it, in case you have break-outs at your house.