Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Cat House

Midnight, our resident stray, has a new home. After over a year of trying to make him comfortable; while at the same time taking care of my own allergic reactions to him; he finally has a better home than he did for the last winter. At that time he was living in our garage on an old bedspread with a heating pad to help him keep warm. This year the heating pad will be located at one end of his wicker home, and connected to a timer, which will offer him a few options in relation to how much heat he actually wants.

It’s been a year in which we have come to know one another a bit better, each respecting the others limitations and idiosyncrasies more than we first did. For instance; I now know that he strikes me with his paw as a sign of affection after I stop playing with him; while he has learned to not use his claws on me. Since he does live outdoors I cannot have his nails clipped, as that would leave him defenseless.

He has also learned not to wander too far from home, stranding himself in other people’s garages without food or water for several days. He has also learned not to cross the big open yard in back of our house which makes him a convenient target for the many hawks in the area. Last year he was actually swept up by one of these aerial predators. It was a short flight which left his ear damaged from the hawk’s talons. It actually changed the pitch of his “meow.”
The new home is of wicker construction, and was acquired by Sue at a yard sale for less than one dollar. I had already purchased a “cat bed” for him, complete with catnip, but he just kind of looked at it in a curious manner. He never even tried to lie down in it.

By contrast, from the moment Sue bought this wicker palace home, Midnight was very much interested in it. There is even a sun roof for him on top to use on nicer days. Currently, we are furnishing the inside, using Snoopy's doghouse as a guide for what Midnight might like. A small pool table is not out of reach; and a transistor radio or tummy TV is certainly affordable. But the Van Gogh is definitely out.

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