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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.”

(What amazes me the most is that all that smugness is able to fit in one single cat bed.)

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.



2009: “There was somethin’ smackin’ at me, and I was SKEERED!”
2008: And let me say this – I know now why cats sleep like 23 hours a day. It’s because when they’re sleeping, they are NEVER still.
2006: No entry.
2005: Sometimes I make Sugarbutt dance for his food. Dance, monkey, dance!



11-17-10 — 35 Comments

  1. Oh, this made me laugh! “She doesn’t love you”…still laughing. And all that smugness in one cat bed, well it does seem overloaded with it all right. Love the stretch and yawn, too. I don’t think I ever formally de-lurked, just started posting comments as if we knew each other, but I just want to say that this is my favourite animal-related blog. You have that all-too-elusive balance of great story-telling with great pictures (and captions). And you and Fred just seem entirely likable. I think I’d like to have you over for tea! :)Next time you’re in Ireland, let me know, and I’ll try to make that happen!

    • Thank you, Jessica – Ireland is certainly on my list of places I’d like to visit some day! 🙂

  2. Coltrane loves the BAY-BEES! Lol, all is good in the world 🙂 How adorable. He had to be a housecat at one point in time, do you think?

    • It’s entirely possible he really does belong to someone else in the area. He didn’t seem too stressed out by the whole cat bed experience, or by being inside, period, so surely he’s had the experience at some point. I think it would be funny if the reason we never seen him at night or during the day is because he’s hanging out at his REAL home! 🙂

      • Hmm, maybe you could put a collar on him with a note so you can meet the “other people” in his life, lol.

        • BAHHHHHHH!!! They were probably happy to have saved the $$$. I have a friend, that many years ago had a black cat “Fridge”…named after Refrigerator Perry from the Bears. Fridge was an outdoor cat (which is against my beliefs for a city cat). My friend said that he was driving down the road and saw HIS cat lounging on someone else’s couch on the road behind his house! His kitty had been working the neighborhood for meals. Thus…he was as big as Perry! LOL!!!

  3. Okay, now I gotta ask: What urine odor remover do you use? We have a furry purry darling that has just one little problem: She likes carpet more than the litter sometimes. She was a rescue, so who knows what she went through before we got her, and other than this stinky little quirk, she’s a lovely cat.

    I think we’ve tried everything on the market, but given the number of cats you have, if it works for you, it’s definitely worth giving it a shot.

    • I actually have several different kinds that I use – right now I’m using Simple Solution, which I picked up at Petsmart recently. As I understand it, Simple Solution has beneficial bacteria as well as enzymes in it, and that works better than the basic Nature’s Miracle, which only has the enzymes. I’ve also heard good things about Anti-Ickypoo, too!

      • Yeah, we found Nature’s Miracle to be less than a miracle. Simple Solution is one I don’t think we’ve tried yet, though. Thanks!

      • I use Simple Solution also. It is the best that I have found!!! PBG, my kitty was a rescue and she was more fond of carpet, also…right along the baseboards. I now have hardwood and tile. No more problems! LOL

  4. You (and Fred) crack me up! I am sure Coltrane and most of the other kitties have already gotten aquainted in the yard. They’ll be just fine. He does look content in that bed!

  5. The pee problem is the main reason we don’t have a cat-flap; our old boy used to p-mail everywhere outside (the look of complete concentration on his face as he mustered up the ability to pee backwards!) but we always felt that he would do it indoors if another male cat came through his flap. Our present boy can’t p-mail; useless, I tell you, completely useless!

  6. Love your blog! This entry made me laugh out loud. We foster in NC and we’re so so familiar with the “Quit it!” conversation and its variations like “Don’t you dare!”, “Tell me again – what’s our cat quota?”, and the always popular “What new cat? I don’t see a new cat? Are you hallucinating again?”.

    A few years ago if someone had told me I would even remotely deal with cat pee in the house, I would have laughed ’em out of the room. Now… I just shrug and reach for the de-pee solution du jour. Such is the life of a well-trained cat servant…. *happy sigh*

    • Ha – 10 years ago if someone had told me I’d see a pile of cat vomit near the door and pretend not to see it ’cause Fred’s about to get home from work (we have a “he who spots it cleans it up” policy), I would have told you you were crazy! 🙂

      What gets me is that I KNOW people think I’m the crazy cat lady in this marriage – and I swear it is NOT me who keeps wanting more cats in the house. It’s Fred!

