Ghost of Tom (Cat) Joad

I admit it. I’m a crazy cat lady. Thus far, I have avoided receiving such a label from total strangers because I only have one cat, but my friends know the truth. If Herr Puss played well with others, I’d already have two cats. Since Herr Puss has agreed to never die (he and I have discussed this), I have agreed to not being him a sibling.

There’s a loophole in the contract I have with Herr Puss. It says nothing of harboring the odd stray in the sunroom until such time that said stray can be taken to a no-kill shelter.

Saturday morning, I thought I was going to have to make use of the loophole. I was at the Drake Inn, a motel that is “sketchy” at best, yet still has “where the stars stay!” on its neon sign. No, I was not picking up some work as a freelance crackwhore. I was there acting as a costumer for a film for the 48 Hour Film Fest. No word on what the hell the director was thinking putting me in charge of costuming, but at least the movie had a hooker in it, making my clothes unexpectedly useful.

Hanging around the Drake was a scrawny, fur-matted, hard-ridden orange tabby cat who came running up to me while I was standing outside. I have mad cat mojo. I’m little, I speak fluent cat, and probably reek of “spoiled Siamese.” The cat came up to me, letting me scratch it behind its ears, then rolling over onto its back for belly rubs. Bony and threadbare, the cat still looked up at me with big gold eyes, wanting to be loved.

It always seems so unfair to me, how some cats get taken in and spoiled rotten and others are left to consider drinking out of a swimming pool just to get something to drink. I know, the same comparison applies to humans. Most Americans are spoiled rotten, and there are kids in Africa being forced to participate in genocide at age 10. That sucks, but that wasn’t what was right in front of me on Saturday. On Saturday, I was planning to take that orange cat home, put him in my sunroom, and take him to Happy Tails for a good meal and a mat-removing shave. I can’t fix Africa, but I DO have a bag of cat food in my house.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything with me that would be suitable for boxing up a cat who, while totally down for petting, wasn’t particularly interested in being picked up. I had to leave him/her there, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still thinking about it. I’m still wondering if my odds would be better if I returned to the Drake armed with food and a proper carrier. After coming home and sleeping off all of the hours I’d spent awake at the Drake, I woke up with a ghost of failure flying around my house. Granted, that ghost was in good company; I have failure ghosts all OVER my house these days. Failure at my day job, failure at painting rooms in my house, failure with men, failure at working out, failure at weeding the lawn…

But still, the “Failure at Saving a Cat” ghost is gnawing at me. It stared at me with big, gold eyes, and I left it there. It’s one too many failure ghosts. Start your stopwatches. I’m guessing I’ll be back there before the week is over. If they find my body at a sketchy motel, you guys know why I was there.

2 thoughts on “Ghost of Tom (Cat) Joad

  1. Interesting story.
    My sister was a huge Cat lover all her life so i know full well about being called crazy cat lady.
    Visit my blog and see what I add every week.

  2. I have the same feeling over a sweet little cat we called “Famous Cat” for the restaurant that he was living at. Petted him, held him, almost had him in the carrier but he got away and would not be touched again. I like to think he found a good home somewhere, but I know how you feel.

    You can’t save them all, but you want to try.

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