Published July 20, 2011
Did you know that most outdoor cats are two-timers? You may not want to know, but as an editor of "Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Cat’s Life," I’ve read thousands of story submissions for our book, and I’ve heard it -- a lot.
Your wandering cat that randomly disappears for a few days at a time… is actually chilling out at his second home, with his other family.
And their catnip just might be a little better than yours.
Donna Lowich’s from Bridgewater, New Jersey found a “stray” cat that was an amazing combination both an inside and outside cat. The cat bonded with her three-year old son and often spent nights on his bed—especially if it was raining or snowing. The cat appeared regularly on those foul-weather evenings, and they named him “Bandit.”
It was only after the neighborhood Christmas party that they learned that Bandit had four different families who fed him and loved him.
Imagine four different families rejoicing at your arrival whenever you appeared? I would take one, thank you very much.
Margaret Shaw from San Tan Valley, Arizona fell under the spell of an adorable cat that appeared in her neighborhood one hot summer day. The first time she saw the poor little thing it looked thirsty and straggly so she gave it water. It kept appearing and soon she gave it food.
Within a month the newly named “Drools” had moved onto her porch and spent hours snuggling with Shaw in her chair. Drools quickly worked his way inside the house and eventually slept on Shaw’s bed.
Nine month later Shaw finally met her “new” neighbors. They asked her: “Our cat isn’t bothering you too much, is he?”
Some experienced cat owners are familiar with this drill and ward against it. When they find a “stray” they take a picture and either e-mail or deliver a note into their neighbor’s mailboxes. “Ever seen this cat before?” they ask to ward off later regret. Human hearts have been broken over much less.
But some cat owners are happy their cat is sewing their oats elsewhere.
Carolyn Trombe from Wynantskill, New York lives near a summer camp. She learned that her cat, Patches, like going to the nearby camp more than living at home since Patches would wander off and a few days later a camp official would bring her home – and it happen multiple times.
Trombe tried to keep Patches home, but Patches wasn’t staying. Patches wanted to go to camp. And what do you think happened? Patches went to camp.
In fact, Patches spent three enjoyable summers at that summer camp until – alas -- it was time to go to full-time kitty camp. The one way above us in the clouds. But maybe that’s not all that bad. How many families do you think our cats have up there?
Jennifer Quasha is a writer and most recently the co-author of "Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog's Life: 101 Stories about the Ages and Stages of our Canine Companions" and "Chicken Soup of the Soul: My Cat's Life: 101 Stories about the Ages and Stages of our Feline Family Members." Check out her website at www.jenniferquasha.com.