As you probably remember, earlier this year I started providing cat food to the local raccoon population. Then I started having problems with possums and neighborhood cats eating all the food. A month or so back I started seeing a large long-haired brownish-grey male raiding the food bowl. Soon he was a regular visitor.
Molly did not like him.
It had been a while since I had seen a raccoon and I was spending too much on cat food (2 large bowls a night) so I decided to reduce the amount of food I put out to one medium-sized bowl a night. The big male went from raiding the food bowl to standing outside the glass patio door every morning and evening meowing for food. He didn’t look like he was missing too many meals but he acted like he was starving.
Molly would hiss and attack the glass whenever she saw him.
I felt sorry for him and started putting out a bowl whenever he showed up. Soon he was basically a resident on my patio. He was obviously tame because whenever I went outside he would come up and brush up against my legs in a friendly way. I also noticed he was wearing a collar. I wondered if he had been abandoned. This is about when it started getting cold and we had our first rain.
Molly made clear that he was not ever coming inside. Never ever.
A couple weeks ago I saw a car pull up out front right after dark. It stopped right in front of my house and had the lights on. Peeking out from behind the curtains I saw this young woman get out and walk up to the big cat and pick him up. She started walking back to her car with him.
So I stepped out on the porch and said “Is that your cat?”
She told me that it was her friend’s cat and that they were worried about him because he hadn’t come home. She told me they lived over on the next block. She also told me that the cat’s name was Diesel and that he was an outside cat. We talked a little more and then she took Diesel and left.
It wasn’t even two hours later he was back outside my patio door meowing like he was starving. I decided that if he had a home there was no reason for me to keep feeding him. I figured that if I stopped feeding him he would quit hanging around.
When I told Molly she didn’t seem to care.
Diesel is apparently stubborn, even for a cat. He would be waiting outside on the patio before sun-up every day and hung around until late at night. If I tried to let Molly out he would come running up, meowing like crazy. I had to close the patio blinds because he would just stand there and beg.
After about a week he finally started to get the message that his welfare benefits had ended and he quit hanging around so much. Then yesterday when I came home from the store I was talking to the hot young widow next and I saw Diesel sitting in front of her house so I asked her if she had been feeding him.
She said yes and then told me that he was a friendly outside cat who lived over on the next block. She said the owner had an autistic son and whenever Diesel disappeared for a few days the son would start freaking out so they would come find him and take him home.
This morning when I went out to get the paper at 5 am Diesel was sitting on my front porch. So I fed him. I figure if they need to look for Diesel they will know where to find him.
I haven’t told Molly yet.