So, yesterday morning I was watering the plants in the front yard when a neighbor cat came up to me. She was young, maybe a year old, and in good health and care. Obviously someone’s pet, although equally obviously an outdoor cat. She was very friendly to me, but seemed particularly interested in d’Artagnan.
Now, I’ve had cats for my entire life, and I know SOP regarding strange cats on the front porch. The intruder cat parades around in full view of the house cat, teasing it, while the house cat hisses, yowls, and makes futile attacks through the glass. No love is lost.
Apparently d’Artagnan never got the memo. He sat there in the window, entranced, and not at all unfriendly. And when the interloper discovered the screen door and stood up so that she could see into the house, d’Art ran over and stood up on the other side of the door. They made quiet little mewing noises at one another and touched noses through the mesh. It was devastatingly cute, and terribly uncatlike.
I, of course, teased d’Artagnan mercilessly about his girlfriend, and thought little else of it beyond telling my parents what a weird cat I had. That is, until…
the morning that would live in infamy!
This morning, I intended to get into work at 8:45 so that I could call my boss, remind him that he had a 10 AM appointment, and be here to make sure said appointment went smoothly. At 8, my alarm went off, and I hit the snooze button.
Of course, when I say “snooze button,” I really mean “the on/off switch.”
At about 9:30, d’Artagnan (who had been banished because he was walking on my face) broke into the bedroom somehow and woke me up. (He’s a good kitty.) I panicked, called into the office, and got someone else to cover my butt. She told me not to worry/hurry, so I got ready for work at a slightly less than breakneck pace. This pace was significantly slowed by my right eye’s utter refusal to get with the program. By the time I got my contacts to cooperate, I was already late enough that I figured I could go ahead and do my usual morning “chores.”
I went to feed CJ (the goldfish) only to find a massive puddle of water on his table. Seven paper towels later, I’ve determined two things. One: the finish on my grandmother’s end table (which was just on loan from my parents anyway) is ruined. Two: the fishtank apparently has a leak.
There doesn’t seem to be any immediate danger on the fishtank front, so I went outside to get the water bottle so I can water the plants.
As I’m inside filling the bottle, I hear d’Artagnan meow. There he is… standing up at the screen door, touching noses with the girl next door again. (“Awwww… kitty love!” says Ryan. I’m more of the impression that it’s “awwww… kitty in heat looking for male attention of the sort that d’Art is categorically unable to provide”).
I go outside to water the plants, and Miss Kitty lovebombs me. She seems really upset about something (not really in the squalling sexual frustration sort of way, just in a sad sort of way) and really seems to want me to let her into the house, so I begin to wonder if maybe she’s lost and hungry. Finally, I kneel down and scratch her ears – a pretense so that I can read her nametag. It turns out her name is Suki (not Suri, as I originally told Ryan… damn TomKat) and that she lives right across the street. Given that she’s twenty feet from home, I rule out the possibility that she’s starving to death and hopelessly astray.
So, yeah. I’m watering the plants. Water, water, water. Now, remember the carpet of tree droppings? They’re sticking in thick, squishy mats to the bottoms of my shoes, and I’ve unwittingly tracked them into the house. With a sigh of… well, you can’t be too frustrated when you’re not at work, so maybe resignation… I go back into the house to find the push broom.
As I step back out the front door to clean the stuff off of the sidewalks, Suki lets herself into the house!
Fortunately for Suki, d’Artagnan, and most importantly my household belongings, I am a certifiable Cat Whisperer and was able to calmly persuade one, but not both, cats to leave the house without destroying (or mating with) anything.
The end result of all this fun is that I was about two hours late to work and have already got a late-afternoon headache. But it was fun, and it was time spent outside of the office, so I’m content.
The question is… if Suki insists on returning every day and upsetting my kitty, do I do anything about it? I mean, planting catnip in my front yard is definitely out at this point…