Posted on January 9, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 54 Comments
Athena and Krissy were downstairs this evening when they heard a strange meow in the garage; Krissy opened the door to find a black and white kitten huddling at the garage steps. So naturally they to let it in the house to feed it and love it and hug it and call it George. Well, everything except that last one. It downed an entire bowl of food in about a minute and a half, so it was pretty clear it was near starved.
For all that it seemed comfortable with humans and didn’t even freak out too much when Kodi came along to give it a sniff. Which suggests it’s been socialized a bit, which suggests to me one of two things: Either it’s someone’s kitten who has gotten lost, or someone did that thing people do and abandoned the kitten out here in the sticks. We’ll ask around about the first of these, and if no owner is in the offing we’ll assume it’s abandoned and take it in, with the additional notation to hope that karma well and truly squares away the sort of person who abandons a kitten in the middle of winter.
If we do end up keeping the cat, it will be the second of our two cats here who just showed up, Lopsided Cat being the other (Ghlaghghgee we got when our next door neighbor showed up at the doorstep and said “here’s that cat I talked to your wife about,” which is a story in itself). This is life in rural America: No need to go looking for pets, they’ll come to you.
Note that we don’t really need another cat; two’s more than enough as it is, especially when there’s also a dog in the mix. But Krissy and Athena certainly seem to want this cat, if we can’t find the owner, and I can’t think of a reason to say no. What can I say. We’re suckers for a cute stray.
I’ve always remembered it as “I will hug him and squeeze him and pet him and pet him and call him George.”
But I could be wrong.
Probably not wrong.
Looks like you have been adopted by another kitty. Hopefully your other cats will not be too annoyed by the new arrival.
We had a stray cat show up a few months ago. He’s cute. I called him Little Boy Cat when he first showed up… after going through some effort to ensure nobody owned him, and getting him neutered and vaccinated and dewormed and defleaed…. he’s now had a steady supply of food for three months and is no longer, shall we say, Little. (He now outmasses the other two cats combined.)
Unfortunately, none of the cats gets along with any of the others. You’re much luckier than we are.
Well, I don’t believe in heaven. But if I did, I would think there is a special place reserved for people who take in stray kitties. So, you know, you’re all set for your fictional afterlife. That’s gotta be worth something.
Keep him away from your current feline residents until he’s had his blood tests for FIV and feline leukemia and been vaccinated. Different litter box, too, until he’s been dewormed and treated for fleas (i.e. keep him in the laundry room or the guest room until the vet gives him a clean bill of health.) This will give your other cats a chance to meet the newcomer (from under the door), which is a good way to introduce new cats.
It’s unlikely that he’d have one, but the vet can also scan for a microchip.
I love strays. They always turn out to be such great — and grateful — cats. I’ve done fostering of cats and kittens for about 8 years now, and still get some strays that show up at my back door (ironically, all of them gray.) I guess I have a welcome mat that only cats can see. I have found good homes for all of them because I am full up with four. But I do keep up with all of the backdoor johnnies and have always offered to take them back if things don’t work out. But they always have.
Who would have thought this little guy’s unluckiest day would also turn out to be his luckiest? Abandoned in the country during the winter, only to find a house full of cat lovers. Bless you for welcoming this little stranger.
I vote for “Pris.” What with the huddling out in the cold and the wet and the darkness looking sad.
Don’t fall for it! Next thing you know, she’ll be inviting her “friend” over, and it’ll all be downhill from there.
All of our cats have been rescues by the local shelter. One was near to strangling on the kitty flea collar it had long since outgrown. I agree with your hope for karmic retribution if the kitty was abandoned. Hmm, Karma would make a good name…
That is one intense cat. It’s the eyebrows, I think.
In honor of the eyebrows, I’d go with Asimov.
I think George is a fine name.
Is it a boy or a girl? Curious minds need to know!
That’s a tease! Tell us the Ghlaghghgee story.
Thanks on behalf of the non-speaking kitty for taking it in.
My parents have ended up with dogs in that same manner. Their dog Harry Houdini (he was able to escape from almost any collar if he felt like it), appeared at about a year old underweight and obviously dumped. My brother contributed to his sticking around by feeding him leftover burgers he brought home from his college fast food job.
I think the idea of specifically taking an animal out to the middle of nowhere and abandoning it–as if a domesticated animal could care for itself–is pure evil.
O Great Scalzi, Krissy, and Athena – The Executive Committee endorses the sentiment expressed by Misanthrope #5 and advice by Annapolitan #6.
Excellent work. We know that the Beauteous Ghlaghghee will help George fulfill his potential, as She has done for all of you.
The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club
PS – The Executive Committee also adds that while hoping for karma to square away the scumbag that abandoned a (probably Christmas gift) kitten during the winter is an acceptable thought, summary but exquisitely painful execution would be more correct.
Living out in the country we get more than our fair share of strays coming to us. The weird part is that our little cat farm has turned into a Manx farm.. so we have a country house full of genetic mutants.
