Have you ever had a cat that you suspected of leading a double life? One who spent time with you, but not all the time? Maybe she would sleep at your house, but was gone all day. Or he hung around during the day and left at dusk. You probably worried because he didn’t seem to be eating. But he was gaining weight. Did you wonder if your cat had a second home?
My mother is a stopover (probably not the only stopover) for a neighborhood cat. Gibbs is actually quite trim. He wears a collar, which is how we know his name. And he visits my mother’s house every single morning asking for a handout.
One day I called the number on Gibbs’s collar and learned that, indeed, he has loving owners and a home to go home to, but he also roams and begs. Gibbs’s owners say they’ve heard from others who are feeding him. He seems to make the rounds every day and usually scores. Well, he has these big, round eyes that are hard to resist.
I had a cat once who moved across the street when we brought home a dog.
And then there are cats who travel great distances or even just a little ways and either don’t return or return weeks or months later. I just read an adorable story of such a cat. If you haven’t read Caroline Paul’s Lost Cat, A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology, you’re in for a treat.
Caroline is a delightful writer and her story is fun, light, and oh, so telling when it comes to cat behavior. She actually used GPS technology and tiny cameras to find out where her cat was going each day. Her findings are hilarious.
I have a story in my book, Catscapades, True Cat Tales, about a cat I had once who ran away—well, she disappeared. She was a gorgeous cat and she might have been picked up. And she was unique enough to recognize when she showed up again many months later with a newborn kitten. What the heck? I’d had her spayed a year or so earlier. This is a most unusual story and you’ll find it on page 65 in Catscapades, True Cat Tales. Order this book here: https://www.matilijapress.com/catscapades.html
There’s also the story of Bootsie, an adorable black-and-white girl with four white socks who showed up on my friend, Ann’s doorstep and invited herself in. When she didn’t seem to want to leave, Ann started calling her Bootsie. A few years later, Ann was in her yard chatting with a neighboring farmer when he spotted the cat lounging on Ann’s porch. He said, “Hey, that’s Bootsie.” Ann asked how he knew the cat’s name and he revealed that his barn cat, Bootsie, had disappeared two years earlier and never returned. Now what are the chances of a cat getting to keep her name even when she moves in with new people?
This story is on page 96 of Catscapades.