A couple of months ago, our younger cat sort of vanished for longer than usual. He’d developed the habit of occasionally not showing up when we were out and about for a day or two, so for that first couple of days we weren’t worried.
By day three we started to wonder, and when he showed up toward the end of the day, we were initially happy to see him.
Well, we were still happy to see Truman, but quickly got concerned. He was lethargic. He was skinny. He stayed hunched up in an “I don’t feel well” posture.
This looked like a bigger problem than we could fix with the items in our vet bag, so Truman got a free ride to the veterinarian. He hadn’t seen her since we got him neutered.
She confirmed he had some kind of infection and dosed him with antibiotics. When we brought him home, he was obviously very happy to return even though he was still thin and weak. He was probably grateful to come back with all his body parts this time.
It seemed obvious he needed to stay under cover for a few days. So we fixed up a spot for him in our mudroom.
This happened just as the weather took a turn from chilly to outright cold. Our wood-burning furnace is located in the mudroom. He quickly discovered the warmest part in the room was right in front of it, so we threw an old towel on the floor right there. Add a food dish and water bowl and litter box, and, voila! Kitty cat accommodations….
One of the nice things about the mudroom is it’s easily closed off from the rest of the house, so we were able to go about our business without disturbing him. As an outdoor cat, however, Truman preferred to do his business outside. He considered the litter box to be an emergency-use only item.
His trips outside grew longer as he felt better, and after a couple of weeks he was back to his full weight. We’d keep each other updated whenever he returned to the mudroom, and when he went back outside, we’d make the announcement “Truman has left the building.”
In case you were wondering, yes, that experience has spoiled him….
Some evenings, when we settle down to watch a flick on the television, he’ll hop up on an Adirondack chair out on the porch and perform his version of tapping on the window:
“Hello! You know, it’s still cold out here. Cough. I just need to warm the pads of my feet. Wheeze.”
So we go to the mudroom and open the door, and even though the towel is gone now, he claims his spot in front of the furnace. After he gets warmed up, and possibly bored, then Truman’s ready to leave the building again.
Hmm, I think that cat has trained us….