“Do you have a cigar?” my wife asked.
I used to smoke them but haven’t in over ten years. “No. Why?”
“You’re a new father.”
“Meep is officially our cat.”
We’ve been feeding Meep, aka the Ginger Prince, for a few years. Finding him huddling outside time and again, we added bringing him in to protect him from inclement and freezing weather to our practices with him a few years ago. What was once in while became every day and night. He’s flourished under the arrangement, gaining weight and improving in every way imaginable.
Another neighbor, Sue, came to tell us the news. I wasn’t home. My wife related it to me: Meep’s people moved away.
I’d always been doubtful they were his people. Meep, by my estimate, spends about eighteen hours a day in our house. The woman who came to tell us told my wife, “They were worried about Meep.”
“Wow,” I said. “They have a strange fucking way of showing it.”
My wife went on, “They were concerned that Meep is an out door cat. I told Sue, ‘You mean the cat that’s asleep on my chair right now?'” She then related that Meep loves being indoors and spends most of his time in our house, really only venturing out two or three times a day. He’s generally back within an hour.
I regret the life he ‘lived’ with them, and wonder about the back story. But it pleases us that he’s officially a member of our household. He has a mite problem we’ve been treating, but we’ve always been a little circumspect, to respect the boundaries of his ‘owners’. Now that’s removed so we can take him to the vet, etc. He’s a little sweetheart with a water fascination, although he is too willing to fight with Tucker and Boo. Tucker and Boo also don’t get along. The fur has flown, let me tell you.
We make it work. It’s not always easy. Tucker is segregated from gen pop, forced into isolation in the snug, where we work, generally read and watch television. We let him out in the yard for a few hours each day. Boo, likewise, is kept in isolation, in the master suite. He’s also authorized outside time. Each have food and water bowls, and kitty litter boxes. Meep is set up in the big room with food, water and a litter box. I play and talk with each several times a day. It’s a little exhausting, with the segregation and isolation. Boo also suffers PTSD, and general anxiety. Tucker, meanwhile, has auto-immune problems and is a grain-free and gluten-free diet.
Only Quinn, the refugee from another neighbor, is permitted to visit with the rest and wander through whatever room he wants. He, alone, gets along with all.