  7. Hmmmm, given how completely relaxed they all were about Coltrane coming in, maybe there won’t be any cat urine issues!
    Just wondering, and you’ve probably covered this before, but given that you’re supposed to have a litter box per cat plus one, how many do you have to keep going with your feline troops (flock? gang? can’t remember what a group of cats is called!)?
    We’ve been fortunate, our cats have always been fastidious about using the litter box except for “squirt-overs” or (apologies for crassness) cling-ons. In the latter case they are always embarrassed and the one disappears for at least an hour! We have a 2-cat limit in the house, and have a large pan and a small one, have dispensed with the “one on every floor” rule as well. Been giving the Best Cat Litter in the World a test run, haven’t decided yet.
    Thanks for your posts, I love reading them and seeing all the photos.

    • If we had a litter box per cat plus one, I don’t know that there’d be any room in the house for us! 🙂 We have three large litter boxes in the laundry room, one upstairs in the bathroom, and there are two more in the upstairs foster room (which the other cats use when the the foster room is open to them). I scoop first thing in the morning and again in the evening – and if it’s particularly rainy or cold outside (ie, the cats are spending more time inside than out), I do a mid-day scoop, too. I’m seriously considering adding a second litter box in the bathroom and a 4th in the laundry room, but haven’t quite taken that step just yet.

      Have you ever seen the “disposable” litter boxes? I saw one yesterday in my online wanderings, and it claimed that you could fill the box with litter, let the cats use it for a week, and then toss it. I think the idea was that you wouldn’t have to scoop? HA.

      • No, haven’t seen disposables outside of the little corner-style ones that the vet clinic uses, which has to be much easier for them! I imagine it would take much less than a week with your kitties to need to dispose of them though.
        Just read today (18th) blog about the pile of cat vomit and “he who sees it”…somehow that doesn’t work here! I get to do most of that detail while the rest of the fam helpfully points it out. Just love stepping in a wet hairball mess with a barefoot.

  8. Ha, this is hilarious!! 🙂

    I can just see Fred talking to Coltrane outside..”Don’t worry buddy, just a few more days..we’re wearing her down!!”

    Awww Coltrane and Hutch look so cute together in their bed.

    And….you said ” I’m sure our cats will be expressing their displeasure beginning any moment now.” Does that mean the Bookworms are staying…Ha Ha Ha Don’t forget I live in Canada..you can’t send the Bookworms through Customs!! (Although I would smuggle those darlings in!!)

    Coltrane..enjoy shangri-la 🙂

    • Karen, there’s a lonnnng border between my country and yours. I’m sure SOMEONE could find an unguarded section just long enough to push a couple of cats across. 😀

  9. If you really want to solve the mystery of Coltrane, put a collar on him with a tag reading, “Am I your cat? Call {your phone number here}.”

    That’s how I found out that the “stray” I was feeding actually belonged to the lady across the street, and was visiting several OTHER houses in addition to mine to maximize meal-time potential.

  10. Those pictures are priceless!

    I, too, am in a relationship with a fellow animal lover, and although I take all the blame, I blame my other half for getting me started. He was the one who told me I needed a pet, encouraged every single adoption, even the ones that in retrospect I should have passed by. Ever been to a shelter, trying to say no to another mouth or three to feed, only to have your companion and ally start pulling out comments like “How could you say no to that face?” and “Could you really walk away from such a cute, homeless animal?”

    Bad influences, these men. They let you take all the “cat lady” blame, but really, it’s all their fault.

  11. Awwwwww yay for Fred!! Of course the cat pee will be his dept but Awwwww!! Coltrane is just adorable!!!! He adds a positive vibe to the delicate kitty balance you have going there – look at him with adorable Hutch!!! Awwww!!!

    So so lovely! Take care

  12. Oh beautiful Coltrane! This is by far my most favorite animal site. Stories and pics like these just brighten my day. And it sounds like that is the case for many more people around the world. So nice to know that somewhere a few animals are not suffering but finding a world where they can feel safe and cared for.
    Thanks to you and Fred.
    Also I don’t care what your website looks like as long as I can continue to read stories like this and admire the wonderful pictures that go with them.

  13. So not surprised! LOL Coltrane sure didn’t have a problem finding a cozy cat bed and mini-heater to share it with.

  14. *cracks up laughing and beams!* Oh good gosh, that story is adorable! I’m such a soft touch, I’d have been doing the same thing Fred did, I’m sure of it. 🙂

  15. After much laughter….I must say, the third picture of Hutch all stretched out yawning iwith Coltrane slayed me. Slayed me, I say!!!

  16. LOVE it!! coltrane knows he’s loved. i’m sure he won’t mind spending a few cold nights indoors.

    i miss you linking your pics from flickr. i liked clicking through to comment on individual ones. 🙁