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Posts Tagged ‘spay and neutering’

This is Pip.

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No, it’s my blanket now.

She is entirely black. I named her Pip as sort of a double joke: 1) she’s good at being a little black dot in the great white world, and 2) she has a really tiny, high, squeaky voice (not to mention a very tribble-like chirp she makes much use of), so Pip Squeak was shortened to Pip. She likes flopping down on the floor right in front of you as you walk, begging for belly rubs. A habit this not-so-graceful human is trying to get her out of, as she also tends to do this on the stairs. That’s just a disaster waiting to happen.

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Belly rub time!

She’s been with us since the middle of December. Another rescue from the cat colony in the neighborhood. I had seen glimpses of her when Roan was still outside and I was working with him (you can read about that here), but she never came anywhere close to the house while I was around. A couple of times I spotted her on the back patio at zero-dark-thirty, taking advantage of the food bowl I had out there for Roan. But she would poof into the darkness the instant she noticed I was watching. Once Roan was entirely an inside cat, I took up the food bowl outside. I’m desperately trying to avoid being the crazy cat lady in the weird old house, so – reluctantly – I had to cut off the rest of them (there are at least three others out there).

Getting Roan back into decent shape (he was very thin and dirty) and adapting to his new home kept me occupied for a while. The first couple weeks he would sit by the door and politely ask out. Usually in the middle of the night, so that didn’t happen. But after that he seemed to settle into being a housecat just fine. He’d sit in a window or at the back patio doors and watch whatever was on the channel outside. Occasionally at night one of the other cats would come around and he would get excited and rush around the house marking his territory. We didn’t have the money right away to get him neutered, so I followed him around with an enzymatic cleaner and Febreeze, but it still left my house reeking like a giant cat box. I’d forgotten how strong tomcats smelled.

Over the next few weeks I began to notice he was actually talking to someone outside. That little chirpy thing cats do when they’re curious, not hostile. It took me a bit of patience, but I finally managed to catch a glimpse of the mystery guest. Just a flash of shadow as it disappeared into the night, but I realized it was the little black cat I’d seen before.

A few more weeks and she finally relaxed to the point of merely sauntering away when she saw me, as opposed to teleporting. It became pretty obvious the two of them were developing a relationship (or perhaps had one already? Hey, Joe – whatcha doin’ in there? Jane, you wouldn’t believe it – I get food all day and don’t have to run from dogs!). By this point, it was getting pretty cool at night, and I began to see her in the back yard during the day, curled up in a nest of pine needles in a corner of the fence. When the weather report said temps were going to drop into the twenties (F) at night the next week, I decided it was time to at least try to get her into a cat trap so I could get her to the animal shelter. None of the other cats seemed to be coming around anymore, so I put out the food bowl again.

The second or third day of filling the dish, I realized she was watching me from her spot by the fence. I talked to her a little and slowly made my way back into the house. A couple days later she was hunkered down behind one of the doghouses when I came out, wide-eyed but not running. I backed off and sat on the patio and talked to her while she ate. A couple more days of that and she actually came up to me, and allowed me to pet her. That sealed our doom.

She spent the next couple of nights alternating between the back door and the patio door (which is where the office is, and where I spend most of my time) letting loose with the plaintive little cry she has, begging to be let in. Roan seemed to be seconding the motion, as he would look at me, do that cutesy cat eye blink thing, and meow.

What the hell was I supposed to do? I’m a witch and there’s a black cat at the door.

I made the appropriate appointments at the vet’s and quarantined her in the upstairs bathroom. She and Roan talked to each other all night through the door like a couple of teenagers. The next day they both went in for shots, micro-chipping, and surgery. Turns out Pip had already been spayed, which means someone cared at some point. Given how easily she and Roan adapted to the house and their litter boxes, they likely had been “pets” at some point and then abandoned. I hope Karma makes good use of the creeps who would do that to an animal.

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Pip and Roan, feline overlords extraordinaire

The two of them are doing wonderfully now. They chase each other around the house and wrestle, and both are playing more and more with the toys and me. And I’m doing better, too. My husband has noticed the difference and claims that’s the only reason he tolerates them, but I’ve caught him playing with them, too.

Sometimes it only takes a little thing like a cat’s purr to make all the big, bad things of the world go away. And that same little purr can also serve as a reminder that the little things in life which feed your soul are also the most important. Best you feed it when you can.

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