Monday, April 12, 2010

Darn Cat!

I am not a pet person. I haven't had a pet, of any living variety, since just after the Twins were born. I am pretty sure I put off an aura that should repel domesticated animals. I'm trying to. Nothing against pets, or people who have pets. I'm just not into them for myself. (for more on this, go here)

But, lately, we've been having this weird phenomenon at our house. For about a month, maybe a little longer.

We seem to be attracting cats.

I have no idea why.

It started, I suppose, a little further back, with a large grey cat, which I assume is a stray. It hangs out in the back yard, watching the various birds that gather in some wild rose bushes in the back corner. It generally runs when it sees me. I DO NOT feed it, pet it, or in any other way encourage this animal. I also don't chase it off. I figure, it's not doing any harm, and may be keeping down a mouse population, for all I know. (Despite the age and condition of my home, I've only had mice once, many years ago. Something I attribute to the stray cat population of my neighborhood.) I have noticed that this grey cat seems more at ease with me lately, not streaking off the moment I step into the back yard. But that's as far as it goes with this one.

A couple of weeks ago, another cat, this one just past the kitten stage, striped in grey and white, starts to hang around the front steps. Like it thinks it lives there. Again, we have not fed or otherwise encouraged this animal, nor have we chased it off. We just don't let it in the door. But it keeps hanging around. I find it in the front yard all the time.

Last night, or, rather, very early this morning around 1 AM, a third cat, similar in age to the second, but in grey and white patches, manages to find its' way IN THE HOUSE. (I have this window in the basement, used to be where the dryer vented, used to be this wood panel with a hole in it, in place of a window panel. I taped plastic over it after we moved the dryer. It's in the basement, it's a small window, I just haven't gotten around to having glass put in. I'm lazy like that.)
Do you have any idea how weird it is to be woken by a cat, in your own bedroom, when you don't own a cat? It may have wandered all over the house before it came to me, I don't know. It seemed to want me to follow it. I did. It goes to the window where it came in, like it wants to go back out, but can't figure out how. I escort it out the door (no reason to teach it a bad habit like using a window for a door), which it seems reluctant to allow. I shut the door on it, put some more tape on the plastic window substitute, and go back to bed.
About an hour later, we do this all over again. This time, I put some heavy cans in front of the window as well. I'm having trouble getting back to sleep, so I wander the house for a minute. I hear a noise downstairs, and when I go back down, Twin2 is standing by the window. He says some cat was trying to get in. I tell him I just finished putting it out for the second time. I check the tape, add a little more, and we go back to bed. Neither of us can figure out what this cat thinks it wants from us. There isn't any food about to attract it. It's not even cold outside (I should know, I've just come back in), and yet, this cat thinks it needs to be in our house.
This time, it's almost 5:30 AM before it's back. It seems a bit offended when I almost toss it out the back door. I had to get up soon, and I felt like I hadn't slept at all. I should have stayed up, but I went back to bed for just a little more sleep, if I could get it.

I forgot, my clock radio turns on at 5:35. It startles me, so my heart is pounding. Somebody is saying "the woman's heart started beating, hard, so she was alive. (I'm thinking, "what? what is this? is there a camera somewhere? why is the radio narrating my life?") Then the voice says, "she reaches for the tube in her throat, so her brain is alive, too," then something like "where is the family" and "she has a DNR", and I realize this is a story about resuscitating someone in hospital. For a minute there, it was really weird.

I get up, go about the usual morning stuff, pausing to check that window every now and then. Just in case.
The cat is waiting by the front door when we go out. Looking like it expects something.

Before we drive off, I block the window from the outside, hoping that will keep it out until I can get the window fixed properly. (Nothing else so far has seemed a good enough reason to properly fix this window, but this might just do it. I know, you're thinking, aren't you losing heat through that in the winter (unheated room, basement, not so much), or aren't you worried about a break-in (small window, and, seriously, what are you going to steal? my hand-me-down TV? the broken DVD player? my WalMart shoe collection? whatever). So, no, I've not stressed over it much.)

I have no idea why I'm suddenly attracting cats to my home. It's fine with me if you like cats, if you have cats, if you allow all the neighborhood strays to call your house home. You are welcome to them. I just don't want any myself.

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