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So I think we have a cat.

About six months, nine months, who knows ago, we noticed a pair of kitty cats playing across the street. They looked to be young, though not kittens, and they were identical. Well, mostly identical. One was completely black, and the other was completely white. Other than that, they were identical. They loved to play with each other, chasing and running and rolling over. They were adorable.

As they grew older, they got a little more adventurous. We'd sometimes see the black one on our side of the street. We'd sometimes not see either one of them for days. Sometimes we'd see the big orange cat who's been around forever with one of them.

At some point, we gave them names: Blanc and Noir. Not exactly original, but it worked slightly better than saying "the white one" or"the black one". We sometimes remember to call the orange one "Orange".

Noir, it seemed, was just as likely to hang out on our side of the street. We saw him a couple of times in our back yard. And in the neighbor's yard. And under the houses. Once, we watched him crossing the street with a bird or lizard in his mouth. Graham would keep an eye out for Noir whenever he saw cars speeding down the street.

In mid-March, he and I finally met. He was hanging out on the driveway, and Celosa bounded out to say hi! Noir made a quick exit, to Celosa's profound disappointment, and I figured that was the last I'd see of him for awhile. Not so. About ten minutes later, I was getting into my car to go to the gym, when I heard a pathetic "meow." I looked around. No cat. I looked under the house next door. No cat. I looked in the back yard. No cat. Finally, I looked up, and there was Noir, halfway up the Bradford pear tree, making pathetic sounds about how he was stuck. It took us a few minutes, but we got him out of there, and he darted under the house. Wooch was unsympathetic for my excuse when I got to the gym a little late.

At that point, I didn't know whether Noir was a boy or a girl. He was rather small and thin, but we knew that the cats were young, so size wasn't all that helpful in determining his sex. I helped him out of the tree again in May. And when it started getting really hot, we left a water bowl outside for him to drink from.

Graham called me one day to tell me that he was watching Noir across the street talking to a baby in a wagon. The baby LOVED Noir, and Noir was perfectly happy to give the baby some lovin'. He said it was really cute.

In early June, I came home for lunch, and Noir darted out from under the house and came up to me to say hi. After rubbing on my legs the way cats do, he rolled over and gave me his tummy to rub. That's when I discovered that Noir was decidedly male. He was really sweet, and he let me pick him up and take him to the front porch for some lovin'.

At some point in here, we bought some cat food and started occasionally leaving it out for Noir. Some of the birds got it, too. And I'm sure a raccoon or some of the other cats around got in on the action, but Noir was definitely hanging around more.

In late July, Graham discovered that Noir had some worms, so we bought some de-worming medicine. Graham was a little worried that we'd end up de-worming the neighborhood squirrels, so we bought some wet catfood and waited for Noir instead of just leaving the dosed dry food out for Noir to come across. Finding and feeding Noir was not a problem. The next time I saw him after treatment, he appeared to be in good health.

A few weeks ago, he trapped Graham in the driveway when he was leaving the house on his scooter. Noir saw Graham and darted across the street to say hi! He wouldn't let Graham get down the driveway. I had to come out, call Noir and distract him with a tummy rub while Graham went to get dinner. Noir hung out with me for five minutes until he saw a squirrel run across the street and gave chase.

And then, there was Sunday. Graham, Celosa and I came home from the ranch on Sunday. I let Celosa out to go pee, and I saw Noir under the hammock. I quickly got Celosa back in the house before she saw him, and looked around the pantry for some food for Noir. We were out of dry food, but I had some wet food left from when Athena had been so sick before she died. I went back outside with the food, and Celosa started barking. A few days previously, I'd gone out to say hi to Noir, leaving Celosa inside, and she didn't speak to me for the rest of the day. (Noir later climbed on the roof of the house to see me off to work.) So I let her out to see what the hubbub was all about. I figured that Noir would run away the second he saw her, but he stood his ground. And then he ROLLED OVER ON HIS BACK AND STARTED PLAY BATTING HER. Celosa was fascinated. They stared at each other for five minutes, and it wasn't until I called Celosa away that she stopped staring at him. It was awesome. Graham said the same thing happened yesterday when they went outside to water the plants (and give Noir some ice water). Noir thanked Graham by meowing, EXACTLY like Zeus used to meow. And it happened again this morning when I let Celosa out to pee/feed Noir some more wet food. The cat and the dog like each other quite a bit. Today, Celosa licked the kitty's stomach (immediately making us worry about the worms...), and Noir just let her do it. I think they may be friends. We took pictures of the two of them this morning; they're adorable.

Noir escorted me down the driveway and into the car to see me off to work this morning, and Graham--in his boxers on the front porch--had to call him away so I was sure I didn't run him over. Noir immediately did the kitty leg rub thing with him while I drove off.

So the next time we see our across the street neighbors, we're going to talk to them about Noir. We sort of assumed that they were the "owners" of Noir and Blanc, because their yard is where the kittens hung out initially. Blanc hangs out sometimes at the house next door to theirs, and I never see Blanc on our side of the street. (I tried to talk to Blanc last night when we were walking to Geek Night, but s/he didn't want anything to do with me). We don't really want to make Noir be an indoor cat, but it's clear that Noir likes us, and we like Noir, so we might as well be somewhat responsible about cat, er, not ownership...um... mutual admiration and make sure that he's fixed and maybe sometimes treated for fleas and other parasites. We're fine with it if he cheats on us and has more than one family. We actually expect it. But, we don't see any reason that a poly-family cat can't be open about his multi-partner status and why his various partners can't cooperate in ensuring that he's cared for.

Graham is looking into getting speed bumps/cat crossings installed in front of the house.


( 4 comments — Say something )
Aug. 16th, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
yay kitty!! <3

Noir thanked Graham by meowing, EXACTLY like Zeus used to meow.

oooh, fun! maybe zeus wanted to see graham again!

we didn't recognise that mousebait had been lucifer previously at first (and now he's back again as jack); gypsy was cali last time and nala was rafi. oh, and aodhan was regis rafael last time around. it always makes me happy when they come to be with us again!

and woo hoo, GO GRAHAM on getting speedbumps put in!
Aug. 16th, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)

Unsurprisingly, this story makes me ridiculously happy. Especially the part about Noir and Celosa being friends. :D

Aug. 16th, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
oh yay good happy pet news!!! i SO needed that!

of course celosa behaved, she's a good little girl who just wants a playmate. it just took noir a little while to see that. :)

nothing wrong with having a kitty friend. i'm glad noir has you.
Aug. 17th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
( 4 comments — Say something )