I have a little black furry houseguest at the moment, called Bob (christened by my friend Liz). Poor Bob was abandoned by his owner in the garden of Liz's apartment block when his ex-owner moved out. I'm so mad that someone would move out and just leave their pet like that! How could you be so cruel?
It was heart-breaking going round to Liz's and seeing poor Bob getting more and more desperate, trying to run into his old apartment and into Liz's apartment looking for food and shelter and affection. Liz was giving him some food, but she has a new(ish) little kitten of her own (who has already made an appearance or two on the blog) so she couldn't take Bob on as well, and obviously she didn't want him coming in and stealing her kitten's food or maybe even fighting him for it. He's not an aggressive cat by nature, but you could see he was getting to the end of his rope, like he'd run in at dinner time and Liz would try to chase him out and the poor thing didn't know what to do, he was torn between being scared of her and being starving, so he'd just run around in confusion. Presumably no-one was feeding him at all when Liz went on holiday for 3 weeks, poor thing.
I had hesitated to take him at first because I was going on holiday and because the old owner's reason for leaving him behind was because he wasn't an 'indoor cat' and she was moving somewhere without a garden. Okay, fine, but you work something out so he goes to a shelter or you advertise for someone to take him. You don't just cast him off. Presumably she had some notice she was moving - I got bloody evicted from my last apartment and even I had notice! But I couldn't bear to see him in distress, so last Monday I packed him up and brought him over to my place.
Sadly, I think the old owner might have been right on him not being an 'indoor cat'. As far as I can tell, he hides under the bed all day long (the first day it was under the cover where the toilet pipes run against the wall in the bathroom, until I pulled him out of there and put some newspaper in the opening). He's got a bit less timid with me, and will come see me sometimes for some pats and cuddles, but he's still pretty wary and never seems to purr. Pretty understandable considering how his whole life has been turned upside down in the past couple of months I suppose.
Reluctantly, I think Bob has gots to go. As well as him not being too happy in the apartment, I'm not too happy that he managed to pee/spray on stuff 4 times and poo on stuff twice in the space of the first week. I wrote it off as nerves/distress the first night, but he definitely knows where the litter box is now, so I'm not optimistic he will stop. So far it's always been on stuff that's relatively easy to clean (he's banned from the living room because there would be big trouble if he sprayed on the new clic-clac) but still, it's a hassle and I feel like there's a faint smell of cat wee when I walk into the apartment, and then I'm running around sniffing everything in sight and not being able to track down the source.
Quite possibly it's coming from the three reusable carrier bags currently soaking in a bucket in the bathroom. Reusable carrier bags seem to be Bob's wee-target of choice. Admittedly, that's better than his favourite thing to wee on being caviar and silk sheets or something. Although, come to think of it, maybe he *does* want nothing more out of life than to wee on caviar and silk sheets, like some louche Roman Emperor of the feline world, and he's resorted to pissing on my carrier bags in a fit of pique over them not being available in this lower-class establishment I call home. While I was initially writing the blog before I noticed him eagerly rubbing up against my handbag - turns out he had not only pissed on the reusable bag hanging out of it, but he was now rolling in it. Great. Full marks for somehow avoiding my handbag and the electronics etc. inside it though! Handbag now goes on to the list of things that have to be put out of range of Bob.
Then there's dealing with the litter tray and the bits of litter that get tracked all over the apartment, without a vacuum cleaner I might add. As I've said before, I've come over all house-proud in the new place, so it's bumming me out having litter stones and dried cat food on the floor etc. There's also the issue that he's not neutered and it could cost a lot of money to do that, especially if it turned out he needed other stuff as well. Right after the whole apartment debacle, I don't really have money to be throwing about.
I do feel guilty about (planning on) abandoning Bob again, but I'm trying to look at it that I've done a charitable thing in giving him a place to stay and food to eat, not a terrible thing in sending him to a shelter. Right now the shelters are full, since apparently it's a French summer tradition to go on holiday and abandon your pets, so I'll look after Bob until I know he has a place to go. Then I think handing him over will be the right thing for me and for him, even if I won't feel great about it.