With all this talk about getting ducks, and chickens, and having two dogs and a baby, one would think that the addition of a cat would be a natural next step. I mean, we have a few mice that sneak into the house, seems like a great idea. Well, that’s what most country folk would think… but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’m a self-proclaimed dog lover. I grew up with cats in the house and they had the most horrible habits of urinating where they wanted (more than one year my mom would pull out the cardboard boxes filled with Christmas ornaments only to find the cats had fouled them), and our cats were notorious for waiting until we had company for dinner before climbing up onto the china cabinet and projectile vomiting their dinner down the side of it, the whole time making a great dramatic scene of coughing, and gagging, leaving us and our guests with not much of an appetite.
We have a habit of leaving our garage door open for many reasons, extensive yard work, airing out or to unload groceries, but this has brought me to a great conundrum. We became the not-so-proud owners of a “garage cat”. A little kitten, maybe a few months old, a dark tabby had scurried in and made our garage into a comfortable place to live. Of course each time we would peer into the garage, it would run away and hide, which meant it had not been handled much, or at all. It probably came from next door, the dairy farm with an abundance of cats with no names and an ever present litter of new kittens. I’m torn, since I’m an animal lover, but with fall here and winter fast approaching, a cat would need more space and love than a garage could offer, and the smell of a cat box, confined in our garage is not an appetizing thought….add in the cost of feeding the darn thing and I’m ready to chase the little thing out now.
My greatest mistake was leaving a bowl of dog kibble, a bowl of milk and a box with a towel in it. A hungry lonely animal pulls at my heart strings to be sure, but this all meant that the kitten was less likely to leave. For a week I left the garage door open hoping it would wander away, but each day I would refresh the water, add more food and search for the garage cat in hopes of catching a glimpse.
Today, with the garage door open, I went out to get something from the freezer and saw the tip of the kitten’s tail head out the door. I quickly leapt back into the house and hit the auto close button on the garage door. I felt triumphant and then a sudden wave of guilt. I went back inside and made a mash of cat food (yes I broke down and bought a few jars) and dog food kibble and placed it on my front porch.
Reality is this… our dogs want to kill the thing, and even when it sits on our front porch, our dogs go absolutely crazy, pacing the house, huffing and running out in the yard to find a way to get to the front yard to dispatch the intruder. We also have no extra money, for spay/neuter, for food, for flea meds etc. And memories of vomiting cats and poop treasures under the couch reminds me that it’s better we don’t have a cat. It can live on my front porch, or wander back to the farm, but it won’t be welcome in my house (says me and the dogs). Hubby is a bit sad with my decision but I am certain than in the dead of winter, the smell of a cat in the garage would make him regret having a soft heart.