Stuff happens in my life, sometimes. Last night, while calling for Odessa to come back inside, I heard a meow that didn't sound like her. I followed the sound, found Odessa sitting up on the roof, and the meow coming from somewhere else. I eventually discovered the source of the sound; a cat I hadn't met before, up in a tree. Maybe Odessa chased him up there? But he's bigger than her! Still, even a small housecat can be fierce when defending her territory.
I went around the back, coaxing Odessa down from the roof. When I made it back to the front door, the other cat was there, waiting. I put Odessa in the library and closed the door behind her, and tried to invite the other cat in. He was scared, but I grabbed the canned food Odessa had only licked the gravy off earlier the same day, and put it out on the front porch. Oh yes, he was hungry. Very, very hungry. I moved the food inside and closed the door behind the cat after he entered. He didn't mind much because he had food.
After he'd eaten, there was a period of anxiety, lots of meowing, running around and hiding. But he calmed down once I started petting him (I read his body language and determined that he was in fact not going to maul me if I reached out to touch him), and we were fast friends. I gave him more food and put out some water for him as well - had to switch to dry food after he had depleted almost my entire wet food stockpile. (Okay, it was almost at a historical low)
Then I posted about him on twitter - that was my one tweet in Norwegian. I'm on a list of people in or from this region, which is being read by around 50 people, so I figured there was a chance, even if it was just a small one. I also joined a more narrow local group on facebook and posted on their wall. Then I posted a 'cat found' ad on kattensvern.no
He even came and sat on my lap. I noticed he smelled kind of bad. Not nearly as strongly as a certain stinky kitty we met in Bergen, but the same kind of smell. He may have eaten something nasty or have some health problem related to digestion. By now you'll probably want the photos, so here they are.
Odessa and the guest kitty kept their distance to each other and exchanged the occasional unpleasant remarks.
After he had calmed completely down, I offered the guest to go outside if he wanted to. He didn't. Several times he followed me to the door, stepped out on the porch and turned around and went back inside when I started closing the door.
It was getting late and I needed to get some sleep. I didn't want the cats to be alone together, so I let the guest stay in the living room and had Odessa with me in the bedroom. She needed reassurance that she was my cat and this interloper wasn't going to usurp her position.
I woke up several times during the night, of course. Checked in with the guest every time. The first time, I found he had decided to nap on my chair. The second time, around 4 AM, I noticed his nose was dry - he was getting dehydrated. He still hadn't touched the water. So I poured him a little kefir, as that was only expired by a couple of days, unlike my regular milk which expired mid-december. He lapped it right up.
Oh, and he's got felted chunks of fur - a problem common in long-haired cats, especially those who don't get brushed regularly. It's not too bad, though. I've seen feral cats with whole sheets of fur hanging halfway off the side. Looks completely ridiculous. I've been working on getting some clumps of fur out.
Anyway, when I actually got up in the morning, I was relieved to find that the living room did not reek of cat urine or feces. I checked the litterbox, and he had used it. Two very wet-looking piles of shit. He hadn't covered them up, but they still didn't stink too badly. I just scooped some more litter over and left them to dehydrate a bit more before scooping them out. Didn't feel like examining them for worms - he probably has them anyway.
So, around noon, I left to go visit my grandparents. Now that I wasn't staying inside, the guest kitty wanted to go out too. Then he started exploring and I quickly lost him.
I looked around for him a while, but he had completely disappeared.
So I started to head down to the farm, and then I heard something that made me very happy. The ice cream van!! I hadn't seen it since November the 28th. Yay, frozen foods delivered to my home. I called my grandmother and told her it was here, she told me she wanted dinner type foods, but it was too hard for her to get out there and to just shop for her and bring it in. So I did. Then I visited my grandparents, told them about my visitor, and my grandmother called a neighbor she knows better than I do and asked if she knew this cat. She didn't, but at least we are working on getting the word out.
So, back home. Odessa was relieved that our guest was gone. I did some knitting. Then I saw the mail being delivered, picked it up and visited my grandparents a second time. Made sure to check the local newspapers for missing cat announcements. I'll keep looking. It was only Strilen and Nordhordaland today; those aren't exactly for our area, but close. Maybe there'll be something in Ytre Sogn. That's 'our' local paper. It's so small it only comes out three days a week. Not that much happening around here. The big news story right now is that someone caught a Lophius piscatorius weighing 99,4kg, which is a new world record.
I ate dinner with my grandparents. I think I've been visiting them every day this week, usually bringing in the mail. That's unusual for me. Usually I do two or three visits in a week, sometimes it even goes a full week between visits. My grandmother appreciates it whenever I visit, though, so I never have to worry about hanging around too much. There's usually something I can make myself useful with, whether it's bringing in firewood and/or the mail, changing lightbulbs, taking out the compostable trash, figuring out problems with anything technological, or just providing tea and conversation. That's the way it should be when you are retired. You should have young, able-bodied people who visit and help out with whatever you need help with. This is what I kind of wanted to get into back when I lived in Oslo, but never got around to. Volunteering. Visiting old people, just for the social aspect, or helping them set up a computer with internet access so they can communicate with their grandchildren, teaching and learning new and old knitting techniques, or whatever else they may want. But because I wasn't on disability yet, I wasn't always at liberty to do whatever I wanted with my time. I had all these programs they wanted to put me through to try to prepare me to get a job or whatnot.
And then I went back home again, more knitting, more tea, more quality time with Odessa. Then after it got dark, I checked the porch and there the guest kitty was again. I let him back in and he drank the rest of my kefir. He's been on my lap a lot, and I've been working on getting some of the tangles out of his fur. He's such a handsome fellow. Right now he's lying on top of a pile of stuff and purring. Odessa has been "exiled" to the bedroom. She preferred that over staying in the same room as the guest. I'm sure she's pissed off.
What now? I'll print out some fliers and stick them up at strategic locations, hoping the owner will see them, I guess. It's just that there aren't really any such locations. The ferry lane, perhaps, and the bus shelter at Rutle. And of course at the store in Eivindvik, but I'm not going there again for almost three weeks. I need to recruit some local people to help me spread the word. And I don't have a color printer.