Thursday, October 23, 2003

Considering Cats...

I am waiting for my fingers to warm up sufficiently to type. I spent about 40 minutes outside in front of a small garden on my block, feeding a few of the stray cats that live there. Another woman usually feeds them, but I am thinking about adopting two of them and figured I should start bringing them food so they get used to me. There are about 6 or more strays that live in this garden, but the two that I like most are a pair of beautiful brothers, one all grey, the other all black. They have a third brother, another black cat, but there's no way I could take in three cats. The only reason I am considering two is because several people have told me that if they can play with each other while I'm out for the day, they'll wreak less havoc on my furniture and other belongings.

The thing is, my last experience with a cat was negative - he was a very sweet shelter cat but could not be cured of peeing on soft things, like the sofa or bed, despite a year of trying everything. In the end, I had to give him back to the shelter because I had already thrown out one sofa and couldn't deal with the urine problems anymore. (Yes, I took him to the vet. Yes, I tried everything else you can suggest.) So, I'm a little nervous about adopting two cats straight from the wild.

My roommate is fine (even somewhat enthusiastic) with the idea, but she will most likely leave the country next year, so they have to be MY cats. I'm also not sure where we will fit a litterbox in our little apartment... all the convenient out-of-the-way nooks and crannies are taken by other stuff. Also, I've read that to litter train a new cat, you should keep the cat in the bathroom with the litterbox for a few days until you're sure it's trained to the box, but our bathroom is soooo small... it doesn't seem like a good idea. The kitchen is a little bigger, but has no door.

I've been thinking about it for over a month, though, and as the weather gets colder, it kills me to think of those poor cats shivering in the garden. They are looking much less healthy than they did this summer, when they first appeared on my block. I am very sensitive to cold weather, so I feel for anyone left outside.

Well, that had nothing to do with teaching, but it's on my mind, so I thought I'd share it.


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