It is International Cat Day so what better day to welcome Bob and celebrate his becoming part of The Tiniest Tiger Community! You might remember our post What About Bob? Bob is the cute little black cat with no tail who came to our house a few months ago.
One day while getting the mail, I met Bob. He was sitting on the front porch. I asked him where he came from and if he had a home. Bob, a cat of few meows, was short on answers. He didn’t seem afraid of me and I couldn’t see a collar.
We encouraged Bob to visit us on the back deck. He moved into his new condo, a double insulated outdoor cat house called a kitty tube. Because it is cold here in the winter and even into the spring at night, I added the extra layer of insulation. He spent some nights in the condo but other nights somewhere else.
Bob came and went on his own schedule
Over the next couple months, Bob came and went on his own schedule. He came nearly every morning for breakfast but returned less often for dinner. Some days he would hang out on the deck in the sun and other days he would take off as soon as he finished breakfast.
I made an appointment for Bob for a wellness check and planned to catch him in the morning when he came for breakfast. He had returned every day for two weeks so I thought this was a good plan.
On the day of his appointment, Bob was a no-show. We called the clinic and they were understood. We shared a laugh that the next time we won’t tell him about his appointment.
It is hard to love an outdoor cat and not worry about their safety. So many members of The Tiniest Tiger community who care for feral cat colonies take on the worry and heartache of caring for them. The days that Bob didn’t come for breakfast, our hearts were heavy wondering if something happened to him.
Where Did Bob go EVery Day?
I told Paul perhaps we should have called him Denys Finch Hatton. He brings us joy and we love him well but he is not ours.
We began a routine of looking for Bob around the neighborhood in the afternoons. Paul watched him when he left our deck in the morning and had his path pretty well figured out with the help of a pair of binoculars.
Over the weeks we saw one of the groundhogs chase Bob out of the yard. We worried the ornery raccoons might be tormenting him at night. There are other outdoor cats in the neighborhood who beat up on Bob.
A neighbor, who was also feeding and worrying about Bob, told us she allowed Bob into her basement on the coldest winter days and set out breakfast for him every day. She said one day last year a neighbor’s cat beat Bob up pretty good and even scratched his eye so badly his eye was nearly hanging out. Poor little guy lived a rough life.
One day, we saw Bob curled up sleeping in a yard. I feared he was injured or sick. I walked up to him and called his name. He looked up, cried, and ran to me. I asked him to follow me home, but he seemed too weak to walk. I scooped him up. He let me carry him all the way back to our house. He stayed on the deck, ate some food and curled up in his house.
I felt some scratches behind his ears. Noticed one ear was a bit tattered and most likely full of ear mites. I got the feeling the little guy was exhausted.
I made an appointment at the clinic.
The Morris Vet Clinic Says Welcome Bob!
The second appointment I made for Bob worked out. We didn’t put his breakfast out until later in the morning so he hung out waiting. Bob let me pick him up, place him in the cat carrier without a fuss. He didn’t cry or protest the entire ride to the clinic.
Because of COVID-19 protocol, we waited outside while Bob went inside for his checkup. I typed up a sheet with as much information as we knew about this sweet little cat. We are so grateful the doctors at the clinic took such good care of him. They even arranged to have him neutered the same day. He tested negative for FIV and FeLV, was treated for parasites, and vaccinated.
Bob went back to the clinic for a booster, for intestinal parasite treatment, and an ear wash to rid him of the dead mites from the earlier treatment. His eye that was injured is fully healed but his doctors think he might have cloudy vision in that eye. The doctors also think that Bob was born with his short bob tail and it was not the result of cruelty.
On International Cat Day, Welcome Home Bob!
Bob was welcomed into our home by setting up his own space in my office. He likes keeping me company. Bob sits to the right of my keyboard gently nudging my hand for ear scritches. He loves to be held and hugged.
We knew it was going to take some time to introduce him to Eddie and Annie. It was also important for Bob to adjust. Everyday we make progress.
We thought it was appropriate to welcome Bob into our home officially on International Cat Day. We are happy to report that he has settled in and has not asked to go back outside once.
One thing is for sure. Bob is home.