I grew up around cats. Cats everywhere. Cats cats cats. So many that when I moved away on my own I would think I saw shadows of cats circling me, hiding behind my furniture... mocking me. I did not take to cats the way everyone else in my family did. If one jumped on my bed while I was asleep, I would push them off. If one was in my seat I would say, "Move, cat." I never had to feed them, because I never pet them. Once, one of our cats was dying and I felt bad for her and went to pet her. She was too weak to move, or I'm sure she would have walked away. Instead she looked at me like I was the Grim Reaper, probably thinking, "Now I know I'm dying if she is coming to pet me." Me and cats were like oil and water.
I liked mice, not real mice, of course, but cute cuddly stuffed mice. I collected them and my family's nick name for me is Mouse. Mice are rather nice.
That brings us to the present. It was a dark and wintry night, and day, and another night and another day. Freezing temperatures, even snow in the South. No person or pets should have been be out in that cold cold weather and yet every night for a couple of weeks, my sister and I heard the cries of a cold, lonely cat outside our window. It wasn't my cat. It wasn't my responsibilty. The old me, the "Move, cat" me didn't really pay attention and then...the cat's persistence began to break through my cold mouse-loving exterier. Mew. Mew. Mew. I heard her cries at 11pm when I went to bed, at 2:30am when I got up for some water, again at 4:30 when I got up for the bathroom. And on into the next day. Mew.
The next night was a dark and stormy night. The world was getting soaked with rain. The world was shivering cold, too. And from my warm bed at 11:30pm that night, the cat broke through. The thought came in so real it scared me. I was getting involved with the neighbor's irresponsibility. I was going to take a stand. Kathryn went outside and brought the cat in for me and I raced her upstairs and closed my bedroom door. (We have living with us the world's loudest dog, who LOVEs to chase this poor cat.) She was soaked and muddy and freezing. I was only going to keep her one night and let her back out, but the more I learned from Kathryn about the situation of the cat-- she had been inside the neighbor's apartment all summer and then when it got cold they left her outside all the time.
Well, I kept her. I name her Bell because she had a collar with one jingle bell on it.
I will write more of my adventures with Bell in blogs to come. I have neglected my blog, because I have been trying to come home and play with Bell. My computer is not in the same room. I'm glad to be back for a moment. Hope to see you soon.