We'd been feeding Cleo and a gray male cat ("Ringtail"), both strays, for about three years.
As the days went by, she tried to make friends with Mattie and Little Debbie, but they turned their backs on her and got busy grooming themselves. She walked over to my husband who stroked her head. Next was Daniel who welcomed her back with behind-the-ears skritching. Finally, she came over to me at the computer, stood on her hind legs and patted my left arm three times *tap* *tap* *tap*. I didn't react. Again, she stood up, *tap* *tap* tap*. Again, I didn't react. Once more, she stood up, *tap* *tap* *tap*. I sighed and smiled at her while I rubbed her forehead. Satisfied, she went back on all fours and, probably inwardly smiling ("At least the hoomans like me!"), leapt up on the recliner for a morning nap.
We allowed her to be an indoor-outdoor cat (the gray cat seems to be her boyfriend). Every time we let her back in, she immediately headed for the water bowl. Hmm. No fresh water source in the neighborhood? She didn't come home one frigid evening in early January, so got locked out when we went to bed. The next morning, my husband found her huddled on the front porch. He invited her inside, and she couldn't get in fast enough. She has never tried to get out since then.
I had named her Oreo (her coat is black and white), but son Daniel renamed her Cleo after the Egyptian queen (because she acts like a queen). She cries occasionally when the boyfriend is eating a meal on the front porch, but doesn't try to get out for a romantic encounter with him. The vet said Cleo isn't spayed (we've never seen her leading around any kittens), plus is FIV+ and has a heart murmur (so spaying her might kill her) and is anemic. Our vet said she's probably 8-10 years old.
She sleeps a lot (typical cat, 16+ hours a day) and during the day, she sometimes sleeps on my bed (hmm, warm red blanket perhaps?) or in the living room recliner or on my husband's messy desk. We don't knew where she sleeps at night because the cats are shut out of our bedrooms so they don't wake us up, crying for food and attention. By the way, she's a Hemingway cat, polydactyl.
April 9, 2020
Around 3 pm, husband and Daniel were busy bringing in groceries and had left the storm door propped open. Cleo, supposedly napping in a distant bedroom, escaped and ran out (to look for her boyfriend?). She hasn't been outside since early January. It's very bright outside. Since she hadn't taken her sunglasses, she finally returned an hour later, walked right past the boyfriend whom Daniel had given a plate of cat food to, and came back inside. The boyfriend ignored her, intent on his meal. I'm betting the two of them are already tired of each other....
Since then she has been trying to smooth down her very wind-blown coat. She's now napping next to Daniel who's lying on the floor and playing a video game. Daniel has welcomed her back with affectionate pats while joysticking.
Oh, already she's wants a quieter place, so has shuffled off down the hall to our bedroom and to a favorite napping spot on my soft, warm blanket.
I hope she doesn't do this again anytime soon!
May 9, 2020
|Not quite touching, but close!|
May 10, 2020
We're back to social distancing today.
May 11, 2020
Ringtail arrived on our front porch, hoping for brunch. Daniel saw him and obliged. Cleo followed Daniel, who was carrying a plate of catfood, to the door, looked through the glass storm door at her former boyfriend, shook her head, and walked back into the living room. Ringtail, hungry after a cold night probably spent in some drafty garage, looked at Cleo for a mere two seconds, then attacked the generous portion of fish and shrimp.
May 13, 2020
Cleo's funny. If Daniel or my husband goes out the front door to take out the garbage or to grocery shop or to go for a walk, she runs to the closed front door, then looks back at me in a bit of a panic. "Why is he leaving? Where is he going? Will he come back?" I do my best to reassure her. She slowly walks to the middle of the living room and flops down on her side, stares intently at the front door. Eventually, the missing human returns, and she springs to her feet at the sound of the door being opened. I tell her, "See! I was right! He's back!" She glares at me, and delightedly shivers as the prodigal human pats her head or strokes her back.
May 23, 2020
Cleo is blending into our family very nicely. She loves being brushed with the Furminator. Daniel gets mouse-sized wads of winter fur off her so she doesn't throw up hairballs very often anymore. She has claimed the velour-covered recliner as her newest napping place. That way she can watch tv with Daniel (who now has to sit on the floor in front of the recliner) or catch a few winks. OR, if he's alreacy sitting in the recliner, she scrunches in next to him and gently pushes against him and forces him onto the floor. She and Mattie "talk" to each other with chirping and meeping, and then go their separate ways. They aren't friends yet....
May 26, 2020
When my husband gets up around 8 each morning, the two cats watch him enter the bathroom to use his water-filled litter box. They wait patiently outside the bathroom door because they know their breakfast is the next thing on his agenda. He hears them chirping and meeping, probably can be translated thusly:
"Wonder what that old guy will give us for breakfast today? Maybe cod and shrimp?"
"Naw, we had that for supper last night, remember? I'm betting it'll be beef and gravy."
"I heartily disagree! He knows we love fish for breakfast. Maybe it'll be savory salmon."
"I sure hope not! Salmon always gives you diarrhea. Then you mess up the kitchen litter box, and I have to use the one in the basement until Daniel cleans out the stinky one!"
"Well, pardon me! And what about those hairballs you hawk up on the living room carpet, making even more work for poor Daniel?!"
June 19, 2020
Well, Cleo has became a runaway -- or something like that. On Thursday morning, my husband went out the front door to retrieve the two morning newspapers. When he returned a few minutes later, Cleo was sitting there looking hopeful, so he allowed her to go out (and watched her fornicating with her no-longer-ex-boyfriend. They left together. She was gone all day, all night, and finally reappeared this morning, ran into the house grabbed a quick breakfast and had a long drink of water, then sat at the closed front door. He let her out again. It's now 6 p.m. with no sight of Cleo.
August 12, 2020
Well, Cleo seems to be gone for good. We'd let her out but she always returned within two days, then would sleep most of the day after eating and drinking her fill. On Sunday afternoon, 07/26/20, she sat in front of the front door. tapped it a couple of times with her right paw, and looked hopefully at us, so I told my husband to let her out. That was the last time we saw her. Her boyfriend still shows up for breakfast and for supper -- and ignores us when we question him about Cleo. Maybe he's in mourning.
If she has died, I hope it was peacefully and quickly. She had a heart murmur and was FIV+, so either one of those might have ended her life. We figured, because of her regular comings and goings, she was going to be our Winter Cat, and we looked forward snuggling with her as the cold weather crept in. 'Twas not to be, apparently. But then, since we know how ephemeral cats can be, maybe, just maybe, she'll suddenly show up shivering in the early December cold like she did last year. We can only hope.... We love you and miss you, Cleo!