Tough old guy

The tl;dr: We adopted a 16 yr old cat that lived in a neighboring parking lot. Our two cats were not thrilled, lost my home office, and have to get up once or twice a night to deal with neko (cat) drama. Due to everyone always asking, we created a blog for the cats; I also link a few times in my post so as not to repost the same images.

The beginning

So lets go back about a year and a half. My wife and I were taking a walk down our street and happened to look into a neighboring condo parking lot. There we saw a scruffy old looking cat. Checked it out and it looked like there were a few bowels of water and food around. The next day we saw it again. Just stilling in parking lot or laying under cars. After a few more days of seeing this, I ask the maintenance people and the person sitting at the condo front office about the cat. They did not seem to know anything about it. Called SPCA and they said that I could borrow a cage, catch it myself and bring it. They would have a look, perhaps clean it up, but I could not adopt it. The policy is to release it back where the cat was found.

Next I thought, ok, I’ll put up some flyers to see who can help. Then I was told I was not allow to post anything. Sigh… Well, I was getting pretty close to simply getting the cage when we ran into someone who is taking care of the cat. Seems there are a number of people who have been feeing him over the last est. 16 years. 16 years living in a parking lot! So the thinking was, ok well, its been 16 or more years of living here, may as well let it finish his life here. And I thought that was the end of the story…

For a year and a half, we joined this rag tag random group of people leaving food and water. My wife would take on the extra task of cleaning up the area since the maintenance people were not happy about all these bowls as you can imagine. I found where he sleeps at night, against a wall where the hot water pipes run. (picture) So I dug down a bit a placed a pad and covered it again to keep him off the wet soil. He was brown so my wife called him Cha-san. Or Mr. Brown in Japanese. Seems everyone that took care of him had a different name: Master, Diamond, MiMi, Kat. I’ve had cats all my life, so I went with Kat as well as Cha-san.

Cha-san likes being around people, and did like another cat that came by, but no one could get closer than 6 feet. (guess he took Covid seriously) Never approached you unless you made a sound of dry food in a container, then he might come by and see what you brought. Otherwise, we have a complete loner and did not want to be touched. Pretty amazing a cat that growled if you got too close to him would develop such a following.

So about a month ago, I guess a new resident decided that the cat was getting worse and needed help. A SVACA volunteers came out to trap the cat. Gave the same answer, they almost never kill the cats; always return them… Turns out this was not one of those times.

The clock starts ticking

When others found out the cat was taken, there were a flurry of calls from various people trying to get answers. The SVACA said they have never seen such interest in a feral cat before. However, they have decided to put the cat down unless someone comes and claims it before 4PM. One of the people who care for the cat, told her friend what was happening. He asked no questions but jumped in the car and headed there. He claimed the cat. However, they would not let him take the cat unless he found a vet who would take the cat under care, again before 4pm. He was on the phone calling every vet in the area until he found one that was willing to take care of him. Next he has to rush to find a cage and get the cat before the clock stuck zero time. He barely made it.

Oh my God

This was the reaction of the vet. He was shocked at the cats age and condition. Said most likely he will not come back from anesthesia. But was given the greenlight anyway. After he was under, they shaved him, ended up making a few deep cuts because of badly matted the hair was, clipped nails including one that was growing into his paw… And amazingly, he came back. But now what? They could not keep the cat, no home for it. Keep in mind, there was not a formal organization for this group, it was a case of one person who know another who knew another. Text messages were flying everywhere. My wife said to pass a message to whomever has the cat, that we would take him in. 36 hours later, the messages finally connected and the people with the cat who have no choice but keep the cat in a garage the night before finally got our address and came by to drop off the cat.

Part II: A new cat in the house

Share and Enjoy !