Just don’t cast Redford in the title role

Many years ago, before our kitchen was “done,” we had no cupboard space, and I used the top of the fridge as a makeshift storage area. I kept two or three baskets on the fridge, filled with bags and boxes of spices, lentils, noodles, and the like.
One fine summer afternoon, the back door was open to allow the sun and fresh air to come in – and the wildlife, apparently. My friend and I walked into the kitchen to discover a squirrel perched on top of the fridge, reaching for a bag of walnuts.
He looked at me. I looked at him. I said “those are not yours. Put that down and move along.”
And he did… my friend promptly dubbed me “Reasons with Squirrels” (a la ‘Dances with Wolves’).
Now I may have to trade that title in for ‘Cat Whisperer.’
About a month ago, the Domestic Goddess rescued three kittens and their mother from under her neighbour’s porch, and brought them to the Animal Health department at the college where we both work. The Animal Health people cleaned up the kittens and spayed the mother, then DG took the kittens to her mother’s apartment as a temporary home.
The mother, according to the Animal Health experts, was feral and the best thing to do was to release her back into her territory, i.e., the neighbour’s porch, since she’d never be tame enough to adapt to living as a pet. I offered to take her home and house her in our downstairs bathroom for a couple of days while she recuperated from the surgery.
So, hissing and spitting and yowling, she spent the first night in our bathroom. The next day, I found her curled up in the sink, and although she hissed at me, she didn’t make any aggressive moves. I fed her, and left her alone. Two days later there was still some hissing, but there was also this:
Perhaps not so feral, after all?
Within days, I was leaving the bathroom door open and she was rubbing against my legs when I arrived with food. The next step was to open the laundry room door so she’d have access to the whole basement – and she quickly discovered the cat-friendly access to the large storage closet, and took up residence on one of our suitcases.
She’s been here almost a month now, and we’ve gone from hissing and growling to purring and kneading. She’s keenly aware that there’s another cat in the house (although Heidi is either completely oblivious or completely secure in her position as Number One cat), so she’s been very cautious about exploring upstairs, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s only a matter of time before she’s sitting on Colin’s homework and demanding water from Dr. T at 3 a.m.
Her name is Mehitabel. 2009-12-10%2014.30.26.jpg

7 Replies to “Just don’t cast Redford in the title role”

  1. “then DG took the kittens to her mother’s apartment as a temporary home. The mother, according to the Animal Health experts, was feral…”
    I have met DG’s mother. She seemed relatively domesticated to me.

  2. Mehitabel looks like our feral, Kat, who adopted us six years ago by moving in through the doggy door while we were on vacation. He has grown into a snuggly cat over the years, and in the past few months has become quite the talker.
    However, I must not attempt to pick him up. That, apparently, is how they catch you and he isn’t about to fall for that trick.
    Good for you for being a kind-hearted person.

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