Moo, the Conclusion

Although I had been trying diligently to find a home for Moo, I’d grown resigned to the fact that I’d have to take him with me when I moved, even though I couldn’t afford to care for another kitty. There was just no interest in him from any of my Facebook friends. I had given up.

So Mandy’s offer to pick him up that day shocked me, to say the least. I was even more surprised by my own feelings. I felt a dull ache in my heart… the pain of premature mourning. I hoped that Moo wouldn’t show up that day! I had grown to love the fellow, and I hated to let him go. I let my Ex, who’d also helped care for Moo, know. He sent me a crying emoji. He hated to see our friend go, too.

Mighty Moo

Of course, Moo did show up, and although my heart was breaking I did the right thing and called Mandy. She arrived within minutes, bringing a small carrier with her. I was skeptical Moo would even fit in it. I had borrowed a larger carrier for the seemingly impossible mission of corralling  the big guy. To my astonishment, Moo allowed Mandy to plop him right into the little case!

Hasty goodbyes were said, and Moo was gone. It took nearly a week before I stopped expecting to see his handsome, fuzzy face whenever I opened the front door.

Moo meowing

Mandy sent me updates… when Moo was neutered and vaccinated, and when he was finally ready to go to his forever home. He’d be living on a farm, I learned, where he’d have a warm house to live in during the fall and winter. During spring and summer, he’d be free to roam the grounds and mingle with the goats, sheep, horses, and other cats who lived on the farm.

As for his new owner? It was love at first sight!

“Moo rolled over for her and purred,” Mandy said. “And the lady couldn’t get over how much he looked like cat she had before!”

I still miss Moo, but I’m glad his story had such a happy ending.

moo laying down

 

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Moo’s Story, Part 3 of 4

Winter in Northern New York is known for its brutality: sub-zero temperatures and Lake Effect Snow. And winter sometimes arrives when the calendar says it’s still fall. The temperature was dropping rapidly, with the possibility of the first snowfall of the season coming this weekend.

And Moo was still living outside.

 

Moo
Moo, in the great outdoors

 

I had been desperately posting on Facebook about Moo for nearly two months, hoping to find him a home, or at least someone who could humanely trap him, get him neutered and vaccinated, and into a shelter. I was beginning to lose hope. I would be moving at the end of the month; I didn’t want to leave Moo… but how could I take him with me?

My Ex, who I’m still friendly with, became very fond of Moo, too. He called the cat “The Mighty Moo” and reiterated many times that if it weren’t for his “crew” (cats Oliver and Tiffany) at home, he’d take Moo in a heartbeat.

Then one afternoon, I received a message from a young woman I didn’t know. I’ll call her “Mandy,” since I don’t use any human’s real names here. Mandy explained that she works at a local veterinary clinic, and she also fosters cats and kittens for the SPCA. She saw my Moo post weeks ago, but at the time the shelter was full. Now that there was room for more kitties, she could come and get him that very day…

If I could catch him and get him into a carrier.

 

Moo raspberry
Moo sticking out his tongue… fresh kitty!

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

Moo, Part Two

As the days passed, Moo became a regular on the doorstep. At first, he would only come to the door with one of the other outdoor cats that frequented the neighborhood; he was too shy to come near me on his own. At least he was making some progress in trusting me… he was staying on the stoop to eat his meal, rather than grabbing a big mouthful of pate and running away with it.

It took a month or so before Moo allowed me to pet him. I suspect that being stroked sparked a memory of being somebody’s furbaby… of being a housecat.

And soon enough, Moo was strolling into the house! He’d look around, cautiously at first, eventually becoming braver and staying longer to explore the rooms downstairs. I was pleased, but I was also wary of letting him near Jinx and Milo. I didn’t know if he had any diseases, or even fleas. Plus, he was obviously not neutered. I didn’t want him spraying my furniture.

Here’s a humorous video of Moo blocking me from walking to the store, because I hadn’t fed him yet!

Moo’s story TO BE CONTINUED…

Zoey, Part 4: The Kitten is Hurt!

I thought about getting a collar for the kitten. She was so tiny, though, would I be able to find one that would fit around her miniscule neck? An adult collar would look like hula hoop on her! 

As I gently stroked her fur while she ate, I thought it felt like there already was something around her neck. But not a collar; to my fingers, it felt more like a thin rope or a thick, coarse string. It was early in the morning, still dark outside, so I told myself I’d get a closer look later in the day, after I got home from my radio shift.

When I next encountered the baby kitty, I got the shock of my life. What I’d thought was a rope collar around her neck was actually multiple scratch wounds, all scabbed over. Worse than that, the kitten had a huge, raw wound on the front of  her neck! A large patch of fur was gone, exposing the pink skin underneath. And right in the middle of her throat was a deep, round hole! It was red with blood, as if it had occurred recently.  A claw from another cat? It looked a little too big to be that. More like a puncture wound, perhaps from a dog’s tooth.

