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I'm becoming a cat lady. It was inevitable.

It's not that uncommon for a cat in this neighborhood to start life cared-for, then to be abandoned. Graydie, who is now my full-time cat, had been spayed and vaccinated, and so looked very healthy when she started hanging around my window, even after more than a year of stray living.

So when I see cats loitering about the place, it's not always obvious whether they're homeless. If they aren't collared-and-tagged, I put food out for them. And, um, maybe give them names (for which I consult [personal profile] ravurian who is the Namer of Things. It's a gift.).

I fed lithe little all-black Ivy for several weeks before discovering that she has a perfectly good home and family right next door. Whoops. I now gently shoo her back into her own yard when she drops by.

But then along came Dara. Like Ivy, he's all black, and at first I thought there was just one all-black cat. But Dara has a few white hairs of age and a kind of venerable, stately mien, and his head and shoulders are the most massive I've ever seen on a cat (hence the name, which means "oak"). His fur is very soft, his voice is very plaintive, and this morning when I was wheeling my bike out past the side of the porch, I saw that he had discovered the Kitty Igloo that's been sitting there unused for several seasons.

My messy porch, seen through the rails, with Dara the massive black cat poking his head out of a cat igloo made of fake fur

I like that he has a cozy place to be.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2013 08:37 am (UTC)
My niece's cat has pulled Ivy's trick on a few people in their neighbourhood, and I suspect still does so as she misses meals at "home" and is never really that hungry.

Dara looks very cute looking out from the igloo! BTW, I think that's when you became a cat lady, when you acquired that igloo. It's a state of mind rather than of being, and Dara is just making it evident. Once it warms up, does he spend his day on that very comfy chair?
Nov. 4th, 2013 10:28 pm (UTC)
Heh, you're probably right about the igloo. I bought it three years or so ago, when Graydie was clearly here to stay, but wouldn't come indoors. It was a very cold winter. I bought one of those outdoor pressure-sensitive heating mats, too. Graydie never did use it, but a more feral cat (probably one of her abandoned offspring) probably owes his life to it. He was rescued and has been rehabilitated into a strictly indoor cat by my lovely neighbors, from whom I regularly get fond reports.
Nov. 4th, 2013 10:49 pm (UTC)
I didn't know that there was such a things as a "pressure-sensitive heating mat". It sounds wonderful!

I think the concept of an indoor cat is not one we have in the UK (except perhaps for an occasional flat/apartment cat). I don't know one would keep a cat from getting out of a house. Good news about the rescued cat, though!
Nov. 5th, 2013 12:57 am (UTC)
The mat is very clever. It's sturdily built of hard plastic with a heavy-duty power cord protected from claws by a metal coil. You can leave it plugged in, and it only heats when there's weight on it. It comes with a fleecy cover, nothing fancy, but cats love it. It was designed for horse and farm country, where there are working barn cats who never come into the house.

On many an icy winter morning I'd look out and find feral kitty curled up on it, still vigilant but at least a little relaxed, and not dead of cold.
Nov. 4th, 2013 10:31 pm (UTC)
PS That chair! LOL. I have one chair too many for my tiny living room and have resorted to keeping the sleek but uncomfortable inherited Danish Modern number out on the porch. And indeed, there's evidence that at least one cat has found it a useful perch. Really, I must give it away before it gets ruined.
Nov. 5th, 2013 12:26 am (UTC)
Hahaha! It's okay to be a cat lady, just not a crazy cat lady. :-) You may find this of interest - my book was just released the other day: http://xcpublishing.net/the-cats-guide-to-human-behavior/
Nov. 5th, 2013 12:40 am (UTC)
OMG I feel so ignorant! I saw your tweet about this and was so pleased for you, but if I ever had a firm connection in my mind between twasadark and Xina Marie Uhl, it got lost.

In short, "Oh! That's you!" Congratulations. The book looks hilarious.
Nov. 5th, 2013 04:01 am (UTC)
LOL, I know what you mean - I'm totally lost when people change their usernames, too.

Thank you!! It's been a fun book to work on.

Love your icon, too!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )



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