The Story of How I Stole My Neighbor's Cat

This stuff only happens to me, folks. Only to me...

Picking up from yesterday's blog, I capture one adorable kitty and claim him as mine. I took him to the vet yesterday (he's a boy!) where the staff fell in  love with him. "You're a little pervert," my vet cooed to him, as my kitty proceeded to purr and playfully bat at the needles that came his way. "He loved every procedure," said an amazed vet tech. That's my boy. Look at that face. Who wouldn't fall instantly and hopelessly in love? captainjack.jpg

I took him home and closed him off in the dining room, which has two sets of French doors looking into other rooms of the home, plus windows and a glass door for kitty to see outside. I took my laptop in there to work and after we played chase the mouse, kitty fell asleep, purring, on my lap.  He's just a big loverboy.

Lucy and Olivia were, in a word, pissed. Neither ate and both stayed upstairs all day. When I went upstairs to comb Lucy, she jumped on the guest bed and buried her face in the pillows, refusing to look at me.  Olivia just plain disappeared.  

I spent the majority of my day going from one cat to another, so by the time Blair got home, I was ready to get out of the house. We left for Chinese and discussed possible names for kitty. I favored "Captain Jack" as the black liner around his eyes reminds me of Johnny Depp's makeup in Pirates of the Caribbean.  

We get home and the answering machine is blinking. I hit the playback button-beep- and hear this:

"Hey Dena & Blair, this is Jeff next door. We've lost our little kitty and wondered if you might have seen him? He's white with tabby markings.  He didn't show up for breakfast this morning and we're kind of worried, so please let us know if you've seen him..."

Noooo! I walked outside and Jeff just happened to be pulling up with his girlfriend and her three adorable tow-headed children. "Have you seen Snowball?" the kids wailed as I walked over. (Could this get any worse?)

"I have your cat," I announced. "I'm so sorry. I just saw him and thought he was a stray and it was so cold last night so I brought him in. If it makes you feel better, I have two very relieved cats over at my house right now."

Everyone laughed and I took the 8-year-old over to my house where she picked up my--I mean her--kitty. We came back and Jeff thanked us.

"Ah, one more thing," I said. "I uh, took the kitty to the vet this morning to make sure he was healthy and while I was there I kind him chipped?"

What can I say? I thought Captain Jack was mine to keep. So now I have to call the vet and tell them I accidentally stole my neighbors cat and to please change the chip contact information to Jeff's.

P1010002-1.JPGOn the one hand, I'm relieved. Lucy and Olivia were having a hard, hard time with having another cat in the house and they're just all grins this morning. And I'm happy Snowball isn't a stray. But it's breaking my heart to think of him as an outdoor cat, especially when I think of him curled up so warm and cozy in our dining room in the kitty bed I'd set out for him.  But I'll still get to see him and maybe snuggle with him now and again.

Meanwhile, I'll try to think harder before we ever get a third cat. My cats were miserable and it occurred to me that pretty much on the spur of the moment, I'd made a 16-year commitment to nurture this cat.

I wouldn't have minded though. And I'm still glad I got my one day and one night with Captain Jack.