Sunday morning, a sweet little calico cat showed up in my driveway. She is thin as a rail and sweeter than syrup. I fed her (it’s what I do- feed animals), and now she’s decided to live on my porch. Adicus and Scooter have tried to run her off twice now (although I didn’t see Scooter yesterday, and it probably just means that a barn cat next door is in heat, but I’m gun-shy at this point), to no avail. She is nothing if not determined.

Yesterday I got home from work and she was sunning herself in my chair. Adicus, having figured out how to sneak out of my bedroom window (with a dresser in front of it, ya’ll!) like an oppressed teenager, came onto the porch with me. He walked up to the new cat, sniffed her as she hissed, and then licked her gently but thoroughly. She sat there, annoyed but accepting.

Damn. The dog’s on her side now.

Ivan and Lewis are still not sure they’re putting up with this coup, and she’s not set foot in the house, despite my leaving the front door open when I’m home, because one of the two of them sits sentry on the couch. What they would do if she crossed the threshold, I’m not sure, but she’s not decided to find out yet.

Where do I stand? She’s a sweet, sweet cat. No cat will ever replace Gizzy, and he and I shared a special bond that isn’t quite there with the others, as much as I love them. She has the potential for that bond, maybe.

But I’m not ready.

Sure, I like getting to know her better. Letting her sit in my lap, rubbing the back of her head. I don’t mind feeding her and letting her sleep on the porch. As far as anything else, it just seems too soon. Too easy. Like using new love to heal the wounds of lost love. I don’t trust her. I don’t trust her to stick around, not to get sick and die, not to leave me. I’m not sure it’s what’s best for the other animals, who are already dealing with a lot of confusing change and can’t drink vodka and whine to their friends about it like I can.

In the practical sense, I have a male cat that is overdue to be neutered, shots and flea medicine needed all around, and a sizeable bill for Gizzy’s hospital stay (though I will be talking to the vet this week about the shitty ROI on that one). It feels irresponsible to take on another animal when the ones I have are not being cared for to the standard I’ve set for responsible pet ownership. Also, I worry about the other cats judging me for loving another too soon, or hurting their feelings, because maybe they think they’re not enough for me. (Yes, I realize that I’ve gone off the deep end with that last one!)

How, though, do I resist fate? She came to me, she wants to be here. I like her. I could love her, if I let myself. So, last night I named her Angel and I promised her that by the time that sleeping on the porch is no longer a pleasant prospect, I would be ready to bring her in the house. Maybe by then, I’ll also be ready to bring her into my heart.

11 Responses

  1. I think the animals COULD in fact drink vodka and whine to their friends but the SPCA might not condone that behavior.

  2. Oh, it’s so hard to not welcome them in, regardless of financial obligations, etc. I’d say in the meantime, keep saying hello to her, keep fedding her. Eventually you’ll be ready to welcome her in with open arms.

  3. *feeding, not fedding. Obvi.

  4. Once upon a time we had a sweet marmalade boy named Fuzzbert. He was (as our cats have been for years) an indoor cat. There was a scrawny, skittish kitten who started hanging around outside but wouldn’t let us near him.

    Fuzzbert got out one day, slipped through the screen that the rotten neighbor kid had been pushing on. He didn’t know about cars. We looked and looked for him and then one of our neighbors let us know they’d found him. At least he wasn’t lying in the road but he was gone. I was heartbroken.

    That night, the kitten came back around and ended up wandering into our house. I was determined he would not meet the same fate as Fuzzbert and Angelo Psychokitty became a member of our household.

    You can’t hurry love… but maybe Angel just wants you to know there’s more love out in the world for you…

  5. You know, animals come into your life for a reason…

  6. The Lord works in mysterious ways, my dear. Maybe Angel is his way of saying things will be just fine and telling you to continue to love. πŸ˜‰

  7. Ever since our baby boy Harley passed in Jan. 2006 we have had 5 new kitties find us. (That’s just the one’s that were persistant and made it into the house!) While we can never replace our Harley, the other kitties need our help too. I’ve since told my Hubby that I firmly believe that Harley sends kitties our way. Even if I only see them once or twice to give them fresh food and water and never get to pet them; I know they were sent to me for a reason.

    I can totally understand the financial aspects of attaching to another kitty. We have 7 indoor cats and I have been laid off since March. It’s not always easy but we make it work and we have an endless supply of love to give!

    You’ll be able to decide what the right thing to do is; the cat will decide for you. πŸ™‚

  8. Hunh. As if she’s not already wriggled her way in. Hearts are cool that way; they expand to infinite proportions. Rock on, hearts!

  9. I always think animals (and people) come to us for a reason. They are able to seek out the caregivers and the ones with warm hearts. I view it as the reason I’m here, to care for and nurture what comes my way.

  10. I had a pregnant 3-legged orange tabby find me 3 years ago. She would be sunning on my driveway when I came home from work, and lived under my deck in the backyard, always trying to get my attention at the back door.

    After she gave birth to her 6 kittens on a sweltering August day, I took them in to my laundry room until the kittens were weened. I found homes for all but one whom I kept. Today Pumpkin and her daughter Powder are the most gentle and loving cats that adopted me πŸ™‚

  11. Porch cats are the best. I have a few that come from nowhere and there’s only one I’d be willing to take in. Just give it time. Angel will work her way into your house and your heart.

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