I was going to settle in for an evening of household chores, work catch-up, whatever, and absolutely not engage in a battle of wits with my demon cat. No, he’s not a demon. He’s never scratched or bitten me. He’s just never liked me all that much. In reverting to feral mode since getting out last week, he ignores calls of his name (or, at least, presents a stoic front; perhaps it’s possible that calling his name helps keep him close).
So…I returned home tonight with some KFC, not because I enjoy the Kentucky Fried Cruelty so much (really, I don’t, but I did eat it; I’m sorry, Wayne Pacelle), but presented itself as a convenient solution to following a suggestion from a member of the animal rescue community who had suggested fried chicken as a lure. So I’d leave a trap with some fried chicken out over night.
But when I got out of the car, I heard Buster meowing. He seemed to be meowing to get my attention. I found him under the neighbor’s car, where he has spent considerable time. Unfortunately, I knew that he would not simply come when called. But I could get within feet of him. We chatted and ate KFC popcorn chicken together. He let himself be vulnerable and got on his back and stretched and let me pet him. I was in no position no grab him, though, and I know he knew that. If I got too close, he relocated to another corner of the car. If I tried to sneak up on him, he ran to the grassy area between my house and my neighbor’s. It was a 30-minute game of cat and mouse, where I was the cat, and Buster was the mouse, and I lost.
I tried to be patient, but I knew I could spend the night in a standoff with him only to come up empty. I had a neighbor come over, and I hoped her approach would scare Buster toward me, and I might be able to snag him.
But Buster veered sideways, into the thicket in front of my house, and where there’s an accidental entrance to my crawlspace. (The front and back entrances have been alternately opened and closed throughout the week, as I’ve employed various strategies to catch Buster). I was able to get within a couple of feet of Buster, but I was lying flat on my stomach on the ground, and he was recessed from an opening perhaps ten inches high.
Eventually, the negotiations, as in the past, failed, and he retreated.
Ooh, but I had him trapped there now! I thought. No, I had the other side of the house wide open. He certainly sprinted out the back.
So after getting scraped and dirty and humiliated once again, I came back inside, and I’ll now go back to the original plan of trying to trap him again.
So there’s the narrative of this evening’s episode. I hate to have spent so much time on it. I really wanted to get to the emotional side of this saga.
This has been an emotionally draining saga. Yes, Buster has remained close, and I’m grateful for that. But the cat doesn’t like me. I’ve known that for the past two years. I’ve had cats who’d come to me when called and when not called. I’m being rejected by this cat in the worst way. Ok, still most reading don’t take this too seriously.
Look, I’ve been kidding about having too many pets for the past four-and-a-half-months, since I got kitten Desmond. Four pets is too many for me, but they’re mine. I’ve accepted responsibility of caring for them as long as they’re able to reasonably enjoy life. And they all fit in well together. The pit, the tabby, the tortie, and the black kitten. It’s insane at times, but as I exist day-to-day struggling to discover my identity, I do strongly identify as the guy with too many pets, who is glad to have all of them. It hurts a lot to lose one of them. It doesn’t matter that it’s only been two years and not twelve. It doesn’t matter that he never comes up to lie on my chest. It feels like a real lose.
So now I’ve jumped the shark, in case no one has ever read one of my blog posts before. “Struggling to discover my identity.” What? It gets more existential….
I feel quite alone in this struggle. I have a lot of Facebook support. But I’m home alone with this, as I am when I struggle with illness or career woes or whatever the self-doubt of the day is. It sucks–for me–to be alone. And this cat episode is a trigger for that frustration. (Indeed, there are many. Perhaps I’ll touch on others some other time).
Also, it’s September, and I generally consider this month and next to be the small window of the year in which I can really make progress. The heat starts to abate. Cool breezes can be felt. I sweat less. The world is a prettier place. Time to find activities…
9:49PM Interrupted by a ruckus outside. I spotted a puffy dark cat running away from my porch, and it seemed another creature was near. I’m thinking the latter was Buster. In any case, I decided it was a good time to set up a trap. So there’s some semi-raw chicken in a shiny new trap on the porch.
Where was I? Basically, my last nine days have been about finding Buster and then getting Buster back inside. It’s been more physically and emotionally taxing than I could imagine.
But, then, I know others who have been dealt far more severe hands, and I know that, on many levels, obsessing over my lost cat is too much. I know it is, and I feel guilty about it.
So, this is a blog entry. What’s up with that? That’s subject for another day.