When Marius was gone, I put up signs around the neighbourhood, and even printed flyers to leave in mailboxes.
Don’t bother trying the number…I no longer have a phone at all :~)
A couple of weeks before Marius came back, I had a phone call from someone who said he thought he had my cat.
I wasn’t too certain about his facts, and tried to confirm by asking questions about the cat he’d seen.
He blew me off, asking how many orange and white cats there could be in one area. That didn’t grow my confidence.
But I knew that I had to go and look, no matter how unlikely it was that the cat was my cat.
The house was around the block from us, but not that far as the crow flies. It would have been very easy for Marius to get over there, though if he’d been that close, and only living in their barn, I was fairly certain that he would have come home when it was cold and he grew hungry.
When I got there, the guy didn’t seem to want to talk about Marius. Instead, he talked about another cat that was supposedly hanging out with Marius in their barn.
Their descriptions of Marius seemed a little dodgy, like they’d been sort of made up, and they kept bringing up this other cat.
This other cat who was conveniently in the barn when we went in there, though there was no sign of Marius, with whom she was supposed to be spending her time.
I gave this kitten a little stroke, and she all but leapt into my arms, then clambered onto my shoulder, purring as loudly as she could.
I wasn’t going to take her, but the man started to talk about how they would have to “get rid of her somehow”.
The way he spoke made it pretty clear that he would not be finding her a loving new home, but instead would let a bullet get rid of this sweety, who he considered a nuisance.
So I decided, without much hesitation, to take her. I’d get her spayed, and find her a new home, and we’d be good to go.
Whatever happened, I couldn’t let her be killed. And she was precious, with her purring, and her tiny pink eraser nose; I knew that it would be easy to find her a new home.
Until the drive home. Then I knew it would be hard to find her a new home, not because there was anything wrong with her, but because I didn’t want to lose her.
Then I discovered just how needy she was.
I couldn’t walk around outside without her running underfoot, meowing and trying to climb my leg. The way she acted with the other cats told me that she’d probably not been around other cats recently (meaning Marius hadn’t been with her), and she barely even knew how to act around them.
If I went inside, she cried at the door until I came out to see her. She wasn’t very interested in food, but was desperate for attention.
I named her Eponine (to go with Marius), and decided that I would be keeping her. I knew that very few people would be keen on taking a clingy cat like her, and didn’t want her to just wind up in the same predicament she’d been in before.
It took a little while to get Eponine over her extreme clingy-ness. Out on walks, if I stopped to take a picture, Eponine would be up on my shoulder before I registered the claws in the backs of my legs.
Now though, after she has been here for a few months, she has learned that this is home, and she will not lose it. I think that perhaps she had a home before, and was dumped when she started to grow up.
She likes to sleep right next to my head at night, but isn’t obsessive anymore. When Marius growls at the kittens, Eponine waltzes right over and plops down next to him, completely unafraid. And for that reason, he tolerates her.
I’ve never felt a cat with such plush fur. She feels almost like velvet. Her chubby little face makes her look babyish, even as she grows up.
Eponine still loves a good snuggle, and likes to be carried on walks, but she is a lot closer to normal cat level with her affection. Well, normal for my cats at least. They are a bit friendlier than the average cat. But normal enough.
Though, on occasion, I do wake to her poking me in the nose with a paw if she thinks I’ve slept long enough and should give her attention instead.