The Cat Who Came for Thanksgiving O
ur house and garage always seemed to attract strange cats. They would find the cat door in our basement, enter and hide there, terrorizing our own cats. One November, a shy tiger cat became a regular, sneaking up the basement stairs to help himself to the cat food on our basement stair landing, but scooting away if we tried to lure him closer. One night we saw him in the basement covered in oil that he must have gotten into in our neighbor’s repair shop. Bathing a Stray Cat Is No Fun! Knowing that the oil or whatever he had gotten into would not come off by itself, we cornered the cat in our basement and wrapped him in old t-shirts while we gave him a bath – no easy task, let me tell you! Because he was soaking wet and sickly looking, we locked him in our bathroom with food, water and a litter box for a few hours until he dried off. Try as we might, we could not get him to trust us, and ended up letting him go back down into our basement where he found his way back out into the cold November night again. A Surprise Thanksgiving Visitor But the most interesting part of this story was yet to come. A few days later, our family gathered in our dining room for Thanksgiving dinner. It was our first family dinner together since our son and his family moved to our town, and our grandson was telling us how much he missed his cat that had been gone for more than a month in spite of all their efforts to find him. A Boy and His Cat Are Reunited As Stevie spoke, our stray tiger cat walked up from our basement and stood there staring at him. Stevie spied him and said, “That’s my Cat!” and, sure enough, Tiger walked in to greet his young owner. We’ll never know if he negotiated the small river that flowed between us, or if he followed the road over bridges to get to our house. But somehow this remarkable cat knew that we were a safe haven and that it would only be a matter of time until his master came to claim him.
64 4 Legs & a Tail