Brownie appeared one week ago, mewing and begging outside of the sliding glass door.
She was spotted a few times sleeping in the seat of an old chair on the patio during the summer and fall, when the weather was nice and delightful. Back when it was a fine time to be an outside cat or even a homeless person. The little cat might consider that period of time as the ‘good ol’ days’ or her personal Golden Era, as the earth met all of her needs; little birds and trash for snacking, lawn/patio furniture for sleeping, trees for scratching posts, and the entire outdoors for scooting her behind.
Likely, she congratulated herself everyday on escaping from someone’s apartment thinking something like, Oh you clever cat. Good for you. No one to tell you where you can’t sleep or scoot your butt.
She was absolutely certain the universe would continue to provide, never anticipating the cruel and cold Indiana winter that was to come. Then the seasons changed, as they always do, cooling the days and chilling the nights. Frost on single blades of grass led to snow over everything, and there was Brownie, the silly and impulsive cat, homeless and without a friend.
After the first night that she appeared hungry and pathetic, I’ve set out a dish of food and warm water each day, much to my husband’s dismay. He groaned when he found me out and said, “Great, another cat.” It was as though I had already collected hundreds of cats, and they were sleeping on the shelves, hiding under beds, stretched out in the hallways, and sleeping on his pillow. (Don’t worry, we only have one little housecat who has lived with us since before we were married.)
With my best efforts, Miss New Kitty still remains shy and skittish, almost feral, but not quite. She mews and rubs her head against the glass door, and then runs to hide in the corner when I slide the door open for her.
We’ve had a few breakthroughs in our relationship. Several days ago; she let me pet her furry head without running away. Granted, it was when she was gobbling down her kitty-kibble and she barely noticed me petting her or my great pleasure from her allowing it. Yesterday, she let my husband pet her while she was shoveling big mouthfuls of kibble, but when she looked up and realized it was a new hand, she batted his arm away. Whap, whap, whap!
She hit him, one strike after the other and ran off into the shadows, scared of the big man down on his knees laughing.
“She doesn’t have any claws,” he declared in disbelief.
It’s hard to believe that a cat could survive more than a month as a stray without any claws. I had to double my efforts to tame the feline and save her from a gruesome death, if she was to be saved.
We nearly had another breakthrough today. I lured her inside to eat her dinner in the warmth of the apartment. I felt giddy with joy at our progress and shut the door to keep out the cold air, which sent the creature into a mad frenzy to escape. She raced around the living room, hitting the wall, tearing up the carpet and making demon noises that my sweet little housecat has never emitted. In my effort to re-open the door, I discovered that she really does have claws. She was just giving love swats to the Mister the night before and kept her daggers sheathed. On this particular occasion, the daggers came out. Oh yes, they all came out.
So now, she’s back outside. I can see her anxiously peering in and perhaps re-thinking her decision to be an outside cat. As I write this, I am nursing a wounded hand, a case of cat-scratch fever and remorse that she wasn’t declawed in her past life.
Signing off for the Brownie Report and hoping for a less violent tomorrow.