Our nextdoor neighbor is not doing well. We have known about and noted her faltering for awhile, but recent events brought her daughter out from the east coast. The daughter came over this morning to talk to M about her mom. Apparently she and her brother staged an intervention and have gotten their mom to agree to assisted living. It’s a sad situation, but she really cannot live alone anymore. With her mobility issues, she leaves the back door slider open 24/7 for her dog (Rosie the labradoodle) and three cats (Pesto, Pumpkin, and Simon, all mainecoons) to come in and out for food and shelter. Unfortunately this has also drawn other wildlife from the greenbelt (raccoons, possums, mice and rats) and turned her home into filty mess and creating a health hazard.
Rosie is going to live with her parents, who belong to the neighbor’s son. The cats are practically feral, but we have been keeping an eye out and leaving food out for them for the past several months. M and I had already talked about it, so he indicated to NDN’s daughter that we are willing to adopt them and assume responsibility for their ongoing care.
NDN is upset, though, because we will not let them inside the house and wants to rehome them with people who will treat them as housecats. Reality is a little out of reach right now, because those cats are simply not housecats now. Yes, they walk into her home and jump up onto the counter and help themselves to their cat food and anything else they find there, but no way, no how could I stand that. All three of them are extremely skittish and it’s taken us two years of coaxing and bribing with food to get them to let us pet them a little and cruise by for free meals. With their medical history in hand we can consult the family cat whisperer (my daughter) and figure out how to capture them and get them into the vet for shots, etc. We are also wondering if there is any more intensive feral cat rehab that could be done for them. Short of inviting them to live inside the house with us, of course.
So it appears we will be officially adopting cats. It’s a bit surprising for a lot of reasons. We are more dog people. We love animals yet have never had pets in our 20+ years together. We do not especially want pets, either.
Sometimes doing the right thing overwhelms the practical reasons for our behavior. For whatever reason, M and I both love those three skittish, stand-offish, feral fluff buckets that use our doormats for scratching posts and will only begrudgingly come close when we have attractive food in our hands.
Imagine that: us as cat owners. I have no idea how this will change what we’re doing now, except “the boys” will have to be captured periodically for shots and stuff.
That and a new line item for animal care appearing in my budget. Maybe I will eventually have more gratuitous cat pics, too.