A couple of years ago, the kids and I wandered into our local animal shelter, looking for a cat.
They wanted a pet.
I wanted a mouser, to sort out the pesky little bastards that kept getting into my kitchen cupboards.
We brought home a weepy-eyed, terrified looking stray, planning to love the shit out of him, and hoped for the best.
For the best part of two years, he’s been selectively affectionate; selecting the warmest lap to sit in, and smooching around whoever was closest to his Turducken. He’s gotten fatter, and fatter, and shiny, and healthy.
You’d think he’d appreciate this whole “having a home” gig.
But you see, there’s a reason we call him Unappreciative Cat.
We’ve been pounced at, bitten, and scratched, and to add insult to injury, he had never caught a bloody mouse (although they had kind of vanished, I suppose in response to his smell). He finds real joy in terrorising the Girl Child, and God help me if I try to move him from off my lap once he’s settled.
We’d kind of resigned ourselves to the fact that this house cat of ours was perhaps never going to love us quite as much as we love him, and we’d learned to soak up his sporadic affection as he offered it.
But wouldnt you know it, in the past few weeks, this regal looking feline has earned his keep by catching TWO mice and depositing their half eaten carcasses right next to my shoes.
I think in cat-speak, that means “I love you”.
This old mate already thinks he’s a King, no doubt. But I suspect that he’s finally starting to realise that his castle is right here, with us.
Strays can be hard work. It’s impossible to know their stories, and they can seem completely unloveable at times.
He can be such a jerk sometimes.
But, I think he’s totally worth it.