Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The curious case of Sammy Wong

The impressive Sammy Wong as photographed by J
When did I get so soft ... I used to be so brazen faced and tough. Now I am reduced to tears during an obvious tear-jerker like The Help and get misty-eyed when I think of my daughter leaving home for university (this is at least four years away people). I can't watch movies about children in jeopardy or dying parents, the thought of something happening to R, my husband, or J, my child, leaves me weepy and distraught. I dread the thought of Ma becoming ill as she ages.

I am turning into a certifiable bowl of mush.

A case in point: two or three weekends ago we were accosted by a beautiful smoky-coated, green-eyed young cat outside our house (he is shown above). S/he (I couldn't tell if it was a girl or a boy, let's just say he's a male) was meowing piteously and seemed to need something as he skulked outside our home. He eagerly lapped up some feline crunchies and a great deal of water that J had placed outside for him. We dubbed her/him Sammy Wong (the origin of the name is a long story which does not do us credit but ask me sometime and I will tell you).

We thought that Sammy was just passing through but it appears that he has taken up residence in a neighbor's garage and regularly tries to enter their house. He is friendly with people but has no collar or means of identification. My fear is that someone dumped him on our street to get rid of him. I found this very disturbing. Cooler weather is approaching - what about the winter I wondered? The thought made me ineffably sad.

I was thinking about taking Sammy in but that would be problematic. We have two cats - one a middle-aged but spirited tabby of 8 years named Lolly who is not the friendliest gal you ever met and has a crush on my husband. She is constantly swatting the younger one in the head to keep him away but only after he has meticulously groomed her (nice).

The other is a skittish half-Siamese, half -Tabby five year old cat named Sugar with blue eyes who also has crush on my husband (seriously you should see the way these two stare at R, I should be so lucky to have anyone in love with me the way these two are with the husband). This little one, who was the runt of the litter, is adorable and very sweet tempered. But he also who runs upstairs when the doorbell rings because he has learned that if the bell rings it's not immediate family and it must be a stranger. He makes a bee-line for the same place each time: under the bed in the middle bedroom and won't move until he hears the door shut and knows that the stranger has left.

If you raise your voice to Sugar and shake you finger at him in reprimand he cringes and slinks away in fear. If you do that to Lolly she tries to swat you with both of her paws, ready to take you on ... she's very feisty.


To bring a third cat into this environment? Do I officially become a "cat lady" if I do that? I don't know. Three cats? But I broached it with Rob anyway. We were driving somewhere together and I said casually, "What if we let Sammy Wong live with us?"

"No, no, absolutely not. I DO NOT want a third cat."

"But winter is coming ... "

"He'll survive."

"Will he?" I felt tears start to gather in the corners of my eyes ... what if he doesn't? Where will he live?

"Yes. He will survive."


Long pause.

"We'd have to spay him - he has claws, the other two cats don't. Sammy is already tearing up our neighbors' house when he is able to sneak in. No ... no ... no."

Loooong silence ... I turn my face away, now the tears are gathering and threatening to spill out. Still I say nothing.

A bit later R says: "We can't have three cats, that's crazy!"

Long pause. Very long pause.

(Very aggressively): "Okay! Fine, bring in a third cat! Okay, alright! It's not a good idea but FINE!"

It's a dilemma - he's a beautiful, friendly cat and I would love to find a suitable home for him. I can't bear the idea that he is friendless and alone. But it's a cat, R reminds me. Yeah, I know. Still.

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