Thursday, April 22, 2010


This is a blog entry about a cat.

And a man who snores.

The cat is Finn. He is all street. And that's street with a capital S. He's a gray and black tabby with a white spot on his nose, and teeny tiny legs and a stubby tail, but a burly stance and barrel chest that he sticks out like Foghorn Leghorn's friend who used to screech, "I'm a chicken hawk!"

His first day in our house, Finn sat on the bed and yowled a terrifying cat sound that cleared the entire house. Not the bed, not the bedroom--the entire house. Eddie, easily eight times his weight, cowered in terror, shaking, tail between his legs, as he scurried out the back door. Tolliver shook, darting nervous looks over his shoulder as he too high-tailed it out of there.

Over the next weeks, Finn was the terror of the household. Eddie got more neurotic (if that were even possible), Tolliver started spending more time outside and seemed to forget where he lived, much to my aching, broken heart. When I held him, his little heart raced and he looked around, panicked, much of the time.

Decker and Rudy paid Finn no mind at all, and Cinnamon LOVED the chase game under the bed.

Unfortunately, though, as the weeks went by, Tolliver and Eddie were getting more and more neurotic, and the situation wasn't getting any better, in spite of our efforts to tone down the food aggression and turn up the love. Finn, you must also realize, is a human-loving purr machine, who rolls over, offers you his belly, lavishes you with lovey purrs, and is an incredibly rewarding cat to know. As long as you're human.

After much angst, we agreed, we had to take him back. We couldn't go one more night with him terrorizing the others. Bill was tapped for the unpleasant task of taking him to the dry cleaner where we'd found him, where they have a colony of feral cats living out back, where Finn stood out as a lovey, pet-quality stray. When he got there, he learned that they weren't too worried about it--one of their staff had hoped to take him home. He simply had to check that his housemate would agree, but he had been looking forward to getting a cat like Finn.

It appeared to all work out for the best. We offered to help find a home for him if it didn't work out with the dry cleaner employee, and when we heard nothing, we assumed the dude took him home. Over the next few days, Tolliver seemed slightly less panicked and began spending time in the house again. Eddie seemed slightly calmer. (With Eddie, it's all baby steps.)

Finally, last night, as Bill snored louder than anyone might believe is humanly possible, I ducked out of bed, into the guest room, closing the door on Bill's chainsaw as I went. I flipped on the guest room light and saw Tolliver, sound asleep, belly exposed, all four paws stretched out, the epitome of feline safety. He purred while I loved his tummy, and all was good.

Awakened by my loving, T-man grabbed some dry food and then headed out into the night, off like a cat busy doing cat things.

Around 3, I heard one of them come in, snuffle down the food in the bowl next to the guest bed (the best defense against night-time disturbances are well-placed food bowls), and up he hopped. I petted him as he purred aggressively, rubbing his body against me. I ran my hand down his body and felt the stubby tail at the end.

Waaaaait a minute... WHO IS THIS? I turned on the light. And there, BREAKING MY HEART, was FINN. He'd come HOME.

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