You remember Coltrane, yes?
For those of you who don’t, Coltrane showed up here at some point in the Spring/ early Summer. Once he discovered that there was food on that thar porch, he hung around pretty regularly. At first we couldn’t even dream of touching him, but after a couple of weeks, Fred was able to pet him, and shortly after he’d let me pet him, too.
It got to the point where he’d show up first thing in the mornings, and then again in the evenings, hang around long enough to eat, and then vamoose. I truly don’t know if he belongs to someone who lives in this area or not – he certainly wasn’t neutered, and as soon as we could, we took him to the vet to be tested, then neutered and vaccinated.
Lately, it’s started to get rather cold at night, and Fred’s been concerned about Coltrane’s comfort. We have a little house on the front porch that Fred built the first winter we lived here. It has a heat lamp in it, a cat bed on the floor, and Coltrane’s been pretty content to sleep in it. But Fred wanted more. Fred wanted Coltrane to come inside.
“QUIT it!” I said, when Fred would open the door and try to coax Coltrane inside. “You are going to upset the delicate balance of cat harmony going on in this house, and we’ll be awash in cat urine!”
“She doesn’t love you,” Fred would tell Coltrane sadly before he closed the door.
“Knock it off!” I said, when Fred coaxed Coltrane six inches, one foot, two feet inside the side door. “Joe Bob and Elwood will pick on him, and we will be flooded in cat urine!”
“Sorry, buddy,” Fred would say to Coltrane as he shut the door.
Two nights ago, I was laying on the couch in the front room reading, and Fred called to me.
“You better come see this,” he said.
“I am going to kill you,” I said.
But I had to laugh – because Coltrane, who was so super-skittish when we first met him, was completely laid-back about being inside the house. The other cats approached him, and Coltrane would sniff at them, and then just lay there and let them sniff him. He was not concerned about them at all. I mean, THEY were concerned about HIM, but he was all “Whatever, dudes.”
With no hesitation whatsoever, Hutch climbed into the cat bed with Coltrane. Coltrane seemed rather pleased to have the company, and the two of them napped together.
Fred took Coltrane into the laundry room and put a bowl of food in front of him. Coltrane bellied up to the bowl, and then Corbie wandered in to see what was going on. When he spotted Coltrane, he walked over and sniffed him, then sat and watched him for a few moments. At one point, Corbie rolled onto his back and reached his front paws toward Coltrane, who kept a wary eye on him as he ate.
Reacher came in to see what was going on. When he got too close to Coltrane, Coltrane reached out and tapped Reacher on the head. Coltrane’s a laid-back boy, but he’s not a DOORMAT, for god’s sake.
Eventually, Coltrane wanted back outside and Fred let him out. Last night Fred let him in for ten minutes or so, but after a few minutes he wanted back out.
I have no idea if he’ll ever turn into a cat who’ll stay inside with us on the coldest nights, but Fred’s opened the door and now Coltrane is at least aware that there’s a shangri-la for cats with warmth and comfy beds.
I’ll be stocking up on cat urine odor remover because I am SURE we’ll be needing it. I’m sure our cats will be expressing their displeasure beginning any moment now.
And I will NOT BE THE ONE CLEANING UP THE CAT PEE, DO YOU HEAR ME, FRED?