I finished a new article called The Cat Angel for Best Friends this week, and it was a real joy to write about this special lady who cares for so many feral cats. But it also made me sad to think just how many cats are living outside in such harsh conditions. This winter has been such a tough one in so many parts of the country, it breaks my heart to think of so many animals trying to manage outside in the cold on their own.
As a result, I tried to impress upon my own cat Nate how lucky he is to have a home, with a warm place to sleep and food at his disposal every day.
Nate would have none of it.
I adopted Nate three years ago from the Kenton County Animal Shelter in Covington, Kentucky. I had recently lost my cat of 12 years, Tigger, to cancer, and I wanted a new friend for the cat I still had, Thomas. And if I'm being honest, a new friend for myself as well.
Tigger and Thomas were brothers, and both striped tabby cats. When I went looking for a new cat, I had no intention of getting a striped tabby, as I wanted something different. I had my heart set on a tuxedo cat, and I was going to name him Jack. But then I went to the shelter, and I saw a 4 month old striped tabby kitten named Nate. I sat in the cage and played with him, and within an hour, I had forgotten about getting a tuxedo cat and forgotten about the name Jack. I arranged to bring Nate home with me.
I've never regretted that choice, as Nate is a joy, and a character in every sense of the word. When he is not goading Clancy into chasing him around the condo, he can usually be found like this.
He has no delusions about who is in charge of our house. It's clear to him that he is. He meows for food as soon as I come home from work, and won't be quiet until a bowl of food is in front of him. If I decide to sleep in on the weekends, he is quick to get out the megaphone and yell to remind me that his breakfast is late. I bought Clancy a new dog bed a few months ago, and Nate quickly claimed it as his own. When I got a warm scarf for the winter, Nate didn't hesitate to turn it into a bed for himself the first time I forgot to put the scarf away in the closet.
He sees everything in the house as his birthright, and truthfully, I wouldn't want it any other way. I wish I could give all of the cats I wrote about in the article the same comforts of home.
Since that is not possible, I'm glad I can at least do it for my two loves.