Saturday, August 13, 2011
MARMALADE, THE NEIGHBORHOOD CAT
When we decided to move to the country, I decided to get another cat. As we already had three cats, my decision was met with a marked lack of enthusiasm from Ted. He is not a 4-cat person. He is not, truth be told, really even a 3-cat person, but we got the one cat while we were living in The Commmune and another right before we got married. Then my mother called up and said that she was not running a hospice center for cats and I had to take back the 18-year-old specimen with half a face that I had rescued back in the 90s and foisted upon her few years back. So that's how we ended up with three cats, and I only got that last one by Ted by explaining that Princess was sure to kick soon, and we would be back to two cats.
But then we moved to the country. And as far as I'm concerned, one of the only reasons to move to the country is to have a lot of cats. So I got another one at our vets, which runs a cat rescue operation. This last one we called Marmalade and she was, quite frankly, the best of the lot. The first one is kind of mean, and the second one is overweight and neurotic and sometimes pees on the couch, and Princess, well, she's 18 and has half a face. So we all loved Marmalade (don't worry, animal lovers, she doesn't die, you can keep reading). My older son loved her so much that he called her Honey Mine Kitty and followed her everywhere.
But Marmalade was very much an indoor/outdoor cat, in that she liked to go outside for long periods of time. But she was home most of the time, and always at night, until one night she didn't come home. I spent the entire night thinking she was roadkill, but she sauntered in the next day looking like a million bucks. After a few more overnight adventures which included setting off our neighbor's alarm so the cops came to his house at 3 AM, ending up in another neighbor's Hav-A-Heart raccoon trap, and going to the pound after being picked up by the police, we got her a collar, tags, a microchip and kind of got used to her staying out overnight.
Well, fast forward six months or so, and this is the current situation: Marmalade comes home every few days, has a snack, hangs out for a while, and leaves. She is, as far as I can tell, the neighborhood cat. Everyone loves her, and feeds her, and there are probably several other houses that don't have two small children screaming at her all the time where she prefers to be. So she's really not our cat anymore, though we love her just as much.
However, the second cat peed on the couch one too many times and I had to pawn him off on my sister. And Princess really isn't looking too good these days. So really, we're likely to end up a 1-cat house any day now. Which is just what Ted wanted from the beginning. Lucky Ted.