Saturday, January 7, 2012

Van Gogh

I'm back and getting myself together, and I am doing OK.

Van Gogh, looking fat and happy.
Note the carrier behind him.
Catting around

I have become Cat Woman, sans the outfit. We have had felines in our lives for the past 19 or so years, but the first two pets were left here by our children. They weren't necessarily of our choosing (the cats, not the kids) but what were we to do? It did not take long for them to find a place in our hearts though.  When we lost sweet Casey to cancer six years ago, we got two sister kittens to be companions for our beloved Martian. This year we lost Martian, also to cancer, so our household became just myself, hubby,  Thelma and Louise. T and L are not a ball of energy,  as a matter of fact, one of them seldom gets off the bed.  However, I guess they fit into our lifestyle, as we aren't exactly the movers and shakers we once were either.  About six months ago, I noticed a very pretty grey cat at the edge of the woods that border our property.  I thought he belonged to someone down the street or perhaps the farmhouse across the way.  As time progressed, I saw that he lived in the large grasses that we have on the end of our yard.  He had picked a ideal spot, because right next to the grasses is a very large bird feeder.  We did not want him eating our feathered friends but we felt sad about his situation and started to leave some food out for him. If we provided food, he would not necessarily need to hunt.  Hubby noticed that half of one of his ears was missing, but it had healed over.  I would imagine that he lost (or maybe won) a fight with one of the other inhabitants of our woods.  We named him Van Gogh.  Naming a cat that does not belong to you is really not a good idea, as now they slowly sneak into your heart. We dared not try to catch him and bring him into the house as we did not want to put our other cats in danger of any disease he might have contracted.  We fretted about what we should do.  During the snow storm of October, we laid a tarp over the grasses to keep him dry and then started to think what will happen to him when the freezing temperatures of winter come along   How can we protect him?  Then hubby went out and bought a medium-sized dog carrier and a paw pad for him to lay upon hoping that he would find shelter in there.  So far,  I don't think he has tried it out except for going inside to eat.  However, his personality has changed and now when we go down to feed him he comes right over to us and before he starts to eat, he will rub around our legs and meows and purrs Last week my husband (whose name has now been changed from "Birdman of the Northeast" to "Cat Whisperer") stood in the middle of the yard and called to him.  Van Gogh came right over and  allowed himself to be picked up and cuddled.  He showed  no resistance and put his head against the crook of hubby's arm and purred over and over.  When he was put down, he stayed. This is not a feral cat, but a cat that was once loved. Perhaps he got lost or, in all probability, was left abandoned by the broken-down farmhouse up the street.   We are in a quandary as what to do about our new friend.

The one thing that I have left out in this above story is that in the past month we have not only been feeding Van Gogh, but a few more strange cats that have appeared out of nowhere.  Every week, there seems to be one more.  Do you think Van Gogh has been spreading the news of free food?  Instead of leaving one dish of food, we now leave four.  We are not naming these newbies though, although they all seem very sweet and also meow and purr.  I think Van Gogh must have told him about the act they must put on in order to get their dinner. No more voles or moles for them, the humans here give out prime gourmet food.

So now I am worried about becoming one of those women you read about in the papers, you know, the unkempt older ladies that collect cats.  Lordy, lordy, what have I gotten myself into. 

I might call the cat rescue place sooner than later.  However, I will miss Van Gogh and hope that someone will give him a good home.  He is a love.

16 comments:

  1. You could take Van Gogh to the vet and have him checked over, vaccinated, neutered etc....and just call the animal control while he is at the vets?????

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  2. I'd be afraid that animal control would put him down, especially since he has only one ear. My only hope is that a cat rescue unit will take him in and find a foster home for him. I know that there are some that will also help in paying for vaccinations and neutering (I really never checked to see if Van Gogh is a male or female and if he has been already been neutered) If I took him to a local vet, I could end up paying a $300 bill. I want to do the right thing and put him in safe hands.

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  3. Oh, I wish you could keep Van Gogh. He seems a sweet soul. Hugs! Bonnie

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  4. You've bonded with Van Gogh. Hubby held him. It's gonna be a tearful goodbye. I'm already sad for you all.
    But I'm glad you're back. ;)

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  5. I think you're doing the right thing. A small bowl of food and some kindness is probably all he requires. I can't resist a stray either.

    There's a world of difference between 'concerned cat woman' and 'crazy cat woman'. Yesterday I was with a friend who has 10 cats. All were beautifully groomed, no smell of 'cat' in the house, and she never visits the vet' (the French don't do vets).

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  6. Wow, it makes you wonder how many stray cats are out there like that. You might want to convert your backyard! :) Aw, bless you for looking out for the little guy.

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  7. Sounds like us. The neighborhood cats have somehow gotten the word that they can always find something to eat, a clean drink, and a scratch behind the ear at our house, too. You might check with your local animal shelter, and see if they offer special vet service rates to seniors. Some do, and you could get that kitty fixed up and house-worthy for a song. Then, maybe he could come into your house and join the family ... come on, you know you and your hubby have already "adopted" him.

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  8. Arleen so sad to lose two of your cats to cancer. We didn't actually choose our cats either. The first one was a little abandoned kitten who just sneaked into our hearts. One day, a couple of years ago (fully grown by then) she went missing and we never found her again - not even a body. It hurt. We still have her daughter and her grand daughter though and love them to bits.

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  9. My grandmother told me that 'hobos' would mark houses that gave handouts to transients. I wonder if Van Gogh is the same?

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  10. Aww...you and hubby have big hearts and I think Van Gogh has been very lucky to have found you. I hope he and the others find good homes. Have a wonderful week!
    Maura :)

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  11. My best friend has done the same thing...she has a cat in her house...and a "crazy" dog...they get along...she now has one cat living in her garage...with a big soft bed and heating pad and of course food...she picks the food up at night so all other "critters" don't enter..she has a "cat" door to the garage so if any "smart" ones come along in they go...she feeds a black stray that is a "beater" but huge on the front steps around 5:00 every night...another "cat" woman...why don't you and "hubby" just take Van Gogh in??? Get him checked at the vets and shots and he is good to go...just introduce him gradually....you guys can do it....I have faith...

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  12. You have a kind heart and cats know it. :-)

    Pearl

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  13. How sweet that you have taken care of him so well. I think you will eventually take him into your house and make a vet visit. But for now, I think you're wonderful for helping that little guy out. Maybe leave some wet paint and art paper out, and soon you'll have masterpieces by "Van Gogh" that can help pay for any vet bills : )

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  14. Dear Arleen,
    Many vets would lower their prices if someone came to them with a stray and wanted the cat to be checked for diseases. In that way, you could discover is Louise or Thelma would be in danger from an illness. If not, you would be able to add to your home a cat who has already won over your heart and who has claimed you with a purr and a mew and meow.

    Peace.

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  15. Cats are smart and know the good souls. :-) I love the name Van Gogh and wish you could keep him! Best of luck with all the babies and keep us updated.

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  16. Oh I feel your pain. It is hard not to save them all. I hope Van Gogh finds a loving home eventually. We now have four cats because of a kitten that showed up at our farm last week. The countryside is a pet dumping-ground.

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