A Post About My Cat
Next week our cat Polly will celebrate her first birthday.
Actually we don’t know when Polly was born. I found her at the church near our home on a boiling hot day in early January. We think that she was about 8 weeks old then so her birthday must be somewhere around now.
The day I found her I was talking to the church Youth Leader outside when we both heard loud meowing. I could tell that it was a kitten and as we couldn’t see where it was I called and after a couple of minutes a bedraggled little creature with one eye shut tight crept out from under the bush where she had taken shelter.
I don’t know how long she had been there. The evening before there had been a barbecue at the church for the men’s group but none of them had seen or heard a kitten. Someone may have dumped her after they left or maybe she strayed there by herself although as there are few houses close by I doubted that.
After giving her some water I called my husband and asked him to come and take her back to our house and feed her. At that stage I wasn’t thinking of keeping her as I knew that Jake, our cat, would not want a strange cat in the house, even a tiny one. I hoped that we would find her a home with one of the church congregation.
I didn’t see what happened when David got home with Polly but he told me about it later. He had brought her in and put her down while he got some cat food out. Our dog Cindy came up to see what he had brought in and immediately gave Polly a thorough wash. From then on Polly was most happy when she was near Cindy and would even curl up between her paws to sleep.
Jake was less impressed as I expected. His first sight of Polly was when he came into the living room and saw her asleep on David’s lap. His expression said it all “What is that thing doing in MY SPOT?” He left the room and for some time would not enter the living room if Polly was there.
Polly had runny eyes and kept sneezing so after a couple of days we decided that rather than wait for someone to adopt her we should take her to the vet. The vet asked us what her name was. We hadn’t given her one as she was meant to be a temporary visitor but they needed a name so David said Polly. We had joked that she ought to be called Polly because at that stage she was always trying to sit on our shoulders like a parrot. Of course once she had a name, and we had a hundred dollar vet bill, we had to keep her.
Over the next few weeks Polly recovered from her cold and put on weight. Putting her eye cream on became more of a battle but she started to look better. I borrowed a cat playpen to keep her in at night and when we were out. Cindy became her best friend and if Polly was in the playpen she would lie down beside it. Jake became more used to Polly and reclaimed his right to sleep in the living room. He went from running away from Polly to ignoring her and occasionally hissing at her. Polly, on the other hand fell in love with Jake from the moment she saw him. She kept trying to make friends with him but he wouldn’t have it.
I decided that Polly was to be an inside cat. I’d tried it with Jake and Josey our previous cat but they always managed to get out when we opened the back door and in the end we gave up and let them out during the day and tried to keep them in at night. I don’t like cats hunting though and I am sure that one day in the not too distant future there will be laws passed in our area making it illegal for owners to let their cats roam. I thought it would be better if Polly didn’t get used to the idea of wandering. As she wouldn’t be going out to hunt we got her toys to play with. A five dollar toy with a jingling ball inside a wheel kept her happy for hours as she tried to work out how to catch it. When Polly was four or five months old we lost Jake. I guess we were meant to have Polly so we would not be without a cat.
Polly is not a cat that wants to be cuddled all the time, she’s affectionate but independent. She likes to have her tummy rubbed and will sit beside us on the couch but not on our laps very often. Loud noises and strangers frighten her. She hated the vacuum cleaner as a kitten and would run for cover every time I turned it on. She’s more accepting of it now but still doesn’t like it. If she hears strange voices she runs to hide behind a cabinet in the living room where she thinks nobody will find her. She has other hidey holes, the favourite one being our linen cupboard which she spends so much time in that David calls it “Polly’s Apartment”. She is still great friends with Cindy although she has learned that Cindy will not tolerate her going near her food bowl. They play a game with each other sometimes which involves Polly trying to bite Cindy on the leg while Cindy tries to nudge her away. Sometimes they wash each other which and that is nice to see. She is still very fond of toys. She doesn’t play with her wheel toy quite as often now but occasionally she will go and give it a few pokes. She prefers knocking over the waste paper basket and wrestling with Cindy’s broken tennis balls. I bought her catnip but like all of our previous cats she doesn’t seem that interested in it. Polly is still very curious too and likes to prowl around the house. When we moved into our spare bedroom for a few weeks while we redecorated she became quite fascinated with that room. Unlike our previous cats she doesn’t sleep on our bed although David, who goes to bed early, says she sometimes comes and stays with him for a while. She does like playing on the bed though, especially when I am trying to make it!
Polly is still an inside cat. I do let her out occasionally if one of us is outside and she potters around near the back door but if anything happens to scare her like a flock of noisy birds flying over or someone banging on the wheelie bin she scuttles back inside as fast as she can. One day I would like to have an enclosure in the back garden so that Polly or any future cats can enjoy some outside time in safety. However in the meantime my cowardly cat seems quite happy in the house and that is fine with me.