"Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat."
- Mark Twain
A few weeks ago, a grey cat appeared on my doorstep. Actually, at my bedroom door one night, much to the consternation of Jacko, who excitedly went to investigate, but she disappeared into the garden, with him doing an hour long search, but coming up with nothing. I thought it was just one of the locals coming in for a visit, we often have neighbours' cats popping in to see how we are!
However, that was not the end of it. The next morning she was back in the house, rubbing up against my legs as I was making a cup of coffee, and Jacko quite unawares of this, as he was snoozing on the chair in my studio. What could I do but offer her some milk, which she lapped at furiously, as if she hadn't had anything to eat in days. I sent hubby to the shops for some Catmor, and she cleaned up a whole bowl full, finishing off with another drink of milk. Then she took up position on the shelf under the kitchen table, and that's when the trouble started...
Every time Jacko tried to pass through the kitchen on his way to the garden, she furiously charged out from under the table, sending him hastily scurrying back to the studio. I think she had marked her territory and no dog, not even the resident King, was going to trespass there. I had to put her outside every night, for we got no sleep with all the yelping and growling and hissing coming from the lounge and kitchen every time Jacko tried to go outside. Then we had to put up with the meowing and calling all night long, as if she'd been living there for years and being outside was something new.
This carried on for a few days, as I was quite content to just let her take up residence, she didn't seem interested in my birds at all and was extremely loving, and Jacko was very interested in having a friend to play with. Until on the fourth day when she ferociously attacked Jacko and actually drew blood. It seemed to be a stalemate. Jacko was quite prepared to be friends, but she had other ideas. The outcome was that we took her to our local SPCA and for a large donation they were going to spay her and find a new home for her.
The thing is, we live way out in the country (Tarlton, South Africa), and I know all our local country cats, who pop by from time to time, and she definitely was not from the area. She also showed signs of having had kittens, her teats were filled with milk and already starting to harden, heading for mastitis as they were not being relieved. I think that someone had dumped her alongside the road, probably after she had had her kittens, which they probably also "got rid" of. I personally cannot understand that kind of behaviour - it takes little effort to have her spayed to ensure you don't have any more cats than you want....