Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Cat Problem

There are cat lovers, cat haters, and people like me who feel overwhelmed by all the problems cats and the rest of us have to face. Today is the first anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. Last Saturday several people were gunned down by a madman in Tucson. ASPCA has a commercial in which Roberta Flack sings over incredibly sad-eyed dogs in shelters. They will be killed if no one adopts them. Tonight cats will hang around farmhouse doors hoping to be invited in out of the cold. Up to a year ago a cat hanging around my mother-in-law's door would have been invited in. The cat would have been confined to the laundry room and shooed out at daybreak, but least it would have enjoyed a good night's sleep and something to eat. Unfortunately Frances died last year and her husband is indifferent to cats. He'll tolerate them outside and will even feed them on the porch, but he can't abide them in the house. A cat once ate his hearing aid, but even without that disaster he would not be having any cats inside.
My sister-in-law loves cats. She and her husband were up to visit the farm last weekend and saw first hand the plight of the two cats who hang around Einar's house. One of them will soon have kittens. Kathy did not try to convice Einar to let the cats come inside, but she did ask me to pick up a pet warmer mat. At her suggestion I put the mat in the garage out of the wind. A little red light came on when I plugged in the mat. After a while I carried the pregnant cat to the garage and set her on the mat. She immediately returned to the front porch. The mat instructions said the mat would not feel warm to the touch in cold climates. The pet will get warm it says by lying on the mat. I'm hoping the cat will somehow figure this out. The mat has a nice fleece cover and maybe she'll curl up on that tonight when it gets down below zero.