Those of you who follow me on Face Book know that just a few days before we were scheduled to leave on vacation, my sweet little Boots kitty fell ill, and passed away. He’d lived a good long life—more than 15 years, having come to us when he was about 5.
When Booty arrived, I already had a cat. Her name was Gray Kitty. She was old at that point, and ignored the interloper. When Gray died at the age of 18 (human years), Boots became top cat—actually, he became the only cat.
Over the years, Boots had mellowed from being a feline who barely tolerated a scratch to a needy kitty who demanded I pick him up and snuggle him like a baby—yes, on his back so I could rub belly and scratch chin—every day.
I knew he was getting old, and I had told myself many times that he wouldn’t be with me much longer. Still, our pets really are members of the family, and despite my efforts, I wasn’t prepared to lose him.
When I came back from the vet, I had my daughter take the 7 foot tall cat stand that had been in our living room these past ten years to her house – only Boots had ever used it here, and my daughter has two other cats at home she thought would like it. Also, I wanted her to have it so I wouldn’t have to look at it every day.
We left for vacation, as scheduled. While we were gone, my daughter for the most part stayed here at the house, to watch over her cat that still lives with us—Crash Ktty is also very old and not well—and our dog.
On the Thursday of the first week we were away, Jenny came to the house between clients (she works in home healthcare). It was raining, and as she climbed the steps to the porch she realized there was a strange cat sitting in one of the padded patio chairs. My daughter shrugged, because it was raining at the time, and she figured the cat was simply escaping the wet.
This unfamiliar cat was all black, like my Boots kitty, except for a tiny flash of white on her chest. I don’t want you to think this cat is an exact physical replica of Boots. First, she’s female and second, she has short hair. Boots had been a Persian cross breed. The eyes, however, are the same color exactly.
An hour later this cat was still there, and when my daughter opened the front door to let the dog out on the porch, the cat came inside as if she owned the place. She immediately walked over to my beloved’s chair, jumped up, and stared at the corner where the cat stand used to be. Then she turned, gave my daughter a dirty look and meowed.
Can anyone else hear the theme from the Twilight Zone playing in the background?
My daughter has given this cat the name “Spooky”. She tried several times to get it to leave, but of course, it didn’t. Jenny even took it a block away, thinking it would find its way home. Instead, it found its way back here. It claimed as its place the fourth step leading to the upstairs.
The minute I came in the house and met it, this cat decided I belonged to it, and moved into my office. Spooky thought she could sleep on my keyboard. I’ve given her temporary lodging on the open shelf in my file cabinet, instead.
My daughter is making inquiries of the area vets and humane society to see if anyone is missing a cat. This animal has had its front claws removed, and looks healthy, well fed and well cared-for.
Spooky has clearly been someone’s pet, and if she belongs to someone, then of course, I want them to have their familiar back.
If she doesn’t have an owner claim her, well, we’ll see.