What Annapolitan said. We get several cats coming through our yard all the time, along with our own old-timer cat. Last year one of the other cats was hanging around a lot and we figured he was looking for a home. Fortunately we kept him isolated from our cat (when we brought him in) as the vet said he had never seen such a bad case of feline leukemia.
I wish you better luck with George. Although, maybe he should be Jorge.
He’s adorable! Looks like Charlie Chaplin to me. Must be the smudge on the nose.
What a cutie! About how old do you think (s)he is?
Surely you knew we couldn’t resist, Scalzi ?
Good for you. And, heh. I grew up and currently live in a rural area myself. Pets have never been something I’ve sought out, they’ve always been something that happened to me. There’s never any shortage of strays out here in the sticks.
My current dog is a toy poodle that some jerkoff obviously kicked around before dumping him near a friend’s house. A five pound poodle. Who does that?
Tully@20: I’ll see your macro and raise you a
> So naturally they to let it in the house to feed
> it and love it and hug it and call it George. Well,
> everything except that last one.
I think we need to have a “Name The New Cat Contest” over on Whateveresque!
He’s a cute lil’ fella
Krissy has already declared she gets to name this one, should we keep it.
I personally like the name George.
“Tell us the Ghlaghghgee story.”
While we’re waiting for that, I’ve got a good “How I got my cat” story for you. In Baltimore we had this crazy landlord who used to let himself into our apartment unannounced. (He walked in on our wedding party and looked so surprised. “Why are you all dressed up?” “Why are you in our house?”)
One day he asked me if we wanted a cat. Sure, why not? He said he had a tennant across the street who wanted to give away a Siamese. He took me across the street, let me into a stranger’s apartment and told me to grab the cat. We also took a food and water bowl and a used litter box. We didn’t meet the former caretaker of this cat. We didn’t find out the cat’s name. We didn’t even leave a note.
On the way back across the street I began to wonder if we had just stolen a cat. I wouldn’t put it past this landlord. He was quite the gonif.
We named her Southpaw and she only lived for a couple of years. When she died of kidney failure the vet told us she was quite old. Who knew?
The cat goddess told the little fella” See that house there? Guy named Scalzi lives there. Not only is he a soft hearted guy, he dotes on his family so if you suck up to them you’re in. If you can put up with occassionally being a joke on the internets, you’ve got food and shelter for life.”
it makes me happy to see a story like this. my wife and i have, to date, taken in 8 cats that we found out in the world in various states of poor health. we have 6 now after our oldest one passed on, and one was too sick when we found her, but most people treat us like we’re insane. i’m just glad there are other people out there who help these poor babies.
definitely follow Annapolitan’s advise above, our last cat was very ill and had to be quarantined from the others for over a month. it did help them all get accustomed to one another before we let him out in the general population, but if they’re going to fight, they will. they learn to live with each other though.
i like to believe that someone, somewhere has a nasty surprise in the afterlife for people that do mean things to animals
PWStrain (#1): I think you’re thinking of the Looney Tunes version.
John (#24): A natural reaction for a woman living with “Lopsided Cat” and “Ghlaghghee”. Too many a-guy-named-me names, I suspect.
Ok. What is wrong with you people? I cannot find the name that came to my mind first.
Hmm. Either you all are crazy or I am.
And the name is:
Zoe’s Tale get it? buahahaha I kill myself.
I am convinced there are something like Hobo Markers at the edge of our yards that only animals can read…saying – “This home has pretty good humans that will feel and love you and only annoy you every now and then.” We also live in a rural area and have had dogs, cats, chickens, and a host of wild animals show up and the door. You are right – we never have to look for pets – they just show up. You are good humans.
Another vote for what Annapolitan said. We live in a rural area and have taken in six cats over the past few years. After we rescued the first one, our vet warned us about the prevalence of fiv and feline leukemia in strays; we’re lucky that all of our kitties were disease-free.
You know, that story reeks of how my six cats and the dog found their way to our home. Donut was a shelter rescue, while Boo the dog (he’s a 110 pounds and looks like he could eat some more of you just happened to drop that peice of chocolate cake), Pepper, Jack, Chester, Trouble, Luna, and Capt’n Oliver Stinky (Long story, starts and ends with him loving the litter box a little TOO much) being all abandonment cases from the aparement complex where I live with my parents. My Mother keeps saying no more animals, but some how they multiply without reproducing.
P.S. Jezabel the ball python and Bonnie and Clyde our two dragon gobis would be very offended if I left them out. It’s a zoo at my house, anyone wanna join?
i think you ahve to call the kitty george regardless of the gender.
make sure it doesn’t have any fleas, and take it to the vet for checkup ASAP!
and good on you for taking the kitty in!
We’re suckers for a cute stray.I wonder how long until you find your first fan camped out in your garage. ;)
It had to be done, now I’ve got it out of my system…
There were a couple of strays that lived around our apartment complex. A couple of years ago they had a litter so my neighbor took up a collection to have them all given shots and neutered. Most are still around and are the fattest, laziest, outside cats I’ve ever seen as many people leave out food for them.
