We’re celebrating an anniversary in our family today: on 14 September 2001, Patches the cat came to live with us.
I remember the night that she first moved in. It was about 9:00 p.m., dark and raining. Our son Nicholas had gone to bed an hour earlier, I was watching TV, and Michael was in his workshop. Suddenly, I heard a strange, scratchy-kind of sound at the front door. I peeked through the door’s side window and saw a damp-looking cat. Puzzled why a cat would be at our house, I opened the door to take a closer look at it. That’s when the cat ran in and up the stairs, sprinted down the hallway and made a right turn into our son’s bedroom.
I called out to my husband, who came upstairs and together we went to Nicholas’ room. There, at the head of the bed, was the cat curled up beside our sleeping son. My husband tried to take the cat off the bed, but she hissed at him. Nicholas woke up and couldn’t believe his eyes: it was Patches, a neighbour’s cat, he said.
We left her there with our son while we went to the living room to talk. Why did Patches choose our house to seek refuge, how did she know where Nicholas’ room was, should we keep her for the night or send her back to her owners? We kept her and hoped my allergies wouldn’t flare up.
The next day, we found where Patches lived (a few houses away from ours), but that her owners weren’t home (they were on vacation). We decided we'd keep her until their return. We loved cats, she clearly wanted to be us, so it was an easy decision. (I also made sure I had plenty of allergy tablets in case I needed them.)
Well, we must have taken good care of Patches, because she continued to live with us after her owners returned almost two weeks later. She didn't seem to want to go back permanently to them, however. Her family didn’t mind too much once they saw how well she looked and how attached she was to Nicholas.
Copyright © 2012, Yvonne Demoskoff.