In a previous post, I talked about our trouble-making house guest, Weiss the cat, who seemed to have “fallen in love” with a stray in our neighbourhood. The story of our newly adopted cat picks up from there…
To catch you up in case you don’t want to read the last post, Weiss was sitting at the window one day and saw a cat, started meowing at it, and then the two started meowing back and forth. Thomas and I saw the cat, but it was too dark to take a proper picture of it that night. We felt sure it was a girl because the cat looked very small and pretty. Weiss also seemed to think it was a girl considering his fascination with it. We didn’t know if it was stray or feral at this point, and assumed it was feral because of how flighty it was, but we soon found out that it was not.
Time went on and the cat came back. Not quite the next day but maybe another week in. And again the two cats meowed at each other. This time, both Thomas and I tried to lure the cat with food. We had no experience with this, so we weren’t sure if it was safe at all. We simply decided to give it a shot because the cat was so cute! Again, the cat ran away each time we even came near the entrance of our garden. It technically “ate from us,” but only when we left the food outside, went into the house for 5-10 min, and then watched and waited from there. He’d reappear, eat the food, start meowing at Weiss again, then disappear whenever we inched our way toward the garden to get a peek at him again. On top of the cat being incredibly flighty, all this was done in the dark, so we could never really see where the cat was. This same series of events happened maybe two or three times within the next week. We took a flashlight these next few times, but when we shone it at him, he’d dart off a bit more quickly than before, meaning we never really got a chance to see the cat properly up close.
This blurry picture, taken the first night we saw the cat, was taken on the 6th of July (the cat is that grey spot next to the red picnic table). On July 20th, the cat came early, before sunset, so I was really excited. I immediately rushed to my camera and attempted to take pictures. I got two good ones, and was hella proud. This cat was one pretty little thing.
I noticed something that day. The cat wasn’t just attempting to get Weiss’ attention, or at least not anymore. Weiss wandered off to the window in our bedroom, far from the picnic table, and gave up meowing at the cat (although he did watch out of curiosity). In order to get the picture above, I stayed in my office and meowed at the cat myself, hoping to get it to stay long enough for me to get a good shot. I even flashed my flashlight at it this time and it still stayed (which is how I got enough light to take the picture above – that light on the left is the flash light glare). The cat did move a lot so these were the best two shots I could muster, but it was acting a lot less flighty than before.
I don’t remember if I tried going outside to lure the cat with food that night, but either way, the cat ran off before Thomas or I could get near it. The very next day, the cat came back, even earlier than previously. Since it was still pretty early and sunset wouldn’t be for a while, I decided I would go out and try luring the cat with food, hoping this time I could manage to gain its trust. Of course I took another picture before attempting this, because you can never have too many pictures of an awesome looking cat, and even if my stunt didn’t work, at least I’d have a pretty picture to share. Here’s the shot I got:
So again I took some of Weiss’ food outside and tried to lure the cat to me. I learned to place food, walk a couple of meters away, then wait for the cat to come get the food while I was still a few meters away. I would gently coax the cat with a high pitched, encouraging sounding voice and I sat down to look as unthreatening as possible. With the food, I was able to lure the cat to the garage in the front. By this time, it was eating from right in front of me. Thomas came out and tried to pick up the cat when it got close enough to reach, but it scratched him badly on his finger and started to run away. We could tell by now that the cat was a boy who had definitely not been neutered yet, but since he was still relatively trusting of us, meaning he had to be a stray rather than a feral cat. I called the cat back to me after he jumped out of Thomas’ hands, and put some food down a bit farther away from me, hoping to regain his trust enough for him to come back. He did and after some time of feeding him, he eventually started rubbing himself on my hands, acting incredibly affectionate, and even allowing me to pet him and put him in my lap. He didn’t stay in one place, however, but kept lapping me in circles. It was adorable.
Thomas told me to try to get him to our porch area to test his trust. There was only one exit, which was sort of blocked by my car, so dashing in and out would be difficult for him. If he went, which he did, it meant he really trusted me. He kept darting back and forth, but eventually we got him to stay on our small porch, and after Thomas feeding him for some time as well, he also soon began to trust Thomas enough to let Thomas pick him up. He’d rub himself all over our faces and was just so grateful to have food and clean water, and company as we later found out.
We played with him for hours and hours, only going into the house around midnight. We told each other we’d wait until around September, or at least until Weiss went back home to his owners, to adopt him – that is if he even came back. We told ourselves that waiting was the sensible thing to do. We had to leave ourselves time to mull the decision over, to see if we could accommodate him into our lives.
Yeah, that didn’t happen.
About ten minutes after I went back inside, I was working away at my computer in my office (remember the picnic table where I kept seeing him is just outside my office), and heard him meowing outside. In no time at all, he jumped onto the window sill from the outside. Weiss quickly ran to the window, and after the two sniffing each other for a while, Weiss realized the cat was a “he” and started hissing. We scolded Weiss, grabbed him, and closed the door to my office. The cat sat by the window yet, completely unfazed.
He stayed there for hours, going down for a few minutes here and there, then coming back up. And whenever Thomas came into the room to check up on him, he’d sit next to the window, and the cat would rub himself onto the window screen, hoping to get some more affection. The poor thing was probably incredibly lonely. Thomas gave up on trying to stay inside and went into the garden to pet him. Again the cat was flighty at first, but I told Thomas to talk to him, and once he realized who Thomas was, he stayed and played and cuddled. Words cannot describe how cute the sight was.
Thomas came back in and the cat jumped back on the window sill, quietly sitting while I was at my laptop again. At 5 AM or so, I closed my window and headed off for bed. He wasn’t at the window when I closed it, and had scampered off for some time. I assumed he’d gone off to find someplace to sleep for the morning.
But in a few minutes, after we’d changed, brushed our teeth, and gotten into bed, we heard him at the bedroom window – crying. Our hearts broke and we decided we had to adopt him. I did a quick search and determined the vets in our area opened at 8. All we’d have to do was wait until then, call, and take him in to get his shots and a general checkup. Thomas asked me if we weren’t rushing into things a bit too quickly; if it was really smart of us to be moving so fast. So I asked him if he could listen to that cat cry at our window one more night. He said no, and that was that. This cat would be ours.
Of course there was one more hurdle. We were both worried he’d been chipped and actually had a family and was really lost (after all, in our minds, who could abandon such a pretty little cat). Luckily for us, this turned out not to be the case. We waited with him until morning (Thomas taking a little nap between), took him to the vet that very morning at 11:30, and he stayed there over night to be neutered. We took the time to buy him a litter box, a brush, and put Weiss downstairs in the extra basement apartment (he likes it better down there anyway – so much cooler than upstairs, where he’d sometimes pant because he wasn’t used to non-air conditioned houses). Avery came back with us the very next day. We were so anxious to have him back; it’s ridiculous! I for one – I couldn’t wait to hold him again!
Oh yes, we called him Avery, (in case you missed it in the last sentence). Sometime when we first caught a good glimpse of him earlier in the month of July, I’d mentioned that the cat reminded me of the character Jackson Avery from the show Grey’s Anatomy (because of the green eyes mostly). So we called him Avery, which I thought really suited him.
Avery’s been a seamless addition to our little family. Of course he’s caused a little trouble, as any stray cat would when adjusting back to domestic life. Luckily for us he was already littler trained, but he has torn through our garbage on multiple occasions, and takes to whining and begging much too often for our liking, but over time he’s getting to know what to do and what not to do, and truly, he’s less of a troublemaker than Weiss was ;).
Either way, we love him oh so much. <3