Shorty Pants The Cat
by, 11-21-11 at 08:52 AM (564 Views)
We used to feed stray cats all the time. We'd put the food out at night so the neighbors wouldn't catch on. Even put out "heated pet mattresses" for them for the coldest nights. We don't do it anymore (now we feed raccoons) because the cats were mostly wiped out by a virus. Poor things.
But in the process of feeding them, we (and our German Shepherd Josh) got really friendly with one...Blacky. Who was, wait for it, BLACK. (Good thing Tom didn't name his children is all I've got to say.) Anyhow, after many months, Blacky would come into the house through one of our windows. He'd stay 'til he was good and warm, and then want to leave. We always let him go. (Sorry we did that now.) He wasn't ferral, as he'd snuggle in our laps for a good pet. Obviously, at some early point in his life he'd been somebody's kitty.
One cold winter's night, Blacky came to the window to come in. As he came through, he immediately turned and looked back. Then turned back and came on in. Behind him, scared to death, came a tiny little a grey and white kitty. Couldn't have been more than a few months old. He came flying in like he was on fire, following his buddy. We just left him alone...let him get the lay of the land a little bitl. He hissed at any/everything. No meows in his vocabulary for a long time. After eating and a warm-up, he went out with Blacky. And thus he became our Little Shorty Pants.
Blacky had apparently explained to Shorty that Josh was a good egg. "Just don't run when he's around," I think he told him. So whenever Josh was nearby, Shorty would go into a slow-motion walk that was hilarious. And, because that looks really sneaky to a dog, Josh would shag his ass under the bed. "Guess I was moving too fast," I think he thought. So he'd move slower. He looked ridiculous.
Eventually, he'd come to me for a pet. But only if I was sitting in a certain spot on the couch. And only if I didn't try to pick him up. He'd snuggle up to my side, let me slip a hand under his back leg, and lay their perfectly content for a long time. Shorty doesn't purr, but one could tell he was happy.
We let Blacky out one night around Halloween last year. He never came back. I like to think that he was such a friendly soul someone took him in and never let him out. Every once in a while, especially on wintry nights, I find myself looking at that window and hoping I'll see him. It broke my heart. Tears even now. Our good intentions of letting him come and go as he pleased put him in harm's way. Wish we'da been smarter...
Shorty's still with us. But now he's a scaredy-house-cat. We never let him out. More about his last day of "freedom" some other time.
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