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Life in a Cat house

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Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House

It’s always interesting to find out how people acquire cats. I suppose the most common way is when a cat wanders up to a house and stays. We’ve had a few of those at our house.

Foo Foo turned up on our porch one morning when she was a kitten with a damaged eye. She was also really hungry. We fed her and Vivian said the kitten could stay but had to live outside. At the time we had plenty of indoor cats and Vivian said there wasn’t room for another one.

That was in the autumn and the first cold snap of the season was forecast. Vivian said since the kitten was still weak from hunger, she could come in the house overnight but then she would have to go back outside. If you have ever been in that situation, you know how it worked out. Once they get inside they are there to stay.

We once had a junkyard cat. We had gone to a junkyard to look for auto parts. I don’t remember what we were looking for, but I know we didn’t find it. What we did find was a cat. While I was talking auto parts with the junkyard owner, the owner’s kids told Vivian they had something to show her. The something turned out to be kittens that were born on the back seat of an old Buick. When the child guides and Vivian came back to where the owner and I were chatting, Vivian had a ball of fluffy fur in her hands.

Sometimes we take in cats that the owners couldn’t keep. We got Bruiser, along with his mother and siblings, from a high school senior who worked in a gas station. Vivian was buying gas one day when the young man told her he was going on to college with the intention of becoming a doctor and he was worried about what to do with his cat and her kittens. He knew, of course, that Vivian would take them if he couldn’t find anyone else who would. The kid did go on to become a doctor and we ended up with a cat.

I don’t recall what happened to the mother or the other kittens. I suppose we found homes for them, but Bruiser stayed with us for many years.

We got Spanky from a couple who really didn’t want to give him away. They had young grandchildren who loved playing with Spanky and he sometimes played too rough. They were afraid the kids would get scratched, so they wanted to find Spanky a good home. Again, they knew Vivian would take him if another home couldn’t be found.

Ophelia belonged to an elderly gentleman who doted on her. When he got too feeble to live alone, he decided to move in with his daughter and son-in-law. That posed a problem because the son-in-law was allergic to cats. He asked Vivian to find Ophelia a home. Like Spanky, she was an older cat and rather large. So, when all else failed, Vivian said we’d take Ophelia until we could find a home for her. We were told she was so old she probably wouldn’t live more than six months at the most. She lived with us for more than six years.

Cats and kittens seem to come along when least expected and they somehow manage to move in.