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Author Topic: Stray Encounter  (Read 1995 times)

Altair

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Stray Encounter
« on: February 17, 2017, 05:55:42 pm »
So this happened:

All week long I’ve been looking in on the cat of my across-the-hall neighbor while she’s away—feeding it, changing its litter, petting it a bit. I like cats, though I’m really a dog person; but this gray tabby, Cleo, is an affectionate cutie. So the other night, I open my front door to cross the hall for cat duty…

…and the cat is waiting outside my door.

I’m horrified at my negligence, thinking it must have scurried out when I fed it that morning. But that makes no sense, because it was busy stuffing its face when I left. And there’s no way it can get out of that apartment unless I open the locked front door. And slowly I realize: this is *another* gray tabby, who came out of nowhere (to my knowledge, none of the 8 other apartments have cats—3 have dogs, but no other cats) to be in front of my door just as I was going to feed a cat.

It invites itself into my place and explores freely as I try to puzzle out where it came from: it looks cared for, wearing a pink collar with a bell, and is affectionate just like Cleo, returning to my side to nuzzle my legs…but it breathes like Darth Vader (yes, really!), and its left eye stares permanently sideways. This cat is *weird*.

It wanted to stay, but I tricked it out of my apartment and after a few futile attempts to find out if it belonged in another apartment, I left it in the hallway, hoping its owner would eventually collect it. By morning, it was gone as if it never were.

MY MORAL BRAIN is fraught with guilt, telling me I should have taken care of this sweet, physically challenged and stranded creature…but I’m not equipped to care for a cat, and I feared if I fed it it would never leave…but should I have stepped up somehow?

MY SCI-FI BRAIN tells me this cat who mysteriously materialized on my doorstep was actually Cleo from the future, trying to get back home from some impending disaster (hence the breathing and eye) as a warning to the present of what’s to come…

MY PAGAN BRAIN says surely this can’t be coincidence; that such a distinct cat, heavy of breathing and lazy of left eye, showing up at my door seeking succor just as I was about to do cat things, is some sort of sign.

Feel free to weigh in on the above, or offer a fourth interpretation.

I just can’t stop thinking about that strange cat!
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Redfaery

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 06:00:58 pm »
Quote from: Altair;202785
I just can’t stop thinking about that strange cat!

Could it have been a dream?
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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 06:02:47 pm »
Quote from: Altair;202785

Feel free to weigh in on the above, or offer a fourth interpretation.

I just can’t stop thinking about that strange cat!


Mirror universe counterpart!

Altair

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 06:27:15 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;202786
Could it have been a dream?


Definitely NOT a dream. It petted this critter.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Sorcha

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2017, 08:45:37 am »
Quote from: Altair;202785
So this happened:

All week long I’ve been looking in on the cat of my across-the-hall neighbor while she’s away—feeding it, changing its litter, petting it a bit. I like cats, though I’m really a dog person; but this gray tabby, Cleo, is an affectionate cutie. So the other night, I open my front door to cross the hall for cat duty…

…and the cat is waiting outside my door.

I’m horrified at my negligence, thinking it must have scurried out when I fed it that morning. But that makes no sense, because it was busy stuffing its face when I left. And there’s no way it can get out of that apartment unless I open the locked front door. And slowly I realize: this is *another* gray tabby, who came out of nowhere (to my knowledge, none of the 8 other apartments have cats—3 have dogs, but no other cats) to be in front of my door just as I was going to feed a cat.

It invites itself into my place and explores freely as I try to puzzle out where it came from: it looks cared for, wearing a pink collar with a bell, and is affectionate just like Cleo, returning to my side to nuzzle my legs…but it breathes like Darth Vader (yes, really!), and its left eye stares permanently sideways. This cat is *weird*.

It wanted to stay, but I tricked it out of my apartment and after a few futile attempts to find out if it belonged in another apartment, I left it in the hallway, hoping its owner would eventually collect it. By morning, it was gone as if it never were.

MY MORAL BRAIN is fraught with guilt, telling me I should have taken care of this sweet, physically challenged and stranded creature…but I’m not equipped to care for a cat, and I feared if I fed it it would never leave…but should I have stepped up somehow?

MY SCI-FI BRAIN tells me this cat who mysteriously materialized on my doorstep was actually Cleo from the future, trying to get back home from some impending disaster (hence the breathing and eye) as a warning to the present of what’s to come…

MY PAGAN BRAIN says surely this can’t be coincidence; that such a distinct cat, heavy of breathing and lazy of left eye, showing up at my door seeking succor just as I was about to do cat things, is some sort of sign.

Feel free to weigh in on the above, or offer a fourth interpretation.

