Last week a reader sent me a series of emails about this stray cat that was always waiting for him at his house. He wanted to know what he should do about the cat. If you bother to send a stranger six emails in a row about a stray cat, it means the cat already owns you. I advised him to feed the cat and see what happens. I said that if he adopted the cat (which had already adopted him, so this would be a formality), he would have to decide whether the cat would be an outdoor cat or an indoor cat.
The outdoor cat arrangement is more casual (You could be one of several human serfs in the neighborhood providing the cat’s meals), but if the cat doesn’t show up for several days you may lose your mind from worry. The indoor cat arrangement requires an initial cash outlay (for deworming, flea bath, vaccinations, spaying/neutering) and causes some stress when the cat is introduced to the household, not to mention that you’ll be stocking up on cat food and kitty litter forever, but it leads to a relationship as intense as any you may have with humans in your lifetime.
The very next day, I myself adopted a cat.
For many years a family of cats has lived downstairs in my building. I used to feed their matriarch, a ferocious white kitty who showed her appreciation by bringing me the occasional rat carcass. The current generation consists of three cats, including a very sweet ginger with a funny walk. A car had run over him when he was a kitten, but he survived. For months I’ve been considering getting a third indoor cat. My foundling Khao Manee Drogon, who’s turning 5, needs a playmate, and my antisocial calico Saffy, who’s turning 17, hates playing (As far as I can tell she is pondering a unified theory of everything). Then last week while I was worrying about bills, I told the ginger cat, “If a cheque arrives in the next three days, I’ll adopt you.” I wasn’t expecting any payments, but suddenly a cheque arrived. A promise is a promise.
After getting de-loused and dewormed and having a thorough bath, Jacob Howlett moved into our house last Saturday. He spent his first night in a cage that Bubbles lent me, because he had to fast for 12 hours before his trip to the vet. (Jacob’s vet is Dr. Pete Tutanes, who works with a big chain of vet clinics but runs a small, spartan clinic in Makati. Telephone 882.0192; 0922.807.9695.) Also I wanted to make sure Saffy didn’t attack him—she’s very territorial. Drogon is already his best friend.
Jacob Howlett is a wee kitty at the moment, but after a couple of months I expect he’ll be enormous.
Would you like to support CARA (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals) programs for stray cats and dogs? Among other things they have a spaying and neutering program, which is better for the cats’ health plus it ensures that we will not be overrun by cats. You can find CARA on Facebook or call them at 532.3340.