What to Do When Your Cat Leaves You

08/22/2012

Photo by Johnny Cat

One year ago I had to move out of a house due to the recession. I had two cats I had to consider as I transitioned from 1600 square feet to a tiny room in a shared duplex unit. One of them, Scooter (who graces the top of The Litter Box) found a home with my friend. I kept Jasmine because I knew she just wouldn’t fit in with anyone else; she’s unadoptable. Having raised her from her earliest days, I knew she’d only be happy with me.

Within a week of the move, Jasmine disappeared. To this day, I have no idea how she got out, but she was missing for a week. I checked the Humane Society twice – a heartbreaking act that knows no parallel. I put up Lost flyers. I even listened to neighborhood rumors about a crazy cat lady who kidnaps cats (catnaps?) and pounded on her unanswered door a few times. Around the time I had given up hope, and prepared to accept the fact that she was gone, she slinked back into the yard, into my arms, and back into our room, where I snapped that picture above as we reunited.

As awesome as that moment was, I realize now, a year later… she was mentally changed by that move. She now views every move made by anyone who comes into this place as suspect, all of her habits have been thrown into whack because of my work schedule, and she discovered the one thing I was hoping she’d never discover. See, my yard has a chain link fence that I thoroughly fortified so she couldn’t sneak out, and for a while it worked fine. I could leave her outside, unattended, for as long as she wanted to get her porch time on.

The problem? Strays. The neighborhood is thick with them, and they appeal to her cat-sense of adventure. So, after maybe 10 or 20 observations of these feline Fagins deftly hopping over the four foot tall fence, Jazz caught on. And now that she’s found her freedom here, she refuses to come back inside; she’ll only come to the back door for food and water once a day. She also wants love and pets, but if I physically bring her into the room we shared for a year, she becomes visibly uncomfortable, and bolts back to the exit, untrimmed claws a-blazing.

I feel like she’s left me, but I did let it happen. And I think that’s the key; letting my cat be what she wants to be is sometimes liberating, and very difficult at the same time. I know she’s still going to be around, but I think her life decisions may end up shortening her life. I can’t afford to take her to the vet anymore, but I know she’s going to need some meds for the fleas alone come November. But these problems all vanish when I take her into my lap, and she climbs my chest and wraps her tiny arms around my neck, giving me the best hug I’ve ever gotten.

Love you Jasmine.

Update:

Through the past four months, Jasmine and I have gone through some major changes. Long story short — she’s now an indoor only cat, living with me in New Orleans, and as healthy as can be! Thanks everyone who offered words of encouragement.


Stuck

06/16/2011

This pretty much sums up where I’ve been for the past year. To the many who alight here daily, looking for new content, just know that sometimes a cat gets sidetracked, and the litter box is the last thing on their mind.

(YouTube Link)


Office Cats

03/03/2011

Here’s some videos of cats in the workplace.

(YouTube Link)

(YouTube Link)

Reminds me of some moments when I worked in an office.


Feline Breakdance Fail

10/22/2009

This looks like something my Jasmine would do.  However, that’s not true, because this isn’t something I would ever do.  Pretty funny, though.


Some Cat Trivia

02/03/2009

6-17-006

From my newly delivered book, The Ultimate Book of Useless Information, which was bestowed on myself through the generosity of the folks at Mental Floss.

1. A cat has four rows of whiskers.

2. Studies show that if a cat falls off the seventh floor of a building it has about a 30 percent less chance of surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor.  It takes about eight floors for the cat to realize what is happening, relax, and correct itself.

3. Cats in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, have a very high probability of having six toes.

4. Cats have more than one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

5. Cats have five pads on their front feet and only four on their back feet.

6. A cat has thirty two muscles in each ear.

7. A cat’s jaws cannot move sideways.

8. The pet ferret was domesticated more than five hundred years before the house cat.

Also, I bet you just tried to move your jaw from side to side.  Congrats, you’re not a cat.

empurr


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