See adventures with animals, my Friday post, before reading this one.
Saturday morning dogwalk:
Winton: "Where'd Black Cat go?" [repeat approx. 40 million times]
We take a route that avoids the spot where we found Black Cat on Friday.
Sunday morning dogwalk:
Winton: "Mummy, Where'd Black Cat go?"
Mummy: "Oh, don't start. Ms. Nightdress was supposed to call an animal shelter to come get Black Cat. Shall we go check?"
And thus the beginning of the end. Clara, Winton, Hardie and Mummy all off at a jog (to keep up with Winton) around the corner, down the block half way and then we were met enthusiastically by Little Black Cat, tail in the air, apparently yelling her head off at us: "Where the hell have you BEEN? Why didn't you come down the block yesterday? I waited for you. You know it's hot and I want to come home with you. Pawning me off on Ms Nightdress was cunning of you, but I still want to come home. With You. Let's Go!" Cat takes off towards our house, at a jaunty trot. Children screaming happily. Me also *ahem* very happy.
Cat comes in the front door with us like she's always gone walking with us in the morning and come back in through the front door. Pumpkin (legitimate resident cat) puffs up and turns into, from the sounds of him, a theremin. Little Black Cat gets upset. I, mindful of possible flea infestation and stray cat illness that might infect existing housecats, whisk her downstairs for confinement in the basement bathroom.
Husband: unimpressed. Perhaps especially because Briseis, our other current legit. housecat, was acquired by a girlfriend of his while he was away one weekend and has since become his cat, mostly against his will. Anyway. He's a good man. He took Little Cat to the vet to have her checked.
But, get this, the vet scans her like a tin of peaches, and she's microchipped. Husband and cat come home. We phone the number the microchip company provided to be told the cat's owner is dead and his wife gave the cat away. I didn't think to ask how long ago as the person on the phone sounded surly, and this is Baltimore, and I had already googled the owner's name and come up with a guy who had been imprisoned in 2009 for dealing heroin. Also: I am under the impression this is an adolescent cat (small, kittenishly playful). Anyway. Call to MDSPCA to file a found cat report, and ask what the property rights are on cats (ie if the kids--or I--get attached and 6 months from now an owner materialises, who gets the cat? We do. After only 3 days of custody, apparently).
Did I mention how sweet this cat is? She curls up on any lap like an armadillo, tummy skyward, kneading the air with tiny paws.
Then I looked on craigslist and found a posting re: a lost cat named Sorrel. Dates and location make it sound quite likely that we have found that cat.
I call the owner.
She's away camping. We have a bad line. She is unaware of her cat being microchipped. Her cat is 5 years old. But, she found her cat Sorrel in an alley, and, from the pictures in her posting, the cat we have does look similar.
Now we wait for the campers to return to find out if what we have in our basement bath is a five year old Sorrel, or an adolescent we get to keep.
I repeat: damndiddity.