Sunday, May 20, 2012

Catblogging - Lost

Last November this pair of adorable kitties showed up on the block. It was a very lookalike pair of brother/sister tuxedos (and we soon found out it was a trio, as they had a longhaired tuxedo sister, but she hardly ever visits). This is the first one who showed up on the right. She sported 4 white boots and her brother had white boots in the back with white toes in front. You never saw sweeter or more affectionate cats, these were cuddle-monsters from the start. We later nicknamed them "Boots" and "Bisou." (Our original name for him was "Spats," but Bisou being French for 'kiss' it seemed like a cuter name.)

The first time these kitten/cats ventured onto the screened porch, they both piled into my lap and went to sleep.
These cats seemed to be mostly outdoors, but they always looked good - good coats, no injuries or obvious health issues. Because of that, I tried to worry less, or at least I was able to push the worries to back of my mind - because these are not our cats, and they have a home around here somewhere. Before long, Bisou started to readily come inside the house for belly rubs, snuggling, and occasionally a short nap. We never feed local cats anymore, and no longer have litter pans, so we make sure the visits are very short. It is important to us that neighbor cats know where they are supposed to be living, where their real home is. It's important that they don't think they live with us.

We just can't go through cat-parenthood again. It's far too painful, expensive and hazardous to our own health through stresses. But I looked forward to every visit from Bisou, and really tried not to fall in love.

We started to see Boots a lot less frequently in the daytime, and found out that she had become a night kitty. Any evening, after dark, we can go out in the driveway, and she will come running. She is usually either under a truck down the street or coming out of the storm sewer. She wants belly rubs and petting, and does not get tired of them. She got to be much more skittish about the house though, and stopped coming inside at all, ever.

About a week ago, these posters went up in the neighborhood. It is Bisou. I am happy that Bisou's humans cared enough to put them up. I have seen many cats go missing around here without seeing flyers or getting an inquisitive knock at the door to let people know that they are missing their little sweetie.

If you are a long-time reader here, you know that I have strong feelings against leaving cats to roam freely and unsupervised outdoors except under certain circumstances - but for me those circumstances do not include a suburban neighborhood. The outdoors in general present dangers from venomous snakes, scorpions, coyotes, and all manner of things. In areas where humans are denser, there's the extra danger from vehicle death, child/teenage/adult pranks, dogs, other cats, communicable cat diseases, whatever lives in the storm sewers, plus the snakes, scorpions and coyotes. It's an active debate in the cat-world and there are pros and cons to both indoor and outdoor choices. What is not in dispute is that outdoor cats have a much shorter lifespan.

We do not know what happened to Bisou. It is possible that some neighbor who fell in love with him decided to make it permanent. That's what we have to hope for. I contacted Bisou's people to send them our photos, and the woman said that they provide shelter for Boots in the garage. I don't know if that means an open or closed garage, but a closed garage in the winter here is a welcome thing, but in the Texas summer it will not be shelter. It will be an oven, even at night. If Bisou is really gone from this world (and we don't know what happened), he will never have experienced a whole summer, as he was a young cat just out of kittenhood when he came into our lives last November. We miss him very much.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

May the great cat goddess Bast protect both Bisou and Boots. My cat is a tuxedo too and she is strictly an indoor cat. I don't think anyone does their pet a favour by letting it roam.

Blueberry said...

Thank you, Debra. We are heartsick over Bisou, but that's a side effect of loving somebody.