Cat from nowhere

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A few weeks ago, we were hearing a mouse or rat up in the rafters, scurrying and clambering around with great verve around sunset and at dawn. It ate the tops off come cookies I'd baked and left on the counter.

Friends suggested that a cat would keep away the rodents. But we're not ready for cats at the moment. However, whoever hands out cats from the great heavens had another plan. We now have a cat. Actually it has us.

A few days after the rat/cat discussion, I was taking a nap. I opened my eyes and saw...a cat in the hall.  Tod, in the room opposite, confirmed it wasn't a late afternoon dream. A cat was sitting in the hall grooming itself. Tortoiseshell markings, so female. I sat up to say hello and she bolted out the front door. Feral, but wise to houses.

A few nights later, there she was again. She opened the front door herself, walked quietly toward the kitchen. But I heard her, called out, and she stared at me for a bit before bolting. She snuck in another evening while we were out and ate a piece of bread. Poor kitty must be very hungry. Should we feed her? Despite a divided opinion, Tod brought home cat food a few days later. And then she snuck in again and ate half the butter we'd failed to put away.

So now, we close the kitchen door and make sure all the food is away. Good policy in any case.

She continues to visit so I've given her a name, Pel. Two days ago she peeked her head around the corner into the living room where I was working. I'm not sure who was more surprised. She gave me that, "It's it dinnertime?" look so I filled her bowl. She meowed when she finished.

Last night, she turned up at about 1 am in my bedroom. Pel has never been in the same room as me. She did seem a bit unnerved when I rolled over and saw her, but she didn't flee. Maybe she is gentling herself. We looked at each other for a while, then she walked out into the hall to pace a bit. She let herself into the living room, then climbed into the closet and deliberately knocked a small box off the shelf. Such a cat. I stuck my head out the bedroom door and she retreated to the end of the hall. We just sat together for a while, until I was too tired and crawled back into bed.

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Pel has a friend, too. I call him Pep. Similar colorings, but Pep is fat and doesn't come inside. He eats the other half of the cat food every night and does the same sitting and staring thing as she does. After eating the other day, he sat at the open front door for a while, then moved himself to a place at the end of the walkway where he could watch me in the living room.

These are strange cats, but I'm kinda happy to have them around. Maybe some day I will get to cuddle them - and take them to the vet.

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