So, for about two hours last night I had a cat.
It was nice.
I had just finished an incredibly productive night of tweeting a running commentary on Friday the 13th (I SO did not know Kevin Bacon was in that), when I heard meowing.
I'd heard this voice before, from a stray out in the carport, but aside from eating the bits of pot roast I'd thrown out for her she'd kept her distance.
Plus, you know, she'd been outside.
This was close.
And getting closer. I looked out the peephole and there she was, coming up the stairs. We don't make a habit here of leaving front doors open when it's 9 degrees out, so someone must've taken pity and let her in the building.
I did likewise, opening the door and uttering the universal invitation for cats - "tk tk tk, c'mere."
She looked me over for a moment, then oozed her way in, purring nonstop to make sure I didn't change my mind. It worked.
No collar, but she clearly wasn't feral, not in the skittish and wild sense. She looked young, acted young - when I held her she pressed up against my chest and let me squeeze her down into a little ball of fluff between my arms like kittens do.
She didn't let me out of her sight, though she was certainly out of mine several times - she'd be walking around me, rubbing against my legs, and then suddenly she was gone and she'd reappear behind a piece of furniture on the other side of the room. How do they *do* that?
All I had on hand was Puppy Chow and the chicken I'd baked a few hours ago, so she got that.
Now, Ed hearts Puppy Chow, but kitty did not heart Ed.
She didn't actually seem to notice her at first, since tortoises don't have fur, or make sounds, or really even give off body heat...But then ...
"Holy ****, it moved!!!"
I wish it had been bright enough in the room to take a video, her reactions were priceless.
"Wait, weren't you supposed to be feeding me?"
"Is it ... dead?"
She finally just ran out of the kitchen, so Ed had to be banished to the bathtub for the night.
Kitty drank a ton of water, ran around a bit, drank more, ate some chicken, ALWAYS purring.
This building doesn't technically allow pets (Ed doesn't shed or make sounds so she's easy enough to hide), so I decided I'd better get her back outside before she got too comfy.
(WAY too late for that, by the way)
Gave her a grand tour of the laundry room, walked around the halls a bit, tried to get her to go outside but she just looked at me as if I were off my rocker. Took her back inside. Remembered she couldn't stay.
I got her to go outside by walking out ahead, pretending I'd stay out there, but I finally just picked her up because the snow's well over a foot deep in places. We walked around the building a few times, with me hoping she'd get tired of me and jump out of my arms at some point like a good kitty, but she just held on for dear life the whole time. It was late, it was windy, it was cold, I set her down in the carport. I'd seen her hiding under the cars before, I hoped it was warm. At least there wasn't snow there.
Of course, she just followed me back to the door. She actually ran ahead of me if I started speeding up.
I snuck in and closed the door in front of her. She stared at me through the glass and waited for the door to open.
I had nothing that would help her, nothing besides the food and water I'd already given her, so I just tossed some more food in a cardboard box with a blanket. I went back outside and she was gone, walked around the building again with no sight of her, so I put the box in a warmer-looking place near a wall.
She was sitting on the sidewalk and watching me.
I came closer, but she ran. I sat down, and she came up. I picked her up and put her in the box. She found the food, ate, wolfing it down and looking up every second like she wanted to follow but had to finish eating first. I went home. If she was still there in the morning, I'd take her to a shelter, though her odds probably wouldn't be much better there. She'd been hanging conspicuously around the area for weeks, after all; no worried owner had come to collect. She probably did alright on handouts and pity. Still, if she was there ....
The box was there this morning, no kitty, no food. Too cold and windy for pawprints to follow.
I hope she's warm.