The Cat Came Back (but Not The Very Next Day)

A familiar “voice” made my heart go pitter-pat around 4 a.m.

After a late night at work, I was heading into my house near downtown when I heard the “meow” I’d been listening for each night for about a week. And there he was, happy Dumpster Kitty, aka Orange Kitty, ready to come back in my house for the night. And I still don’t really what to do with him — does anyone know this cat? I’m never quite sure if he’s a stray or if his people just put him out at night, not realizing he goes to my house to come in and stay warm for the night.

After some food and water and petting and meowing, DK curled up in his favorite resting spot, a cat bed tucked under a table in the living room, and I pondered where he might have been.

DK’s story is a mystery to me. I’d seen him around for quite a while, usually finding something to eat in the Dumpster in my parking lot. I felt sorry for him, so I started to give him a can of food now and then. Eventually, the can of cat food wound up outside my door. As it got colder, I felt more sorry for him, and I made him a little shelter with a tote tipped on its side with a fuzzy sweater inside and a little blanket for a “door.” And eventually, I let him in the house for a bit, then for a bit longer, and finally, he was staying overnight, while my cats gradually became used to him. My granddaughter got to meet him one weekend, too.

My cats seem enamored with DK's tail.

Zelda, my tabby, is fairly new to getting this close to DK, but Max has been nose to nose with him since close to the beginning, mostly because DK likes to rub heads with him. I initially thought it was going to be a disaster, with all the hissing and growling from Max, but I hardly ever hear anymore. And Zelda, who first hid the entire length of the apartment, later stayed only one room away, and then consented to be on opposite sides of the same room, and now is OK with being a few feet away and occasionally having very brief contact. Like, two seconds!

I took my cats to the vet last week, and the vet thought it might not be a good idea to have my indoor cats mix with an outdoor cat, specifically because of the danger of feline leukemia, which indoor cats are not generally vaccinated against. So I hemmed and hawed over what to do. Then I heard DK outside the next night … and didn’t open the door. A couple of hours later, I decided I would let him in and take him to the vet for a test/vaccination the next day. But he never came back, not that night, or the next, all through the New Year’s weekend, and to the next Wednesday.

I felt awful for not having let him in that one night, and wondered day after day what could have become of him. And suddenly, there he was, and now he’s curled up under my feet. And I’ll take him to the vet tomorrow finally, hoping the feline leukemia test will be negative.

UPDATE: Just got back from Animal Care Clinic, where DK tested negative for feline leukemia/FIV/heartwork and was then vaccinated against the same (he needs a booster in three weeks). Jan at the clinic also noticed he was neutered, which is good. He was really good there. I still can’t rule out the possibility that he has a home; he’s so well-behaved and friendly for a stray. We stopped at the Pioneer on the way home, which I think freaked him out more than the vet clinic did.

And as much as I like DK, I need to find him a home, preferably in the country where he can be an indoor-outdoor cat. He isn’t ready to be an indoor cat, and I can’t have a cat yowling miserably to go outside when I live in an apartment where it would bother other people. And city ordinance forbids cats running at large.

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of a very happy cat:

And a few from previous visits:

This was my first Dumpster Kitty photo, zoomed in from quite a ways away. He wasn’t letting me pet him yet at this point. That pile of glop in front of him is a can of cat food I dumped on the ground next to the Dumpster.

Here is the shelter I made for the visitor, before I started letting him in.

And here is probably the prettiest picture of him. Is that adorable or what?

Cross your fingers for him being a healthy cat!

5 Responses

  1. patt rall

    Laurie–this story is so you–your kindness toward man and beast alike-and I hope DK can find a good new home or just return to his original family. Thanks for sharing the pics–sure wish I knew of someone looking for a kitty.

  2. Evan Hazard

    The Meadows has restrictions on pets: cats are ok, but they must be indoor cats. Dogs under 20 lb. are ok. I’d adopt in a minute, but my daughter, who will be here in a couple of weekends, is allergic to cats, and to places cats have lived recently. A country place or its original home sounds best.

    I belive neutered males are prone to a kidney disease as they age. This happened to one cat we had, who had to go on a special diet. Perhaps it was deliberately low in calcium, but I cannot remember. Your vet might know.

  3. Julie L.

    DK is a handsome cat! I hope you find a good home for him, although it looks like he already thinks your house is his house. Plus, he’s already friends with your cats!

  4. Susan Pahl

    Sounds like us, we to are taking care of an out side cat, fixed and out side house for
    him/her but he only comes to eat and run, really scared. We see his foot prints in the
    snow. He to some times doesn’t come for a few days and then shows back up. If they only
    new how lucky they are. Hope ours makes it through the winter. We have tried to talk to
    him but he runs…………Wish people wouldn’t put them out in the cold. Thanks for your
    story and pictures…..We also bought heated dishes so his food and water doesn’t freeze up.

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