It was night and Bob was coming back from the fire department when a strange kitten joined him. The kitten seemed domesticated. It was small, clean, thin, and incredibly cuddly. And it was cold outside.
I named him Googly-Woogly.
“It's so fun to steal frozen sand from children, with a broken children's shovel at 11PM,” Bob wrote me ironically about twenty minutes after I sent him to a public children's sandpit.
All shops were already closed, you can't get such a thing as sand at the gas station, and I didn't want to risk having a cat's urine on our floor. At first, I wanted to call a friend who has a cat. But somehow it felt that sending Bob to that children's sandpit would be funnier.
In the meantime, I printed several posters with the kitten's photo and my phone number, posted it in a local cat group on Facebook, where he became a star immediately and surpassed all much longer published cats in terms of sharing and likes, and then I just watched him as he slept.
When I brought a teddy bear to him and he grabbed him, hugged him and fell asleep again - like all the cats on YouTube - I didn't even want to go hang up the posters.
But I know I would feel bad if someone stole my YouTube cat (if I had any). I hung those posters at the very same night.
If I compare cats with dogs as sleep companions, the cats win for the first few minutes. A cat can cuddle better than a dog. Dogs just show you their belly. The pinnacle of dog's love is when he licks your nose or puts a paw in your face. Cats snuggle.
But a dog will not try to kill you while you are sleeping.
I woke up in shock. The kitten was biting my hand. If I was just a little more awake, I would have thought that he thinks I am dead and he wants to eat my corpse. But I was pretty tired yet, therefore I attributed his behavior to his despire to play. For next few minutes I was pretending to sleep, but he kept hopping around and kicking me. Only in the moment I sat on the bed, fully awakened and reconciled to the fact I have to give him some love, he went to sleep.
Well, I'm a programmer so I could already start working and finish my work way sooner. I had this beguiling ability to look on the bright side. Relaxed, I fed that furry thing, cleaned the sand, ate breakfast while watching the dawn…
And then I sat at my computer.
I don't know how to control cats. My first cat, Bubble, didn't need to be controled. She was living her life apart from everyone. Sometimes she lied on you or yelled at you when you tried to take an object that she was currently interested in. But this kitten was an extrovert.
Bubble used to sit in front of your screen so you would have to look at her back. And she wouldn't have to look at you. But this kitten was actively involved in everything you did. Or he actively prevented you from doing anything - at this moment, optimism was leaving me.
Every few lines of code I had to rewrite or write again because of him. And it was useless to take him off the table, he came back like a yo-yo.
In the afternoon, some people who saw my posters outside began calling me. The very first call was from two children, about ten years old.
“Hello, my friend and I, we're looking at a poster that says you've lost a kitten. So we just wanted to ask if you already found him or we should go look for him,” a cute voice said to me.
“Hello, I didn't lose him. I found him, he doesn't belong to me.”
“Oh, I see. So you're actually looking for an owner?”
“Then we'll try to knock people's door. Because people can't get outside too much right now, or they may even be old or sick, so they didn't have to see the posters.”
Then only weird people called. And also people who just wanted to let me know that some of my posters were peeled off and that they hung it better. There was an unexpected number of these calls, and I'm still wondering if they just wanted to be at least a small help, or if I suck at hanging posters so bad.
SPOILER: When I was tooking the posters off, I have found out that it was more like the option B.
Another night. Quentin, my dog, was getting more and more stressed. We kept them separate in different rooms, and Quentin had never felt such a strong need to be somewhere as in the room where the kitten was. So we tried to introduce them.
Quentin waved his tail enthusiastically. Did you bring me such a mouse?! He ran to me and started jumping as if I were bringing him a toy.
The kitten did not share his enthusiasm. It started chopping into the air with his paw, hissing menacingly, and I knew I only have a few seconds before we all die.
The dog switched too. He began barking aggressively and biting the air.
After a successful escape and re-separation of animal species at home, I definitely decided that I have to find a substitute for myself. Ideally someone who could give the kitten home if the owner was not found.
Everyone wanted him.
My substitute was already on her way when my phone rang again. A young girl told me she saw one of my posters and that I probably have her cat. I told her my address and she was there in a minute. I was glad I had to go out a while before this happened, because I wouldn't have time to change. And I didn't want to meet the first “peer” here wearing a Scooby-Doo onesie.
The owner confirmed that it was her kitten Morris. She offered me a reward which I refused - partly because at the moment I still felt rich, but mostly because I was really grateful that I will finally be able to vacuum without someone spreading sand everywhere the next minute.
Later I've learned from maps that Morris lives just a short distance away, in a big house among the other big houses. Around the corner, where I go sometimes to watch houses as the motivation to not to cut back on work. So I don't feel rich again.
And from the photos, I can confirm that cats can be beautiful, elegant and cuddly. But only when you try to take pictures of them during a game, then will you capture their true nature!
So, although I had a very positive experience with Bubble and I believe in existence of other cat princesses, I am probably destined to stay loyal to dogs.