The Ginger Cat


This morning we were all outside in the back yard before lunch time when a cat suddenly appeared in the back corner beyond the dome. I think it must have come in through a hole in the fence that is on that side of the yard. A little orange and white cat, a large kitten really, not a full grown cat.


I expected it would soon be spooked by the five loud children playing in the yard. It did indeed run away at first, but it continued to circle the yard and kept coming back to us. Finally it squeezed between Bella’s legs and rubbed her ankles in that way cats have. And I knew we were sunk.


Soon we had to shut the back door because the cat made a break for the laundry room. I had to scoop it up and take it outside. Fortunately it wasn’t hard to catch at all, didn’t really try to evade capture. And when I picked it up with my hand behind the front paws it went limp rather than wriggling and trying to get free. It let me put it down outside but three more times in the course of the afternoon and evening I had to remove it from the house again.


The kids were charmed but a little annoyed at having to keep the back door shut.


Bella named it Neema.

At 10:30 tonight it was still sitting on the back step and when it sees me it scratches at the sliding door and mews quite pitifully.


I suppose I’m going to have to put up signs around the neighborhood. This is not a feral cat. It is accustomed to people and to houses, it expects to be fed, it doesn’t mind children or being held. Oh dear, cat, where do you belong?

I cannot keep this cat. I am allergic. My eyes itch and I’ve had to use my inhaler.


And yet several times I’ve almost found myself feeding the darned creature. The kids asked what was wrong, why was it hanging out. I replied that it was probably hungry. And I found myself at the refrigerator without even thinking about it, looking for something to give it. Until I caught myself and renewed my resolve. And then again there were scraps of meat left after the girls helped debone the grilled chicken legs for tonight’s lo mein. I was so tempted to give the scraps of skin and meat the girls discarded to the cat. Instead I threw them into the trash. I cannot I will not, feed this adorable little beast.


And oh dear it’s breaking my heart.


6 Responses to The Ginger Cat

  1. Enbrethiliel September 10, 2013 at 10:18 am #


    Yup. You’re sunk all right. 😉

    I’m not a cat person at all (I suspect that even the ones I do find adorable are going to kill me in my sleep), but I know all to well that tug on the heartstrings that comes when a helpless creature chooses you to be its protector.

    I hope its owners see the signs you put up and that there will be happy ending for all.

  2. Melanie Bettinelli September 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    He was gone this morning. I hope he made it home ok.

  3. Karen September 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Melanie, I am highly allergic to cats and we have managed to have outside kitties. However, we were lucky enough to have an outdoor shed that my husband insulated and fitted with a heater for the very very cold days in winter (only when it got below 30 degrees, the cats seemed to do fine as long as they had shelter and food and water at temps above that). I adore cats, and would have become a crazy cat lady if i had’t married. If I do pet a cat i have to wash my hands before I touch my face or I pay for it dearly, but cats are so worth it to me. And they’ll catch mice!

    Hope the little guy found its way home. If not he may be back. 😉

  4. Sharon September 10, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    If the kitten comes again to your backyard you may need to cover the sandpit.

  5. GeekLady September 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    We’re all kinda cat people here (David and I unabashedly, Mike reluctantly). But my dad is allergic, so we don’t have one. He is terribly cute. I guess it’s for the best, our house doesn’t really accommodate pets very well. No place for bowls or litter boxes or kennels.

  6. scotch meg September 12, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    You should probably cover the sand whether or not this particular cat comes back, assuming there are cats in the vicinity. Sandboxes are wonderful public facilities for cats, and the feces do carry diseases, including one that’s very, very harmful to babies if acquired by mom during pregnancy.

    I love my kitties, but I’m aware of where they go, if you take my meaning.

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