The Ballad of Tiggy
Most of you already know The Ballad of Charlie, my baby kitty that went missing for 8 months. This is sort of like that.
A few weeks ago I started noticing a new cat hanging around my neighbor’s house and thought to myself; Oh she got a new kitty. Notice, my first thought wasn’t the cat was lost or homeless so I didn’t try to ‘steal’ it as was the problem late last year with missing cats in the neighborhood. Thankfully that problem seems to have abated and all kitties are safe.
Anyway, the cat kept hanging around her house crying. It’s freakin’ cold out there and for the life of me I couldn’t understand why my neighbor, who is a very and kind hearted woman, wasn’t letting the cat in the house.
Then late last week the cat came to my deck door. OH MY! Did the fur fly! We’re sitting there having our morning coffee, watching the ‘news’, getting ready to go to work and our cats went insane. We thought something was terribly wrong as we flew to the door where they were gathered, meowing, hissing, backs arched, and Missy actually tried going through the glass but she was unsuccessful. There was the cat. He was staring inside the house as if to say; Oh, please let me in, I’m cold.
Needless to say, with four cats already, that wasn’t happening. So I did put food out for it and tried to get it to come to me. It stared at me as though it wanted to come but it backed away. I thought; that’s not a feral cat.
I took his picture
I put it up on Facebook in a few places and on CraigsList. My neighbor responded to my FB post that the cat had been hanging around her house for weeks but she had no idea who it belonged to.
Well, that answered why she wasn’t letting it in the house! LOL I’m an idiot sometimes.
I waited hoping someone would contact me recognizing the cold kitty and a few hours later someone did. We exchanged a few emails, she told me the cat’s name, I said I’d call for it by that name the next time I saw it. I didn’t think it was her cat simply because of where her cat went missing which is quite a ways from my house as one drives but not as the crow flies. Still, it’s definitely 5 miles (or more) which is a long journey for a cat. I went to work. We exchanged a few more texts and agreed to meet at my house when I got home.
I got home. No cat. I looked around. No cat. Then I saw it walking through the snow and called for it; “Hey, Tigger, come here Tiggy.” Its ears pricked up, its eyes widened with what looked like relief until Missy spotted him and went nuts again. A little while later the lady showed up and the cat was on the deck. She saw it and said; “OH! Its him!”
He’d been missing for two months through both blizzards. Poor thing. She he was more of an outdoor cat than an indoor cat and he was known to disappear to for days to a week at a time but this was the longest he’d ever been away from home. Originally he was a shelter cat and had always been shy around people until he got to know them. I felt so bad for her, she tried and tried to get the cat to come to her but he was skittish and ran off. She started to panic. I locked Missy and Harry in my office so we could leave the door open hoping the cat would walk through it but he didn’t. Finally she went to get a Have-A-Heart trap. I scraped ice off the deck while she was gone so there’d be room for the trap. She came back, the cat kept hanging around, she baited the trap with a can of tuna and then there wasn’t anything to do but wait. She left with my promise to contact her right away when the cat was trapped.
The whole while I’m thinking; Geez, I hope I don’t wake up to one really pissed off racoon in the morning!
I walked away from the door. I sat down to watch what TV. A few minutes later Missy starts hissing. I know the cat is back on the deck. I peek outside and there he is sniffing around the trap. That cat tried everything to get that tuna just short of walking into the damn trap. I watched and waited and held my breath as he finally went inside, little by little, inch by inch, until he got to the tuna….and started chowing down. Two paws over the trap-plate and two paws behind it. I thought; you little shit! I started to wonder if I could throw up the door and tip the trap before the cat ran off again. He’s just sitting in there eating away and sneering at Missy from the corner of his eye. Finally he stepped on the plate.
That thing closed. The cat jumped! The cage rattled and I threw open the door, picked it up, and plopped him down on the table to shoot her the text she’d been waiting for.
I think she broke the speed record for getting her house to mine! She showed up with her wife, both of them very excited, happy, and relieved to have their cat back. I was very happy, excited, and relieved for them. I know just how they felt and it was really good to be able to be the one who reunited them. Yep, as soon as they left, I did a little Happy Dance, looked up and very proudly said “Thank you!”
I have the strangest feeling its going to be a while before Tiggy goes off on any more jaunts. I think he’s locked in the house for a while just like Charlie.