(Frozen) Raindrops keep falling on their heads

Wow.  In Texas, I don’t remember ever getting sleet like this.  It has been going on virtually non-stop since this morning.  It really looks at times like the Morton Salt Girl has mobilized a fleet of UFOs to dump white grains from the sky by the ton.  OK, maybe that is too much of an exaggeration (though I do keep picturing a giant can of Morton Salt being poured over our town).  How about this one: Like the hourglass from Days of Our Lives was the size of the moon and it cracked while hovering somewhere over Missouri?

OK, that’s an exaggeration, too.  Still: That’s a lot of sleet.

Bringing me to the cats outside.  We have two cats that hang out on the porch behind our house (not counting the one that lives here), one of which we have good reason to believe belongs to a neighbor, with the other being potentially homeless.

For quite some time they would hang out looking pitiful and hungry until we finally began leaving a bit of food out there for them.  (I know, big mistake.  Still, it’s hard to look at those little cat faces wearing that, “Please, sir, may I have some more?” expression.  Oh, who am I kidding?–Cat’s don’t even have decent eyebrows, let alone facial expressions!  Not like dogs–but don’t get me started on that.  Perhaps I should get back to the story…)  Eventually, the bit of food turned into a bit of food and a bit of water, which then grew to a small box with an old towel in it for the seemingly homeless one.

Now, with both of them shivering outside today, sitting as close as they can to our house to get away from the sleet, and looking into the kitchen through our patio door, the one small box with an old towel in it has turned into two small boxes with old towels in them.  Next, I envision buying them a condominium in Maui.

I appeal to you gentle-hearted-yet-rational-minded readers: What is the proper etiquette for such situations?  How far is too far with such sympathies?  Any similar tales out there that turned out well — or poorly for that matter?

3 thoughts on “(Frozen) Raindrops keep falling on their heads

  1. We had a stray dog come walking down the hill. Apparently, someone had dumped him on a lonely country road. We knew that, because the dog would panic everytime you opened a car door. Poor fellow.

    We didn’t really adopt him. He assigned us the job of being his new owners, and he made it clear that it was mandatory. We ended up naming him “Buddy.”

    He later saved me from getting bit by a rattlesnake.

    Cats are little different. They’re kind of feral, so maybe they’ll move on when the weather warms up. Or maybe you already own them, and don’t realize it. Who knows.

  2. Hi Mr. Smith,

    Eh, who are you kidding, indeed? I love cats, but cats DO have expressions: mostly, various shades of disdain for what they consider inferior beings, which include mice, rats, birds, dogs, most humans and probably some Jem’Hadar. (My favorite bumper sticker of late: “Cats are smug because they know that their ancestors ate our ancestors.”)

    Well, if you know it was a big mistake to start, then you probably know it would be a bigger mistake to continue. But neither one of us are that cold-hearted, so if I may give you counsel, then I’d say what you’ve done so far is as far as you should go.

    Let the cats retain their independence and their dignity; it’s what most cats seem to value above all. They’ll have better relations with their cat buddies in the long run (when they go out for a drink or whatever cat buddies do).

    Shabbat shalom (שבת שלום),
    John Wheeler (יוחנן רכב)

  3. Those are hard questions, especially if you have pets already. My fiance and I were faced with this issue a year ago during the Colorado winter. How do you look into the faces of shivering beings and then go about your day like normal? You can’t. At least I couldn’t. I felt awful. But we had a cat already, my fiance’s cat, the most vicious little critter I had ever seen. Usually cats have the decency not to hiss at me; I am a cat lover by nature and it is nothing but insulting when I get hissed at! But this one did the day we met. Now, after more than nineteen months, he and I get along very well. He loves to cuddle and he loves to be picked up, two things only my fiance and I can do with him.

    Back in the Colorado winter of 2000, my folks, after saying, “No more pets,” took in a stray cat just before the temperatures took a drastic drop. He was in tough shape and had he not found a home and received proper care, he would have died within the week. He’s been with my folks since and no one could be happier.

    Rest assured. You won’t need to buy your new friends that condo in Maui. All they want is the love and attention everyone else wants. But be sure to consider the following if you decide to take that next step (offering them your home):

    Bringing other animals into your home can be dangerous for pets. It can also lead to certain markings on your floors, walls, furniture…Before making the decision to take on the responsibility of a stray animal, have it checked out by a vet to make sure it doesn’t carry any diseases that will affect your pets (and consider having your pets vaccinated as well), and have it spayed or neutered if it hasn’t been already.

    Jody Flaten, Freelance Copywriter
    Emery Road Writing Services, LLC

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