 

Z1

 

I was horrified, even though the little cat kept on eating and acting as if everything was normal.  I couldn’t let her stay outside like that, and risk the wound getting infected. Or have her get attacked by the same animal. The next time could be fatal! So I brought her inside and kept her away from my cats, Jinx and Milo.

But, as luck would have it, it was a Saturday. Were any vets even open on the weekend? And how was I going to get her there, considering I don’t have a car?

Then I had an idea… one with just the tiniest glimmer of hope.

 

Z2
That face… how could I not help her?

Zoey, Part Three: the Transformation

One day, I was surprised to see the Deejling waiting outside on the sidewalk when I was walking home from work. And even more astounded when the little one followed at my heels down the long driveway that led to my front door! How cute, I thought. It’s following me like a puppy dog!

I fed the baby kitty on the front stoop, as usual. From the house, my two adult cats beheld the sight with jealousy from their perch by the living room window.

 

feeding time for zoey
Nom, nom, nom!

 

It wasn’t long before the kitten trusted me enough to pick her up. I was able get a peek under its tail. The Deejling was a She! I’d have to think of a new name for her.

One morning, the little kitty tried to follow me to work. Picture this: it’s 4AM, still pitch black outside. I’m trying to walk the half-mile to the radio station, and this spunky, wee kitty chased me for a whole city block. I picked the cat up and carried her back to my yard. This scenario played itself out three times. I realized that the stubborn kitty was not giving up. What should  I do?  Should I carry her to work with me? What would she do in the studio for six hours? What about a litter box? I couldn’t leave her in the house with my two cats, who might hurt the defenseless kitten. Ultimately, I outwitted her by giving her a little more food. As soon as she started eating, I bolted!

I was very flattered by the kitten’s sudden infatuation with me. I thought about her often during my air shift. Was she a stray? Should I try to tame her and take her in? Would I be premature in coming up with a name for her? I didn’t want to get too attached, only to find she belonged to somebody.

Little did I know that I’d be forced to make some important decisions sooner than expected….

 

Been Awhile/ Introducing Zoey

First of all, let me apologize for not updating my blog in such a long time. Jinx and Milo are fine.

And, there is a new arrival to our household. Her name is Zoey.

zoey morning snuggle

Zoey’s arrival is such a complicated story, I’ve decided to serialize it. Ready for Part 1?

 

Zoey, Part One

I first noticed the little kitten because it looked so much like my late cat, Deej. If not for that fact, I might not have paid as much attention, only because there are so many cats wandering my neighborhood. It’s hard to keep track of which ones are stray or feral, and which ones are cats with owners who let them go outside. But the first time I spotted this tiny kitten, it literally stopped me in my tracks. It was in a parking lot near my house. When I tried to get close to her, she darted away into the bushes.

At first I would only see the tiny cat in the wee hours… on my way home from a 4AM laundromat trip, or walking to my part-time job around the same time. That sweet little face, the spindly legs, white body, and the dark markings… all so much like Deej as a baby! I even started thinking of the animal as The Deejling… a reincarnation, somehow? A supernatural spawn??

Of course, that wasn’t the case. This kitty’s resemblance to my poor, beloved Deej was just a coincidence…

Or… more like “a sign.”

Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!

faraway zoey as deejling
The Deejling… mystery lookalike kitten

 

Deej Baby
My old buddy Deej, when he was a baby

A Snowy Day

If you enjoyed my blog entry entitled “The Stray Cat That Wasn’t,” I hope you’ll also like this follow-up about Snowy, the Neighbor Cat.

Snowy is an indoor-outdoor cat who enjoys roaming the neighborhood, begging for food. He knows I always have a treat for him, so this is a common sight when I open my front door:

snow2
“Lemme in! Feed me!”

However, my two cats disapprove of this fluffy little intruder encroaching upon their territory. Look at the expression on Milo’s face when he hears Snowy meowing outside:

snow-no-milo
“Not HIM again!”

And Jinx doesn’t like him much better.

snow6-with-jinx
Snowy: “Hi!”  Jinx: “Bug off!”

Well, one particular cold and windy day, I saw Snowy had gotten locked outside (his humans weren’t home). Not wanting him to catch a cold, I let him in and kept him indoors for most of the day. My cats rudely avoided him, other than the occasional warning “Hissss!”

Meanwhile, Snowy had fun exploring the kitchen.

snow4

 

After tuckering himself out, Snowy curled up in a bowl atop the refrigerator and snoozed the day away.

Meanwhile, Jinx kept looking at me like this:

jinx-huge-eyes
“That fleabag has GOT to GO!!!”

So, when I heard Snowy’s Dad come home, I carried the kitty next door and returned him to his rightful owner. I was disappointed that Jinx and Milo didn’t want to make friends with Snowy. Socializing cats is not an easy task. So now, whenever I see THIS:

snow1
“Got Friskies?”

I just feed Snowy outside on the porch.