Today, Calliope ripped a hole in a second story screen and got out. That was the least of the problem.
Once I confirmed she was gone, I quickly went to Jacky’s, the nice lady who had been feeding her. Yup, there the little girl was, after eating a tin of tuna fish AND more cat food. And yes, she had been fed already and I was looking for her in the first place to feed her another meal.
It was on the short way back the trouble started. A little boy insisted she was his cat. I told him she wasn’t and if I would have to talk to his parents before I would release her. This cat came bone thin and with all of her hair pulled out. Jacky said when she first saw her she was even smaller and her fur had something in it that made it stiff. Calliope probably groomed it out, she is meticulously neat. Also he said this would be her second litter of kittens, she’s not even grown yet!
I talked to the parents who first said she wasn’t theirs, then said she was but they didn’t want her. I took Calliope home.
Then a disturbed boy who loves to cause trouble (the reason I took Calliope in so quickly) started claiming he knew who’s cat it was. Then the second kid, evidently an older brother, knocked on my door, claiming the cat. He claimed is cat was gray. I told him it wasn’t his cat, and anyway, his parents had told me they didn’t want her (their cats have been busy having kittens, obviously). I checked with Sandy who said that yes, when Calliope turned up she was still very small and has grown. NOT a two year old. The vet put her between 7 to 10 months. And quite frankly, I wouldn’t return her to that home anyway.
No one looked for Calliope when she first came. I asked everyone I saw, hoping she was someone’s kitten who had just gotten lost. For almost two weeks, what ever cat lived at that kid’s place, she never went home. Calliope spent a couple of weeks on Jacky’s patio, and that’s right where she goes if she gets out. Why not? Jacky gives tuna!
Still, it’s left me shaking. The older boy swore at me when I said I wasn’t giving her back. I told him to call the police if they wanted their cat back. There are laws here about animal abuse. Then the problem kid came knocking on my door claiming another child said it was HIS cat. I told problem kid to get away from my door and never talk to me again. There’s a kid who could use a good foster home himself. I retired long ago from doing human rescue.
I hope the weather stays cool as obviously I’m not going to be opening any windows. Now worried about the kittens. She is obviously ok, but I’m a worrier. And somewhere out there, is a lost, probably pregnant cat who’s home is not worth going back to. For having all these kids who say they want a kitty, they aren’t the ones who feed and take care of them. Jacky says there is another cat, the same age, also pregnant that is probably a littermate to Calliope.
I’m pretty peace-loving. I never start fights, although I don’t back down from them like I used to. But I never, even in my mousey childhood days ever backed down from rescuing an animal that needed it. The next person who knocks on my door next had better be a cop, because then I will file some charges of my own. Plus a vet certificate saying Calliope is still a kitten.
Some of the super stressful situations I’ve been living through have resolved themselves in the last few days. I was planning on getting some packing done and chilling. While this re-enforces my desire to get the heck out of here, it hasn’t dampened my joy in fostering. If anything, it just makes me aware all over again how much rescuers are needed.
Calliope is purring softly, full of tuna fish. In a couple of hours I will feed her again. I will also make sure that jump didn’t hurt any kittens and they are still active. I will of course, worry like any grandma until I see those babies come out all healthy. And all this could have been avoided if just one person along the way had spayed their cat.