Wednesday, January 4, 2012
We had a cat already. Her name was Amelia, the petite female version of Bob. Where Melia was a delicate little orange and white kitty, BobCat was her perfect opposite. The only thing they had in common was their colour. I've always had a soft spot for orange and white kitties. Two of my childhood cats were orange and white, and for sentimental reasons, I still maintain they're the best.
We found Amelia at the side of the road one fall night. We'd spotted a dirty-looking white cat several times driving into town, and were in the habit of leaving a bowl of food at the side of the road for him or her. One evening, Amelia jumped out of the bullrushes, nearly clawed herself into my pant leg, mewed piteously, and it was pretty obvious that we'd just been adopted by a new cat. Amelia settled down on my lap on the car ride home, and acted like long-lost family.
Amelia had previously had a litter of kittens. She was still very young, probably under a year by our vet's best guess. She weighed just 3 pounds, and was terribly emaciated. Once we got her home, she settled down on a hutch in the corner of the kitchen and didn't move for 2 days. I felt terrible that someone would abandon such a wonderful creature, and Amelia quickly found her way into my heart. We all have pets that we bond more with, and Amelia was one of those cats.
The next day, BobCat showed up on the doorstep. But this day, he came in through the front door, walked straight into the house, something he had never done, walked up to Amelia's scratching post, dug his claws in, and then settled down on an Ikea chair in the living room and had a day-long nap.
It looks like we had a new cat.
In the beginning, he'd stay away over night and normally be waiting on the stoop the next morning. After two nights AWOL, I'd go on a recon mission. Driving up and down the street at night-fall, the headlights of my car would catch his eyes at the side of the road. I'd pop open a tin of his favorite cat food, and he'd come bounding over to me. We'd drive home together, and he'd settle in for a few more days. Once, I found him at a stable a kilometre from our house. When I called him, he jumped out of a box-stall window and came bounding over to me. You could practically hear the music from "Lassie Come Home" playing in the background.
One day, he came home after a week's bender wearing a flea collar and smelling of cigarette smoke and laundry softener. I promptly put a new collar on him with a note that his name was Bob and that he had a phone number, but I never got a call from his other "adoptive" family. As it was, I'm the one who had him neutered (you should see our vet bills - I should have a payment plan, or just straight-out give our vet a BMW or Mercedes), but with some patience, BobCat became "our" cat.
We're going onto 8 years of Bob's presence. He doesn't go far these days, mainly down to our barn and back, and spends his nights sleeping with yours truly. Yep. He's even pushed Cooper off the bed at night. This winter he's really staked his claim. He doesn't bother me at night any more, for which I am truly appreciative. I can do without his 5AM wake-up call.
Plus he's spent nearly 15 minutes spilling out of the double-decker wicker-wonder cat bed, so I love him all the more.