Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I pulled up to the house and re-read the directions. Huh! Looks right. I glanced around. I didn’t see any cars. I prayed they were home; I did not want to make this trip again.
I got out of the car and walked toward the house. The walk angled around to the back. As I approached the backdoor a large Dalmatian lunged out of its house and strained at the end of a chain barking ferociously. I stepped onto the grass to be further away from the jaws. Definitely not friendly. When I rang the bell more barking ensued from inside.
The door was flung open and a large black sheep took up most of the doorway. It took one look at me and started to bark in tandem with the Dalmatian outside. I looked on bewildered. A woman’s hand pushed the sheep out of the way as she peered around the door.
“Yes? Can I help you?”
“Hi. I called. I’m here to see the cat.”
“Oh yeah, come in. My husband’s not home right now.” I stepped into the kitchen.
She was holding the big black dog by the collar. “Why don’t you go into the front room?”
I looked around uncertain.
“Just step over the baby gate. I’ll get Scooter.”
The formal living room had been freshly cleaned. The lemony scent of Pledge still lingered in the air. I sat gingerly on the edge of a chair looking around. The woman tromped down the stairs with a large yellow tabby cat tucked under one arm. She handed him to me. She opened her mouth to say something but at that moment the phone rang. She hurried off to answer it and left me alone with Scooter.
I sat and stroked the big cat. I could feel him trembling every time the dog barked. He was such a love. He didn’t hiss, or squirm or claw. He was clearly miserable living in chaos.
The woman popped her head back around the door.
“That is Scooter. My husband’s parents moved to Florida and didn’t want to take him. They took the dog though. So Jimmy took him. But it is not working out here. There are the dogs, we also have 3 other cats and my daughter is 4. I think there is too much activity here. He is living under our bed and never comes out.”
By this time the cat was purring and butting his head against my hand. I looked down at him. I absolutely could not leave him here. I stood up.
“I’ll take him with me.” I gave him back to her to hold. “I have a carrier in the car.” I hurried out past the still-barking dog. I grabbed the carrier from the car, hurried back inside, stuffed in the bewildered cat and got out of there as fast as I could.
He just sat huddled in the carrier all the way home. When I reached home an hour later, I brought in the carrier and gently put it down in the basement next to the litter boxes. When I opened it, he crept out, sniffed the litter box, and then bolted up the stairs.
He spent the next 3 weeks hiding in the 4-inch space under the couch or squeezed between the couch and wall. I changed his name to Oscar because he was such a wienie. But everyday it got better. I adopted 2 other abandoned cats. Bourka you have already met and I will blog about Winkie in the future. They were as timid and traumatized as Oscar.
That was 4 years ago this month. Look at him now. He sleeps on the furniture not under it. If you are here long enough, he will be sitting on you. He is a different cat now-confident, loving and a perfect companion not only for me but also for the other 3. You remember there are 4 right? Stay tuned….