And the cat came back…
In honor of International Cat day, I bring you a noisy, bossy, and fickle feline.
This is Flannery O’Connor. She is an orange tabby who adopted us in September, 2014, just after daughter Caitlyn left for college.
“You guys got this cat to replace me, didn’t you?” Caitlyn asked at the time. But we did no such thing. We probably wouldn’t have done it to Gryffin, our aged black Labrador (now gone over the Rainbow Bridge). But Flannery, probably just a few months old, sat firmly on our porch rail and meowed.
“You can’t feed her,” I told Bryan. “She’ll keep coming back.”
“Where did she come from?” Bryan asked.
“She was probably born to a stray or ran off from a farm, but she could be a pet.”
At this point, we lived in the Wonder Whip in Fostoria, between Spencer and Milford. Strange things happened in Fostoria, a little oasis in miles of cornfields.
One night I was sitting out front and an entire gaze of raccoons ran by, some on the perimeter leaving a whisk of movement breeze by my bare feet.
Flannery didn’t leave in search of a more hospitable household, or she struck out in her quest for food delivery.
“Okay, you can at least bring her some water, but don’t get too affectionate. We can’t get a cat right now,” I told Bryan.
A couple of days later, I saw a can of tuna, slightly used, beside the water dish.
“What is this?” I asked. We’re not keeping her.
My friends had the giggles. “You have a cat.”
“We’re not getting a cat,” I replied firmly.
Just as firmly, Flannery sat on the porch rail and sang the song of her people.
I snapped a photo and put up signs at the post office and the Cenex, in hopes the cat had a family who was looking for her. I had a feeling she didn’t, but I decided to give it a week, even ten days,
“You should name her,” Bryan said.
“We’re not naming this cat. We aren’t keeping her. I don’t we don’t have a cat.”
More friends weighed in as the predicament continued.
“Girl, you have a cat.”
“She’s really cute. What’s her name?”
“Awww.look at those little eyes.”
I said, “We don’t have a cat. We are dog people.”
By the time my birthday rolled around in mid-September, Flannery had moved indoors.
She’s noisy, messy and somewhat expensive, prefers to perch and stare at us in judgment most of the time she’s awake. She startles me at 3 a.m. jumping from the window sill to my midsection on the bed. Her favorite place is where she’s not supposed to be – -on top of my tall dresser or nuzzling my sweaters on my closet shelf.
The boys are crazy about her, and she grew on me, eventually. When it’s cold and she wants to cuddle, I can deal with that.
Happy International Cat Day to all the cat owners out there, to Morris and Sylvester, Garfield and Grumpy Cat, Tom and the Aristocats, and every cool cat.