Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A tale of two kitties

This is cat #1.

This is cat #2.

You can see our problem.  They are not all that different.  One is ours and one is our next-door neighbours’.  Our cat is a nearly 17-year-old grouch.  Their cat is a friendly kitten not quite a year old.  Our cat lives at our house.  And their cat…lives at our house.
“Sparkles”, as next-door’s kitten likes to be called, came over to our house after most of her family headed overseas about two months ago to visit family.  Left behind was the head of the house, whose desire to babysit the cat seems to leave a bit to be desired.  About a day after the wife and kids left, Sparkles appeared at our back door.  We tried taking her back but the husband works odd hours and would come home after we’d gone to bed and be gone before we got up.  In desperation, we left a couple of notes tucked into his screen door.  The first one, my husband told me, was too polite.  He didn’t come to get the cat.  I waited a few days and then, in the second note, I was more direct and he finally came to retrieve his cat.  Half an hour later, she was back and he’d gone out for the evening.

I tried to be hard.  I tried not to notice the sad eyes and pathetic meows.  On the third or fourth day we could tell she was really, really hungry.  Our kids dropped a small piece of bread they were eating outside and she feverishly gobbled it up.  She sat on my window sill over my kitchen sink and cried.  I gave in and bought kitten food.  I figured I couldn’t watch her starve to death on my window sill. It was either feed her or give her to the pound.  At least I know next door’s kids adore her and it will be easy to return her once they get home.  I hope.  It’s nearing the end of their holiday and we’re looking forward to their return.
In the meantime, once we got over the grouchiness that comes with looking after someone else’s animal when you don’t really want to, we’ve been having quite a bit of fun with Sparkles.  We don’t let our children pick our cat up very often because she’s so old and not up to rough play.  Sparkles, on the other hand, loves to be picked up and purrs most agreeably on children’s laps in the sunshine.

There have also been some amusing moments when the cats have been mixed up. They are quite easy to tell apart when you look at them properly.  But if you are in a hurry, and see a grey cat out of the corner of your eye, it’s easy to misjudge.  Sparkles is very keen to be inside our house now that winter has arrived.  But there’s no way I’m having her inside.  We’ve put a box in the pergola and she sleeps in there.   If a door is left open at any point, Sparkles will dash in.  I’ve managed to pass our cat eating quietly out of her bowl only to whirl around a minute later when I realize it is not our cat!  Once I found Sparkles strutting across the top of our kitchen table and another time I had to shoo her out of our linen cupboard.  She’s fast and she’s determined.
So here’s hoping there are no flight delays for neighbours on their way home.


Ben McLaughlin said...

Heh. Your'e a bit of a soft touch!

Which cat is yours? They are pretty similar alright. Funny how two cats so different in age can be so similar. At a pinch I'd say the second picture is the older cat?

Deb said...

Nope. Top one is ours. But I'll pass your comment on to our cat. She'll be really pleased to hear you mistook her for a 10-month old. She does have a pretty intensive beauty regime to keeping her looking so svelt. It involves a lot of naps.