The good news is: Daisy (now renamed Skeeter because she just wasn’t a Daisy) has tamed down in record speed. Two days after she came home from her hospital stay she was turning her head into my hand, to gratefully accept petting and scratching. A day later, she was in full flop-over mode, offering her shaved belly for rubs. She is purring, and her purrs sound like singing because her upper respiratory congestion causes her to literally hum. She is an absolute darling, with never a hiss or growl, and will make a lovely pet for someone.
The bad news is: see above.
It means I need to get back into the adoption game, which is challenging. And I’m a little rusty, since Big Mike clearly seems to be fated to stay with me. That means videos and photos and Facebook postings and such. But there’s no way this fragile little angel is going back into the ravine – it’s remarkable that she lasted there as many months as she did.
Look at the improvement in just a week!
Meanwhile, on the other side of the room in his own crate, Dorian is still hating on me. I surprised him today when I walked in, and he was on top of his carrier. He flattened his years and crouched and gave a hearty HISSSSSS. I just looked at him and said, “good – your spirit is returning. It’s taken almost two months but you’re almost there.” (I thank good food and prednisone for helping with his enflamed guts; the prednisone might also be responsible for his crankiness.)
Such a mess when he arrived, Dorian Gray is darn near a pretty cat now!
People have asked how do you know if a cat is adoptable and interested in living the indoor life? So far, most cats have been pretty obvious. And these two are poster children for indoor vs. outdoor suitability. And where I’m sad that Dorian will have to face the dangers of the suburban “wild,” and realize I might never see him again after nursing him back to health, it seems pretty clear that this is his path and I need to respect it.
This is a huge change for me, to recognize this in recent years. I always assumed that all cats wanted nothing more than to be indoors, lounging on a lap. But it clearly is not so. That’s not to say they might not change in their wants and needs. Mocha was a perfect example. She spent 16 or so years in the parking lot – happily so, it seemed. And when her mate, Marvin, died, and she went deaf, she practically walked into the carrier I offered her. And her last two years, spent 100% indoors with me, were happy ones for us both. (She’s the one at the top of this page on the left.)
A few more weeks for Skeeter to get over her respiratory infection and I’ll be trying to find her a home. And just another week of seeing Dorian grow in strength and he’ll be going home too: his own version of home, where he can explore his way through the blackberry brambles while the birds sing overhead, where he can see the creek sparkle at night and smell the extraordinary scents of the forest – even if he’s cold sometimes, hungry often, and has to hide to avoid the fangs of coyotes.
St. Francis, watch over my reluctant houseguest when I set him free. He may hate me – or at least not understand why I’ve held him captive – but when he sees the carrier door open and dashes headlong into the green, he might finally understand that I love him.