January 7, 2009

The Cat and the Karmann Ghia

I've had a bit of blogger's block since the holidays and haven't felt I had much newsworthy to report. Neal said I could post about the new thermostat he found for his 1967 Karmann Ghia, but I protested. Since that didn't work, he gave me something else to post about that actually involves his Karmann Ghia, in a roundabout way.

Two nights ago, as Neal was getting out of the car, one of our neighbors (who we don't know very well) rushed over with a black cat in his arms and wanted to know if we were missing a cat. Neal walked closer to get a look at the cat because we do indeed have a black cat, but the cat in question was not our cat. Black cat in neighbor's arms was obviously scared and not wanting to cooperate, so he hopped out of neighbor's arms and ran away. So you think that's the end of the story, do you? No harm no foul, right? Neal bids the neighbor good luck and returns to me and our cats who are all tucked safely inside our house? Wrong. That wouldn't make for a very good story, now would it?

Apparently the cat had been standing at the neighbor's door meowing at the top of his little lungs for awhile. For reasons not clearly understood, because he has a cat and likes cats, the neighbor wouldn't bring the cat into his house or his garage, even though it was blistery cold and the cat was crying pitifully. Something about his girlfriend's dogs. How convenient! So, after the cat bolts and runs off, Neal tells the neighbor if he spots him again and can catch him to give Neal a call and he will house the cat in OUR garage over night. Can you spell sucker? When Neal comes in the house, I get all the details and I moan and groan and ask why the heck the neighbor can't take the responsibility for sheltering the cat and trying to find its home. After all, the cat showed up crying at HIS front door, not ours! And somewhere throughout the conversation I make it very clear, "WE CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER CAT. NO MORE CATS." Then the phone rings. Damn. It's the neighbor, and sure enough the cat came back, and he has it wrapped in a towel and yada, yada, yada. Neal says he'll open the garage and meet him outside. Damn.

I help Neal get the cat settled in our garage, but I keep my distance. I put down food and water and Neal gets bedding, a litterbox and sets up a heater. I briefly speak to the cat while Neal holds him and I retreat to the house. The cat retreats under the Karmann Ghia which is the only car parked in the garage because we moved my car out to make more room...for the cat. Neal goes back and forth periodically to check on the cat and to try and calm him. I remind him, "WE CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER CAT. NO MORE CATS." He says he will let the cat out of the garage in the morning so it can be found if someone is looking for it, or maybe it will find its own way home.

When morning rolled around, I was leary about just letting the cat go free and suggested we canvass the neighborhood, put up posters, and put a found ad in the paper (WE meaning Neal), but I tell Neal it's his decision since he's the one who took responsibility for the cat. He goes downstairs, greets the cat, pets the cat, opens the garage door and waits. Instead of running free to the great outdoors, the cat runs under the Karmann Ghia and onto the front tire where he proceeds to stay for the entire day. Neal decided to take my advice and go door-to-door, as well as post an ad on Craigslist. I printed out hot pink FOUND CAT posters at work which would have to be hung the following day because it was dark by the time I got home. His door-to-door efforts and his Craigslist posting resulted in nothing.

By last night, with Neal's enticement, the cat decided it was more inviting to sit on the hood of the Karmann Ghia on the blankets that Neal had draped over his car...partly for protection from cat claws and partly for the comfort of the cat. And there he stayed the entire night. And Neal was able to pet the cat more and even get up close and personal enough to determine that the cat is an unneutered male. And Neal began calling the cat "Karmann". And I said, "Do not name that cat"! And Neal briefly left the door from the garage to the house open so the cat could see our curious cats and dogs. And I reminded him, "WE CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER CAT. NO MORE CATS."

This morning, the cat was still on top of the Karmann Ghia, looking quite content and conversing rather intently with whoever would talk to him. I fed him, gave him a little head scratch and spoke to him, but I kept my distance. When I left the house for work, I reminded Neal to check with the Humane Society, put up the hot pink posters and put an ad in the newspaper. I just got off the phone with Neal and he has done none of those things yet. He did, however, report that the cat seems to be getting more comfortable in his environment and that he was even at the garage door talking through the screen to one of our cats. He says he will call the Humane Society and hang the posters. He suggests that maybe he should just try opening the garage door again to see if the cat will leave on his own. I suggest that might not be such a good idea, for various reasons. And then I remind him, "WE CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER CAT. NO MORE CATS."

And that is how Neal got me to write a post about his Karmann Ghia. Sneaky, huh? So, I'm not sure what we are going to do about the cat at this point, but mark my words, WE CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER CAT. NO MORE CATS!!!

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