Domestication

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His name is Duke.

He showed up around here at the end of last summer, a scrawny little kitten that our stub-tailed matriarch chased away on a regular basis. We didn’t know he was a stray at the time.

He showed up again in late April. All skin and bones. Sores everywhere. He would not let you get within a hundred feet of him, but you could tell he yearned for people. He’d sit at a distance, frail and lean and talk to you.

Yeah, we did it. We began leaving food out for him. And he slowly closed the distance between us, finally letting me pet him the first time about 3 weeks ago. That was all it took. He became the most lovey-dovey little thing, craving people and human contact. He got so he would sit next to me on the back porch waiting for the woman I love to come home. He purred so hard his tail vibrated when you pet him.

He became the neighborhood cat. Our next door neighbors on both sides loved him and he loved them. He’d sit on their porch, watch them fix their cars, lounge on their outdoor furniture. But mostly he hung around us. I kept food outside. He wanted inside. That, we told ourselves, would happen once he got shots, de-wormed, and fixed. Appointments were made.

You kinda figured out that we took him to the vet. He shredded me as I put him on the cat carrier. I’m pretty sure one of the scratches will leave scars. But he was a charmer once there as they took blood and gave him his three shots. He purred so hard the vet could hardly hear his heartbeat. As I told the story of how far he came in a few weeks, the vet said “Isn’t it amazing how quickly cats become domesticated?”

He’s been gone since Thursday night. I am not freaked over it yet. He’s a male. Males wander. I have cats that I am sure had other homes, a few days with me, a few days with someone somewhere else. It happens. He’s so friendly now he’d walk in any open door and make himself at home.

But I miss him. He’s a joyful little thing, endearing and friendly, all legs and tail. I feel like I got him “this close” and poof! He’s gone. Even my tubby little guardian cat seems to miss him. This morning I caught her wandering around the back porch, as if she was looking for her new friend.

I don’t expect anyone to read this and bring him back to me. None of my neighbors read my blogs. I am hoping he will make his way back to the porch. I will live in confidence and leave the next round of vet appointments in place. I have his last dose of de-wormer in my pocket to give him when he gets back. But man, I miss that little guy.

Like the vet said, “It’s amazing how quickly cats domesticate us.”

That is what she said, isn’t it?

Tom

PS: So he came back, with a “What’s all the fuss about?” attitude. Yeah, I am way too domesticated. 

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4 comments

  1. Ah cats. They get under your skin and into your heart. I should know, I’ve got plenty. Even the wicked boy who belongs next door. He kills birds and other creatures, but if we don’t see him at some point each day, we worry about him. I am still fretting over Joey. We found him a home, then he came back a year later because it didn’t work out. So we found him another home and he moved cross-country. He has a great home but he got out recently and has not been seen going on two weeks. One of the other fosters that I homed got out and was missing for a year but then returned, so I always hold out hope. Sounds like your sweet guy is probably entertaining elsewhere temporarily. Maybe someone took him in, not realizing he is the neighborhood cat. But I hope he comes back to you as it sounds like that’s where he should be. Has he a name?

  2. I know how it is, I like my neighour’s cat very much, she is Eva and she is lovely and although I was fear of cats since I was a kid, I like her and it seems she likes me, she is so caring, sitting next to me for a caring 🙂 Cats are independent. Maybe your new cat is really wandering, searching other places 🙂 It was very kind of you taking him to the vet, Tom.

  3. I pray that Duke finds his way back to you…….
    Cats do have a way of working their way into our hearts. 💜

    Hoping for the best,
    Catherine

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