Last summer, I realized that we were feeding one particular stray cat more than the others. I’d see the cat coming into or leaving our yard quite often. I started calling the cat Orange Kitty even though OK is not the orangiest of kitties ever. More of an orange marmalade color really.
I didn’t think much about OK beyond noting the presence and the absence of food.
Then the late fall settled in and temperatures plummeted. And … one day I saw that most of the skin had been ripped of the right side of OK’s face. The whiskers on OK’s muzzle were spared as was the skin and hair directly under the right eye. But the corner of OK’s mouth was exposed and the whole thing looked like a piece of raw, wet meat. It was an absolutely terrible wound.
So a process was begun in earnest. I’d been getting closer and closer to Orange Kitty just before OK was injured and so I began to build on that.
It required weeks, but we finally got OK into the house one night. Orange Kitty was fine while eating some food while sitting on the rug in the foyer. But when OK was finished eating, OK wanted right back outside. There was crying and scratching at the storm door and we had no choice but to let OK back out into the night and the cold. We built a shelter for OK, but it was not heated and I worried.
Luckily, the overnight low temperatures had not yet hit the lows we have right now. It required a few more cautious short visits inside the house before OK would come in and stay in. On those short visits, Orange Kitty wandered everywhere, examined everything and apparently decided that despite the presence of a dog in the house, that it was pretty nice.
You cannot imagine my joy on the first night that OK stayed in the house all night. I was ecstatic.
It’s been a few nights now since that first night. Good food, fresh water and a warm place to sleep … really sleep … seems to have worked wonders for the wound on OK’s face. There is one small spot that is still red and opens up from time to time, but otherwise it is looking good.
I don’t know if OK’s hair will ever grow back. But it doesn’t matter.
After having to put our last cat, Bonfire, down on August 28, 2020, I’ve been bereft. I have so terribly missed having a cat in my life. I love our little dog, Maddie, and she’s a treasure and a comfort. But she’s not a cat.
I don’t really know if OK will stay with us permanently. Right now, OK still wants to go outside for part of the day. So when the spring and summer come along and the weather is nice and OK is not injured, OK might just decide to find a different situation. But I hope not.
I’ve fallen in love with the floof. I hope in time the floof falls in love with us too.