I just can’t stop thinking about that strange cat!

 
Cats are smart and know when they've found a friendly, safe person. If it's genuinely in trouble (addressing moral brain), it will probably be back. If it does come back, and you feel like you need to care for it in some way, a bathroom is usually the safest place to confine a cat (just move anything hazardous or breakable) while you decide what to do.

Options: run to the store and obtain cat supplies OR call the local shelter to see if they can hang onto the cat while you try to find its owner (they can also check for a microchip) OR get supplies but litter your area with found-cat flyers and hope somebody claims it. OR you can assume it belongs to someone in the area but was just visiting around when you happened to be going out. Cats do that; it's not unusual.

Of course, this all assumes a mundane explanation, but my first concern would be to be sure the cat's okay. If you never see the cat again, you can probably safely assume it's okay and just has an independent streak.


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Altair

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 06:50:03 am »
I just can’t stop thinking about that strange cat!

It came back!

Obviously Vader (that's what I'm calling him, because of its heavy breathing) is well cared for, because he had a new collar on and seemed healthy (besides his preexisting conditions, described previously). Just as I walked out my apartment door with my bag slung for a weekend out of town, he comes walking up the stairwell towards me. I quickly shut my front door so I wouldn't have to spend precious minutes trying to coax him out of my place, but spent a few stroking him anyway. He's very affectionate.

Then I scooted, otherwise I would have missed my bus. I left him in the hallway again, like last time.

I'll make more concerted inquiries around the building, because his home has got to be one of the 9 other apartments. If he shows up a third time, I'll be tempted to keep him (I'm a big believer in the power of threes), but since he seems well cared for, that suggests he already has a "parent."
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Noctua

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 10:29:53 am »
It came back!

Obviously Vader (that's what I'm calling him, because of its heavy breathing) is well cared for, because he had a new collar on and seemed healthy (besides his preexisting conditions, described previously). Just as I walked out my apartment door with my bag slung for a weekend out of town, he comes walking up the stairwell towards me. I quickly shut my front door so I wouldn't have to spend precious minutes trying to coax him out of my place, but spent a few stroking him anyway. He's very affectionate.

Then I scooted, otherwise I would have missed my bus. I left him in the hallway again, like last time.

I'll make more concerted inquiries around the building, because his home has got to be one of the 9 other apartments. If he shows up a third time, I'll be tempted to keep him (I'm a big believer in the power of threes), but since he seems well cared for, that suggests he already has a "parent."

If he's cared for then he's got a home, and it wouldn't be nice to keep him. Although my cats are indoor-only (except for one who likes to go for a "walk" on leash and harness in the yard), I have friends who adopted former barn/feral cats and they hate being confined. The cats like to roam and make new friends, but always go home in the end, and I know my friends would be devastated if someone decided to re-home their cat without their knowledge. If it's something you're worried about, you could always write a note to the owners along the lines of "hey, your cat often comes to visit and likes to come in my house, please call me at xxx-xxxx so I can know what his name is and if it's OK for me to give him treats" and wrap it around the cat's collar for the owners to find. That way you're opening a friendly line of communication with the owners. :)

Skumring

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 02:02:23 pm »
If he's cared for then he's got a home, and it wouldn't be nice to keep him. Although my cats are indoor-only (except for one who likes to go for a "walk" on leash and harness in the yard), I have friends who adopted former barn/feral cats and they hate being confined. The cats like to roam and make new friends, but always go home in the end, and I know my friends would be devastated if someone decided to re-home their cat without their knowledge. If it's something you're worried about, you could always write a note to the owners along the lines of "hey, your cat often comes to visit and likes to come in my house, please call me at xxx-xxxx so I can know what his name is and if it's OK for me to give him treats" and wrap it around the cat's collar for the owners to find. That way you're opening a friendly line of communication with the owners. :)

I agree, it's likely an unreported family member for someone in the building who likes to go roaming around.

Also, Noctua's idea is fantastic!
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Owl

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2017, 07:06:43 pm »
If he's cared for then he's got a home, and it wouldn't be nice to keep him. Although my cats are indoor-only (except for one who likes to go for a "walk" on leash and harness in the yard), I have friends who adopted former barn/feral cats and they hate being confined. The cats like to roam and make new friends, but always go home in the end, and I know my friends would be devastated if someone decided to re-home their cat without their knowledge. If it's something you're worried about, you could always write a note to the owners along the lines of "hey, your cat often comes to visit and likes to come in my house, please call me at xxx-xxxx so I can know what his name is and if it's OK for me to give him treats" and wrap it around the cat's collar for the owners to find. That way you're opening a friendly line of communication with the owners. :)

I have to agree with this.  We had a three legged cat (he had fight and dragged home with it almost gone - the vet took it the rest of the way)  who was a pet whore.  And for some reason - even right in front of our house - people would assume he was homeless.  When he disappeared we were upset, but we never saw him again. 
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2017, 10:01:26 pm »

Off-topic: Owl! Hey! <waves madly> /off-topic

To include something topical, I too think Noctua's suggestion of a note in the cat's collar is great. Given your busy schedule, Altair, it might be an idea to write it in advance and keep it someplace convenient and memorable so it's handy for the next encounter - assuming you arrange you life and physical environment in a way that makes that feasible.

