Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

The cat who came in from the cold

I glanced out the window one evening in late fall and was startled to see a white kitten sitting on our doorstep.  I walked around to the door and opened it, half expecting this kitten to dash off in fear when he saw me.  I was amazed when he calmly got up, walked into the house, followed me to the kitchen, saw the cat food dishes and began to eat like he had not had a meal for days.

He was just a bit wary, but he allowed me to pet him and rewarded me with a loud purr.  I felt his ribs and concluded that he really had not had much to eat for some time.  He appeared to be maybe three or four months old.  He was not really white but pale cream in colour, with the beginnings of the markings of a flame point siamese.

Surely this little chap is someone’s pet, we thought.  The next day my wife put a notice about him on Kijiji.  I took him to the vet to see if he had a microchip that would identify him and his owners.  There was none.  I left him there to be treated for ear mites, worms and other parasites.  When none of the contacts from Kijiji turned out to be looking for this particular cat, I told the vet to go ahead and neuter the little guy.

We took him home after he had spent ten days at the vet’s.  The vet has never come up with a bill.  I hounded her for the bill, but she always had an excuse, no time to sit down and calculate the bill, she couldn’t remember what all they had done, and other equally dumb excuses.  I finally caught on that there was not ever going to be a bill.

Where did he come from?  We live on an acreage next to a farmer.  A couple of times during the summer months my wife had seen a larger siamese with similar colouring in the woods between our house and our neighbours.  The neighbours themselves reported that they had seen a cat like that, but no one had been able to get close to it.  Could that cat have been the mother of this kitten?

We had two cats already, both all black.  The older one is a Maine Coon cat, large, fluffy and quite calm in her temperament.  We call her Panda.  The younger one is siamese in conformation, temperament and voice, but solid black in colour.  We call him Angus.

Angus loves to be outdoors and spends a lot of time in the woods between our two houses.  We think now that he and this newcomer must have at least seen each other in the woods from time to time.  The little guy must have watched from a safe distance as Angus came to the door and asked to be let in and later asked to be let out again.  He seems to have realized that Angus was not a prisoner in the house, that there were good things in the house, and that it might be a warm place to sleep in the cool nights.

Whatever the case, he is now the third cat in our house.  We call him Pookie.  It started out as Spookie, because this pale shape would silently glide about the house in the dim light at night.  We decided that was not a good name and dropped the S.  Pookie’s colouring has fully developed by now: reddish brown ears, a slight ring pattern on the tail, a tan muzzle and tan vertical lines on his forehead that give him a perpetually puzzled look.  He still doesn’t like to be picked up, but if one of us leans back in a recliner he will jump up on our lap and nap contentedly.

Pookie and Angus got along well from the start.  Panda was not willing to accept a newcomer in her house and her nose was out of joint for the longest time.  By now she accepts Pookie without complaint, but never goes out of her way to be friendly.

This has got me to wondering.  Are there people waiting outside our churches, hoping for all the world that someone will notice and invite them in from the cold?  Am I like Angus, ready to welcome a newcomer?  Or am I like Panda, fearing that this newcomer is going to supplant me from my privileged position in this home?

7 responses to “The cat who came in from the cold

  1. rLee June 23, 2013 at 00:46

    I enjoyed this article. And the closing thought was quite provoking. Am I willing for my little world to be stepped in on or shattered or mabe just touched….by someone. Someone least expected. Mabe a stray kitten.

  2. lfrazer June 23, 2013 at 14:38

    Bob, thank you for sharing your story of Pookie. It is an all-too-familiar one to me. And thank you for providing safe and loving refuge when he came calling. It is far too easy for far too many to turn the needy away. I have no doubt that Pookie has already rewarded you generously for your kindness.

  3. Bob Goodnough June 23, 2013 at 16:32

    Thank you for your kind remarks. We didn’t want another cat, but after the first couple of weeks we would have been horribly disappointed if a legitimate rightful owner had showed up. I think Angus must have told Pookie that the folks in this house are a pretty soft touch for cats.

    • lfrazer June 23, 2013 at 18:40

      It is remarkable how quickly those little needle feet of theirs can knead their ways into our hearts, isn’t it. I keep thinking there must be some sort of stray, abandoned, and feral cat scent trail leading to my farm that felines know to follow.

      • Bob Goodnough June 24, 2013 at 11:17

        Department of amazing coincidences: I thought you might be interested to know that our vet is Dr Lorrie M Fraser.

      • lfrazer June 24, 2013 at 12:15

        Coincidence indeed, although I spell both my first and last names differently, and my middle initial is H (oh, and I’m not a veterinarian). ! I hope (s)he is a really fantastic vet.

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