...so a cat adopted us - Part I

October 19, 2016
Several months ago, we noticed a black and while cat wandering around my MIL's yard. Her cat, Ruby, even had a bit of a tussle with it, so it never came particularly close to the house, but we'd see him out of the window occasionally. When she died, my SIL took Ruby with her, and the house was cat-less and empty.

So this little guy decided he was going to be the cat of the house, and took up residence on the porch. When my husband was back at the house, he'd run over to be petted, despite being a stray. He spent hours staring in through the window in the door, waiting to be let inside, and would even let you pet his belly without going into attack mode.

The winters in WV can be tough, cold and snowy. If he didn't freeze to death, he might not be able to hunt under all that snow, and that's not even mentioning the coyotes (who ate Ruby's sister a long time ago). 

So we didn't have a choice in the matter, he was such a sweety, and he spent so much time staring in the window at us, and the house is empty most of the time... and well, we couldn't leave him. 

The day before we drove back home, we loaded up on cat supplies, assembled the cat carrier, poured out a pan of litter, and figured he could spend the first night inside with us before the long drive. So we tempted him into the cat carrier with treats, and brought him into the large downstairs bathroom.

We anxiously watched as he explored, flopped for belly rubs and ate a bowl of food (snorting like a little rhinoceros). He seemed to especially like the warm air flowing through the vent in the floor. 


Eventually we left him alone to calm down and settle in. We didn't want to overstimulate him or stress him out, and we were hoping he's use the litter tray and thought he'd be more interested in that if he had some privacy. 

And everything seems to be going well until we heard a kind of unusual noise. My husband and I looked at each other and I said "that's not the dryer?" He said "No, it's not.' So fearing something had been knocked over, he went in first and told me it wasn't good.


The cat had somehow pulled up the vent cover moved to the side and then had dived down the duct. I could see the broken duct lying on the ground, but that's as far as the light reached, with the escapee fleeing into darkness. We couldn't hear anything, and for a moment I was terrified we'd have to call someone to tear the house apart to get him out. Fortunately, the house has no basement and Mr Kitty had fallen into the crawl space, which is accessible by a small door under the porch. After a good hour and a half of us running around the house in the dark with flashlights shining them into various vents (and me with a broken toe) we decided the best course of action was to open the door to the space under the house, leave one of the security cameras pointed at it and wait until he wandered out on his own.
Shortly after that he was back on the porch waiting for us expectantly. If I'm honest, I was pretty upset with him. He scared us, and all we were doing was trying to help. If he was so desperate to escape that he lifted out a vent cover (?!) did he really want to come home with us? 

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