Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cats with issues--Inky and Rocky

I'm in a snowed-in part of the Midwest, off work today, and with nothing pressing that would make me leave the house. The trip up to Ann Arbor to buy African violets is not going to happen, so I'm contemplating a whole day in the house. I was just going to write, "with nothing to do," until I heard cats screeching in the basement, and rightly figured that Inky was stirring up s--t. What will I do with him? He is an adorable black cat, a young adult male, with tiny spots of white on his chest and belly. Like many alpha males, he is sweet and affectionate with humans, but a holy terror on other cats.

I took him in on Martin Luther King's Day weekend, a couple of months after the distracted, doofus neighbors two doors down abandoned him. He was suspicious of people, but when he got sick enough, and the wind chill was below zero, I got close enough to grab him, and he didn't object. The neighbors are not evil people as far as I can tell, but they have trouble hanging on to anything--jobs, their home, etc. Even their son/stepson (a blended marriage family) seems to be sent around to other relatives, and they indifferently take in borders. Now Inky is in a warm, dry soft place, and they are losing their home. Karma is a bitch, and I suspect she has four feet and grooms herself.

The problem is Rocky, my nearly 8 year old gray and white cat. He was always sort of a high-strung, semi-feral scardy cat, and Inky freaks him out. He hides between the floors of the house damned near all the time. I lock Inky in the spare room--with water, food and a litter box-- all night, and part of the day, so that Rocky can feel free to come out, but now Rocky is scared of everything, including me. I can't just ship Inky to a shelter--he is a black adult, which means he would languish there for months, even a year, before adoption. I can't even figure out what to do, except confine Inky when I'm not around. The room is bigger than a shelter cage, and warmer and drier than the outdoors. Oh, and I can cross my fingers, and hope somebody gets socialized. Or struck by lightning. Whichever comes first.

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