I know I’ve told everyone this story a dozen times, so I’m sure it’s getting somewhat old. But today’s different – the story’s taken a twist for the better and for the worse.
Better? Yes, because our stray orange cat made a visit to the house yesterday afternoon, only to be scooped up, put in a cat carrier and brought to the vet. He’s being tested for everything imaginable and will be neutered. He’s been visiting us for almost two years, so this is a long time coming.
Worse? Yes, because we feel terrible about taking him from his comfort zone. I’ll give you a bit of background below.
About two years ago, I heard something at the back door. It sounded like a faint meow, which is odd, because our two cats were downstairs sleeping. I got up from my desk to walk over and take a look. I was shocked to see an adorably cute orange cat sitting on the back porch.
At first sight, I got very excited. I yelled for Laura downstairs to come up and see our visitor and when she did, I think he got kind of scared and ran away. He didn’t go far though because once we were outside calling him, he played a little game of “cat and mouse” with us for some time. There was no contact that night, but during the following few weeks, I was able to persuade him to sit on my lap. As he did, his eyes would dart to the left and to the right. He had very little trust for the situation and seemed to be on the lookout for other animals in the area. I suppose he had to do this as a means of survival.
We began leaving food out for him and he would make almost nightly visits. It turned into somewhat of a tradition for us – the orange cat would meow at the back door and we would get the food ready and feed him. After he was done eating, we’d go out and play with him for hours. Laura would especially get a kick out of this because she’s been a cat lover for most of her life.
After a few months of our friend making his rounds, he stopped. We still haven’t the faintest clue as to where he went, but I would say we didn’t see him for two months. We weren’t overtly worried, but we did go for walks in the woods, occasionally looking to and fro in hopes of getting a glimpse of a tiny orange face peeking at us through the grass. We never saw him. And after a while, we came to accept the fact that he was gone.
Then, on a rainy day in September, we heard the unmistakable sound of a meow on the front porch. I got up, took a look outside and yelled, “Ron Voleman is here!” More on the Ron Voleman thing later on.
While we were very happy to see him, we quickly became nervous because the nights were getting chilly and it was obvious he’d been somewhere he shouldn’t have been. He appeared to be much thinner than the last time we had seen him and his overwhelming excitement to see us gave us an inclination that something was wrong. Not that we figured it out, but what we did do was to make a covered bed for him on the front steps. We weren’t able to bring him in the house because we were quite certain he had no shots and we weren’t sure if he had any sort of disease. But, he seemed to be truly thankful for that bed.
Nights went by. Everything was going along just fine, until we got word of an impending hurricane. We didn’t know what to do. We knew we couldn’t just leave the cat on the front steps, but we were also up against the wall with not being able to bring him inside. He had a nasty habit of spraying and marking his territory (unneutered), as well as the medical issue I mentioned above.
After a few minutes of discussion, we decided that keeping the garage door open a crack and setting up his bed in the garage would be our best option. He took to this rather quickly – I have a feeling that his cat senses picked up the danger right around the corner. The winds were getting stronger and he knew he’d be better off in some sort of solid shelter.
Let’s fast forward to some general background about the cat and then I’ll update you on what we recently accomplished.
The name Ron Voleman was conjured up by yours truly. Laura can’t stand it, but she does call him Voleman. It’s hard not to – when he’s outside, he’s usually hunting moles, voles, chipmunks and field mice. And a good hunter he is too because on a number of occasions, I’ve seen one of the above hanging out of his mouth. But still, Laura prefers to call him either Patrick or Turkey. Those names have yet to come out of my mouth. Voleman it is, Ron when I’m trying to get under her skin.
As I do believe I’ve mentioned somewhere along the line, we’re moving. If everything goes smoothly, we’ll be taking off for the long trip to Florida in just a few short weeks. While this is exciting and we’re chomping at the idea of venturing out in a new area for photography and videography, it does leave us with a little situation on our hands about the stray cat named Ron. I think my greatest fear is making my way up the driveway, truck and trailer, only to look back at an orange cat sitting in the middle of the front lawn watching us leave. I can’t speak for Laura, but I’ll admit that there would be a hole in my heart. And if history is any indication, I’m sure I wouldn’t see the cat because he’d be tucked away in a blanket, hidden somewhere in the back of my SUV. Laura’s fallen for him harder than I have.
I asked her back in the beginning – “Would you say that you love Voleman?” She replied while lowering her head, “Yes.” It was sweet and at that point, I knew he was part of our lives.
We’ve been trying to finish up some odds and ends around here. Like I said, there are only a few weeks left, so doctors visits, dentist visits and veterinary visits are all on the table. A few of them are already completed, some of them will be soon. One that we took care of on Monday was bringing our other cat, Michael, to the vet. He needed some diabetes testing and some medicine to help out with an ongoing sniffle. While this was all fine and good, upon Laura’s return to the car, she informed me of the appointment she’d set up for Voleman. She said, “Some time on Wednesday, we have to get him down here.” to which I replied, “Yeah, if we can catch him.”
You see, he roams. He’s a male looking for a female. He hasn’t been fixed and we’ve seen him so many times, walking around outside with the miserable, painful sounding “Meeeooowww.” If you’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with an unneutered cat, you know what I’m talking about. It tears your heart out to see him so cranky. Not to mention the fact that he wanders around aimlessly looking for company.
Yesterday afternoon, I heard something at the back door. It was Voleman and he was offering up his traditional meow. I yelled down to Laura, “Voleman’s here.” She came upstairs and asked if we should bring him in. I agreed we should, so we grabbed him, packed him in the carrier and took him over for his “alteration.”
We currently sit in limbo waiting for the call. Does he have FIV? Leukemia? Worms? Will he still be lovable? All these things are running through my mind. I sit here and type, who knows what, and she watches me. She thinks she’s the only one who’s worried.