Recently Jack and Joe stopped coming in at dawn for breakfast, a routine I trained them into so painstakingly. “Now what?” I thought glumly. What was I thinking when I took them on? It’s a battle just staying one step ahead of them. Without their regular schedule of being in the house in the morning, I can’t plan for taking them to the vet or giving them medicine or anything because I can’t catch them when they’re outside. And knowing they’ll be inside early in the morning helps because if I have to transport them it’s a very light traffic time. Silicon Valley is total gridlock just about any time but then.
I was just about to try switching to Sheba instead of Fancy Feast, but this morning they came in the house to eat. Thank God for Fancy Feast, and that Jack and Joe are foodies, and snobby ones. I gave Joe his monthly flea-heartworm dose, and picked some wicked burrs and foxtails off of Jack.
Their health care is not the only issue that sometimes makes me question the soundness of my mind when I trapped them and took them to be neutered and vaccinated. (And chipped!) They’re frightfully expensive, and it’s not just the Fancy Feast. I pay through the roof for vet services. Ferals don’t make appointments. I bring them in whenever I can get them in, without a regular appointment, and pay emergency rates. To thank me Jack and Joe usually poop in their carriers on the way home so I can spend more hours cleaning up the mess after spending hours at the vet’s office. I wish they’d do that on the way to the office instead of on the way home. The technicians would clean up the mess. The things we do for love.
I get disgruntled about all of it at times. It’s a lot of work. Then, suddenly, I’ll look through the glass sliding door and see them grooming each other in their patio bed, or wrestling and tumbling on the grass, or nuzzling and kissing. Often an old swayback female lurks at the patio’s edge, and Joe comes to the porch and looks in at me and acts hungry. When I put food out the old cat comes and eats while Joe patrols nearby until she finishes. I believe she’s their mother. Joe makes sure she eats, just like, early in our relationship, he brought Jack around and made sure I fed him. Did somebody say animals, and especially cats, don’t have feelings? I am witness to noble love and loyalty among the ferals, and their absolutely delightful sense of play. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.
I knew all along I had a good reason for taking them in.