Abandoned animals are not just a rural problem. Every year bunches of cats get left by university students as they leave school and go away. I’ve got one, although actually he’s more of a time-share cat, since I know he has at least one other home and I suspect more than one — he wouldn’t be so fat on just what I feed him. He very nearly doesn’t fit through the cat door!
Given that you’re a writer, perhaps its name being George if it’s female (was this established, or are we just speculating?) is appropriate.
I used to work at a group home for dependent and delinquent teenagers, and one day found a kitten in the back of the building. One of the other staff said people drop them off, thinking the kids will adopt them.
Now most of these kids were good kids with family trouble, but some had some pretty serious problems of their own. I wondered at the time, and even more now, many years later, who the hell thought this would be a good and safe environment for a kitten.
Anyways, I took her home. She was never quite emotionally comfortable with people, but followed our older cat around like he was the messiah.
I hope that karma well and truly squares away the sort of person who takes in an abandoned kitten in the middle of winter.
That’s pretty much how we got six cats. Kali, our calico and oldest cat, came from a house up the street. Tacky was another cat who didn’t really get along with Kali. Gypsy (a kitten that we thought belonged to somebody in the neighborhood) had her litter in our garage. We moved Tacky and Gypsy to my wife’s ex (he wanted Tacky) because Gypsy just didn’t get along with anybody else but her kittens.
We kept Grizelle and Greybeard from that litter.
The we had a part Maine Coon cat, Harry, around the house. We took him to the vet for vaccinations. He had been neutered and declawed. His previous owner must have died in the shower. He would come into the bathroom every time I showered and as soon as the water was off, he would holler until I got out of the shower, then he’d be happy, shut up and walk out of the room. He passed away spring of last year.
Then my daughter found Kitto, a black and white running around. We fed him and got him to the vet for vaccinations and neutering. He has FIV, but we’ll keep him going as long as we can. He’s perfectly healthy, if a bit overweight.
Then we had a cat that looked a kitten, colored like Harry hanging around the neighborhood. We put in a cat door because the cats were driving us nuts going in and out of the house. They still prefer to have the door opened for them! Although we hadn’t even gotten her in the house, she was the first cat to use the door. She made use of the cat food and water bowl and sat her butt on a pillow on the couch and stayed there for a month. She just urinated right on the pillow, and we’d clean up the solid waste that she would leave around. She had allergies, her nose was always running. Sneezing would let snot fly all over. We got rid of the pillow (and the couch – because it was busted by the kids) and she lived with us, usually laying out in the sun after she had “recovered”. She passed away in August.
Kitty, a black kitten who was hanging around our cats last spring, got trapped in our house (we planned it that way) and got her halfway tamed. She’s still half wild. Got her vaccinated and spade. As long as you treat her like a cat, she’s fine with you.
Then our daughter dragged her boyfriend’s kitten home, Lily, and we got her vaccinated and spade as well.
So nine cats in total (not including the two kittens in the litter that we got adopted out).
Aww! *feeds and loves on kitty*
John, you are Such a Good Person.
You big softie! (Cute kitty cat.)
That’s cool. We’re suckers for stray sci-fi writers as well.
I’m a cute stray. If I show up in your garage, can I come in, eat my fill and be locked in the laundry room untill I’m de-wormed?
I vote for Phydeaux
*kisses to da new kitteh, no matter whether she’s a temporary visitor or a permanent addition to the household*
One of my sisters was in downtown San Jose when this starveling stray all but clawed through a fence to get to her. Well, she didn’t need another cat at that point so she took him up to my other sister in Novato. That kitten has since grown up into a truly stunning cat with a long nose and silky gray fur. Name is Kismet. Good name for a cat.
(Now, my older sister had a George once, a chinchilla lop rabbit that was utterly huge. Poor thing was killed by pit bulls, who broke open her cage.)
You will be blessed when cats rule the world. You have earned your whiskers in heaven–because, yes, God is a cat.
Oh. Wait. This opens that whole Creashun Museum thing again.
I think George is a fine name. My George was a big 6 toed feline unit and I still miss him.
I can also relate to being a ‘sucker’ as I’m kind of a co-adoptive parent of a sometimes-less-than-friendly stray named Sly. I’m never sure whether I’m going to pull back a bloody stump when I try to pet him (he loves to be petted–just not all of the time). Despite his surliness, he has managed to worm his way into my heart as I always feed him when he comes over and worry about him when he disappears. What can I say, he’s got good staff!!
A jellicle cat?
I have read on a pro – spaying site that enough kittens are born each year to give every household one (each year!). I see some of this blogs readers are trying to keep up.
Um, isn’t that how EVERYONE acquires cats? I didn’t know there was any other way to get them. Mine: Montana Wildhack; Castor and Pollux (everyday names were Ditto an Xerox); Zeb; Eddi; The Captain; Telzey (anyone see a theme, here? It applies to the dogs, too: Random, Spotty, Buttercup).
He (he?) is beautiful (particularly in the newer pictures).
And re comment #10, my cat’s name actually is Asimov, lol (which confuses all non-SF fans to no end, let me tell you!).