Wednesday, May 09, 2007

On Sunday evening, Mark returned from picking up a few odds and ends at BJ's, and told me that there was a little grey tabby kitty outside the house.

Well, not only was she outside the house, but when he opened the front door to show me, there she sat on our front step, outside our storm door, looking through the glass and meowing her head off to be let into the house. Talk about knowing what she wanted and knowing how to ask for it! :o)

There's a park a few blocks from here where ignoramuses who masquerade as humans dump unwanted pets, and unfortunately, I think that's how this kitty came to be in our neighborhood. She's extremely friendly, totally adorable, and appears to be about 6 months old.

I took one look at how thin she was and my heart went out to her. If we hadn't already had cats in the house, I'd have let her in on the spot, but it's not wise to bring a new cat into the household before it's had a clean bill of health from a vet.

So instead of letting her in, I brought food and water out to her. The only cat food we have in the house is Oral Care cat food, which is made of large kibbles that the cat has to chew, so it can clean the cat's teeth... I didn't know what kind of shape this kitty's teeth might be in, so I shredded a couple slices of baloney and brought that out instead. She proceeded to inhale it, then demanded petting while purring loudly enough to register on the Richter scale. Did I mention how adorable she is, and how friendly?

I asked Mark to bring out one of our oversized cat carriers (big enough for a small dog) so we could put it on the patio. It was going to get chilly overnight, and I wanted the cat to have some kind of shelter from the weather.

Meanwhile, Ms. Surprise Arrival continued to make it known that she really, REALLY wanted petting. :o) I'm certain that she was someone's pet before ending up on our front doorstep, because not only did she crave attention, she let me pick her up, check her fur for fleas (she's clean), turn her over to make sure of her gender(!), and to my great surprise, she allowed me to check her teeth(!!!). That pretty much confirmed that she's about 6 months old, because at least in the front, she has her adult teeth. I didn't check farther back than that... it would've involved prying her jaws apart, and even cat whisperers shouldn't push their luck that far in the first five minutes after meeting a stray cat.

In the time since then, she's tended to go off to I-know-not-where during the day, then come back in the evening and meow to be let in. On Monday night, instead of being let in, she got some doting and some more cat food. (Actual cat food this time, now that I know her teeth are healthy.)

Then there was last night.

Temperatures in Philadelphia are just right for leaving the windows open, so we are. Captain and Stanley looooove being able to get the breeze coming in the front window as they sit there, watching Kitty TV and beautifying the neighborhood by displaying their stripey selves to the world. :o)

But I was surprised, just after sundown, to hear kitty swear words emanating from the region of the front window. "Maaoowrrr... grrrrrr... FFFFT!" Captain and Stanley were both there, looking out. Neither of them tends to make any such noises, not even while playfighting, so I got up to see what was going on.

When I got there, I saw Ms. Surprise Arrival sitting there on the OUTSIDE window sill in a Sphinx stance. (Just the fact that she can fit on a 4-inch-wide windowsill gives an idea of how slender she is.) I have no doubt that she's been able to smell Captain and Stanley for the past few days, through the open window. However, as far as I can tell, this is the first time she's actually SEEN them close up, and I think she was a bit freaked out by how much bigger they are than she is. Stanley, who's about 10 lbs, is easily twice her size. Captain's somewhere between 13-15 lbs, so he's larger still. She was the one swearing in feline at them both, but they wouldn't go away. They sat there staring in amazement at this new little cat who sat there, glaring and using unprintable kitty vocabulary that we don't generally hear uttered in this house.

It took everything in me not to burst out laughing on the spot. Stanley, delicate soul that he is, was so unnerved by this miniscule bit of feisty felinity that he jumped down to the floor and sat next to my feet. All the fur on his spine was standing straight up like a mohawk hairdo. Captain continued to sit there, staring in astonishment, seemingly unable to grasp what he was seeing. ("There's a CAT out there! And she's, like, all growling and stuff!") I talked quietly to them all about what good kitties they are, and how I'd like them to all get along and be friends. The little girlcat eventually got tired of Captain's ignoring her orders to go away, and she jumped down to the sidewalk. I put Stanley back up to the window, and Captain sniffed his face emphatically, with huge, dilated eyes, as if to say, "Did you see that? What was that? WHO was that? What just happened here?"

The boys resumed watching the neighborhood. Stanley meatloafed, and Captain sat with his tail draped over his brother's back for moral support.I don't think either of our bewildered boycats wants to mess with the miniature tuffgirl kitty with the potty mouth. ;o)

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