If you've been reading this blog for a while or if you know me in real life, then you know that cats are kind of my thing. More specifically, rescuing them is my thing.
Our three cat children were plucked from the brink--Jacob and Jasper from the Virginia Beach SPCA in 2005, and Lola from the mean streets of Massachusetts in 2007. If we weren't renters, we would probably have more by now. As it is, we're only supposed to have two animals--Lola is our "secret" cat. Nobody tell base housing, OK?
Since I can't be the Angelina Jolie of cats at this point in my life, I do the best that I can to scoop up the wanderers I find and get them someplace safe, whether it be back home where they belong or the local animal shelter where they have a chance of finding a family.
One of the first things that I did when I got to California was rescue a lost kitten, and since then there has been a steady stream of whiskered faces for me to fret over.
It has been a while since I've had a success story, and actually, our friend Boots went missing soon after I was told to stop bringing her back to her own house when I found her out wandering. Stupid people.
I've been on the lookout for Boots ever since, but I don't hold out much hope. If she were able to come home, she would have already. I fear the worst.
I've spotted other cats in my base travels, though, including one lovely, cuddly boy who just barely slipped through my fingers a couple of months ago. When I first met him, I had to stop my car in the middle of the street to avoid hitting him, as he was just standing there looking around. He walked over to the sidewalk, but I could see that he was hobbling. I pulled my car over to the side and crossed the street to him, cooing and calling to him all the while. To my surprise, he came over to me and began rolling around on my feet. I could see that he had some scrapes on his body and was favoring one leg, so I picked him up and he just sat there in my arms. A man walking by confirmed that he was nobody's, a "neighborhood cat," as he put it. That gave me license to take responsibility. I decided to take him home for the night and take him to the base vet or animal control the next morning. Unfortunately, he had other ideas. I carried him over to the car without any protestation, but when I opened the door and went to put him in, he launched himself out of my grip and ran for his life. Although I drove through the nearby streets for a good while, I couldn't find him. I ended up going home and crying because I thought I'd left a poor, maimed cat to waste away out in the cold.
I learned my lesson that day: always keep a carrier in the car! And I have ever since.
I thought I might need to use it today, because I saw him again, ambling along next to the barbed wire fence that goes around the base perimeter. By the time I got the car turned around, he was gone, but I have hope--his injuries didn't do him in. I made several sweeps of the area, but didn't spot him again.
Later on during my afternoon errand running, I spotted another cat beside a building who looked strikingly like Darcie, except skinny and covered in mats. Of course, I had to pull over and make chase. And chase I did, because he was not having any of this "here, pretty kitty" business. I ended up losing him in an impassable patch of bushes.
So, while I didn't catch anyone today, I'm not feeling too badly. I know where to look next time I'm on the prowl, and I'm not giving up on these cats. They don't deserve a life on the street, and it's my mission to make sure that they don't have to suffer because of some irresponsible human.