Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Enter the Squirrel

We played host to a little furry houseguest last week. Not vermin, mind you. We haven't been blessed with that type of visitor yet (knock on simultaed wood). But because I am a sucker on the highest order, I took in a stray cat.

Not permanently. I'm not that daffy. We were just walking along and I saw the kitty sitting outside on the curb by our building one night, eating bread that had fallen out of a trash can. I don't see strays very often in DC, and when I do I may give them a passing hello, and let them be as they normally look like they know what they're doing. But this one was different. He was well-groomed, not terribly skittish, and looked like he was new to the scene. I initially went back to the apartment, but sentimentality got the better of me and Jeffrey and I headed back out with the cat carrier to wrassle us a cat.

He was a bit cautious at first, but eventually he came right to me. We intended to keep him in the bathroom for the night, and then I'd take him into the no-kill shelter where I volunteer the next day. Easy enough, right? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

As it turns out, there is only one person at the shelter responsible for processing the cats that come in, and he either had "car trouble" or "heart trouble." Either way, it wasn't good for him, it wasn't good for me, and it wasn't good for Squirrel, as we had (perhaps fooloshly) dubbed the new arrival. The dude wouldn't be in all week. I had to find other alternatives.

After being turned away from the shelter, we realized we had a problem on our hands. For one thing, Tippy hated his ass. He was keen enough to say hello. He's only about a year old, and is very friendly. She however, is a crazy old bitch, and wanted nothing to do with this young upstart who was invading her turf. So we had to keep the cats separated, which was a pain on the highest order, and made it very clear that we could not continue this way.

But unloading a cat is no easy task -- even with a pretty, friendly, ostensibly clean young animal such as Squirrel -- so named for his skinny gray frame and long bushy tail. It was clear to me that he had been owned before. He was well-groomed and so willing to cuddle. We posted signs around the neighborhood, reported him to the animal shelters, but no owner came forward. I called the euthaniasia shelters to see what his odds would be -- and they weren't good.
Thanksgiving was coming up, and we needed to find him a home right away.

So we went on for a week and a half. Though he was a very nice kitty to have around, as long as Ms. Tippy was the alpha cat, there could be no peace. We knew if someone could just meet him, they would love to have him. Finally, we got one of Jeffrey's co-workers to agree to take him over Thanksgiving and another to express interest. It came down to the wire. but the day before Thanksgiving we found the little bugger a home.

It is a lot quieter without Squirrel around, and I have to admit that he had a much nicer demeanor than Tippy. But deference must be given to the cat that came before, and I'm glad that he has somewhere to go. He was as nice a kitty as could be found on the streets, and I'm glad everything worked out. I swore I would never do such a thing again, but as Cassandra said at work, if presented with the same circumstances, she would bet that I would quickly be proven to be a liar on that front.