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2017, 02:11:47 pm »
Off-topic: Owl! Hey! <waves madly> /off-topic

To include something topical, I too think Noctua's suggestion of a note in the cat's collar is great. Given your busy schedule, Altair, it might be an idea to write it in advance and keep it someplace convenient and memorable so it's handy for the next encounter - assuming you arrange you life and physical environment in a way that makes that feasible.

Sunflower

Waves back!

The note IS a good idea.  Our past experience makes me glad that our current cats only like us - and glad we live on several acres now, so not many people are aware of our cats. 
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

Altair

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2017, 10:15:55 pm »
I have friends who adopted former barn/feral cats and they hate being confined. The cats like to roam and make new friends, but always go home in the end

Your note idea has clearly gotten the Cauldron seal of approval, and I'll give that a try. But I'd be derelict in my duty if I didn't react to your comments above. Cats being allowed to roam is 100% UNCOOL. Besides the fact that it's unsafe for the cat (coyotes prey on them, for one, and coyotes are even here in the East, ranging occasionally into Manhattan, these days), it wreaks havoc on our native songbirds, who are facing enough survival pressures with global warming and loss of habitat, and don't need an expert predator they did *not* evolve with on top of everything else.

Keep cats indoors!

Cats kill more than one billion birds each year
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/cats-kill-more-one-billion-birds-each-year
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Noctua

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2017, 11:13:07 am »
Your note idea has clearly gotten the Cauldron seal of approval, and I'll give that a try. But I'd be derelict in my duty if I didn't react to your comments above. Cats being allowed to roam is 100% UNCOOL. Besides the fact that it's unsafe for the cat (coyotes prey on them, for one, and coyotes are even here in the East, ranging occasionally into Manhattan, these days), it wreaks havoc on our native songbirds, who are facing enough survival pressures with global warming and loss of habitat, and don't need an expert predator they did *not* evolve with on top of everything else.

Keep cats indoors!

Cats kill more than one billion birds each year
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/cats-kill-more-one-billion-birds-each-year

Believe me, I agree 100%. That's why my cats are indoor-only. However, as someone who fosters and helps to rehabilitate/socialize cats for the SPCA, I can sympathize with why some people may want or need to let a cat that's used to roaming outside. One of my fosters I hosted was a semi-feral, she had probably been a housecat at one time (she was Persian after all, they don't usually make barn cats) but had been abandoned and left to her own devices outside for some unknown number of months. We kept her confined to our foster room the two months she was with us and this cat was NOT happy about it. We actually need to replace the carpet in the room now because of how many times she aggressively sprayed the room, no amount of carpet cleaner can truly get the smell out.

Altair

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2018, 07:58:34 am »
It came back!


And Vader was back again this morning. What's weird is that he wasn't just anywhere in the building's staircase hallway, 5 flights of it; no, I came home from an early morning workout to find Vader curled up in front of my apartment door.

I'm trying not to read into this. But is thrice the charm? I kinda told myself so the last time--that if Vader showed up again, maybe I should keep him. When a "familiar" gets lobbed at you 3 times, only a fool would reject it...right? But common sense (and Noctua's advice) prevailed, so (after petting and scratching him) I thwarted Vader's determined attempt to enter my home and left him out in the hallway.

But I'm going to make a sign and post it in the entry, asking if he belongs to anybody.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 08:02:17 am by Altair »
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

SunflowerP

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Re: Stray Encounter
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2018, 06:39:56 pm »
And Vader was back again this morning. What's weird is that he wasn't just anywhere in the building's staircase hallway, 5 flights of it; no, I came home from an early morning workout to find Vader curled up in front of my apartment door.

That might not signify anything more mystical than that he knows (by smell and memory, I imagine) which apartment that nice guy who gives him skritches lives in. But even if it's not a matter of the universe presenting you with a familiar/witchy-type companion animal, it's still a matter of this cat knows you, can single you out, and likes to visit you. So making a much more concerted effort to find out where Vader lives when he's not angling for an invite into your flat seems advisable.

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