The Invitation 9/26/21

News off Richard Bleil

Last November, I officially moved into my house. A couple of months later, I was planning on adopting a cat. In my anticipation, I bought food and dropped a couple of hundred dollars on cat toys and bed (that she refuses to use) and whatnot. Unfortunately, I adopted an adorable sweet kitty that has a weight problem. I don’t mind, but it’s not healthy and hard for her to lead her best life while dragging around the excess weight. My vet suggested that she go on a diet, including grain free food.

This means that the food that I bought I cannot give to her. It was an expensive and superb brand, but it was most definitely not grain free. I bought the main bag and a backup in case I didn’t get enough when the main one ran out. The plan was to rotate, but nowhere in the plan did I anticipate two bags of food I cannot use.

We have a few cats running around the neighborhood, so I elected to start putting small handfuls of food out on my ramp railing for any cats who wish to avail themselves of it. One cat in particular, a grey and white cat that I believed to be feral that I’ve named “Mooch”, seemed to be the one that decided to take advantage. There are two other cats that I assume are his girlfriends, but he won’t let them have any.

One time, to my delight, an opossum decided that he liked cat food. I think he scared Mooch away as he disappeared for a few days. Eventually, timidly, he returned, at first acting like I was a stranger, but eventually becoming comfortable with me once more. By comfortable, I mean he’ll let me put the food down, actually touching my hand with his nose, and let me give him just one or two rubs behind the ears.

My neighbor, at one point, saw me putting out food. He told me that he’s my cat now and told me the story. Apparently, at the house on the other side of his, the original owner brought him home. She (the owner) had health problems, and basically abandoned Mooch when she couldn’t be home to take care of him. The woman who bought the house after her did not let Mooch back in, and instead brought a new kitten home.

My neighbor started to take care of him but Mooch didn’t get along with his dogs. As such, Mooch couldn’t stay in the house, and was instead an outdoor cat. Now I feel bad. This poor guy had it made, and lost it all. His feline story is the same as mine. How can I not feel for him?

Star loves Mooch. Every time he’s within eye shot of the window, Star is staring at him and checking him out. What can I say? She loves the bad boys. So I talked it over with her, and she didn’t object (see what I did there?), so I’ve decided to invite Mooch to live with us. But, Mooch doesn’t trust me, for good reason. Humans have treated him poorly, so it’s not like I can just snatch him up and bring him in.

Instead, I’m executing a plan. There’s a window (without a screen) right near where I put the food. So, instead of going outside, I’ve started opening the window to put the food on the rail. This makes Mooch very nervous. I could walk out and he would just sit and wait, but when I open the window he always takes off. He sstarting to get a little bit better, so I’ve started leaving the window open. If he decides to come in, he’s welcome to make himself at home, and I’ve already decided that since he knows the neighborhood, I will let him out when he wants.

But here’s the interesting thing. When I leave the window open, he absolutely runs off. Something about having an open window so close to his food is just too much for him to accept. So, I’m going to leave the window open for a while, and maybe he’ll get used to it. If he does, I’ll give him his food, and put something on the chest freezer near that window, a special treat of some kind. Maybe it’ll entice him. We’ll see, but I do hope that he accepts my invitation to join our pride before the bitter winter hits. I’d rather have him inside and safe than out in the freezing cold.

I’m sure I’ll let you all know if he decides he wants a new family.

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