New Temporary Houseguest!

Our story so far, with pics to come once she has a chance to settle in:

Friday night, just after dark, I was on my way to the grocery store to pick up some stuff for supper – Jackie had a job interview earlier that day that she felt went very well, and she was tired, and we thought we’d have a bit of a treat to celebrate.

In the middle of a large Canadian Tire parking lot bracketed by two of the busiest streets in the city, I spotted a cat trotting across the pavement, ducking under cars and avoiding people. The people were ignoring her. Being me, I couldn’t. I called Jackie to grab our small cat carrier and some treats and come help me. For over an hour we tried to get her. She was friendly enough to let me get very close if I was sitting down and tossing treats to her (man, she LOVES Temptations treats!). Unfortunately, she was halfway under a guy’s car, and he wanted to go, and while he was willing to wait a few minutes, time was ticking. I made a grab for her… and I missed. Skinned myself up a bit on the pavement, but mostly, was furious at myself for losing her. I couldn’t get close to her again that evening.

However, while we were chasing her, we met Natalie, who works at Canadian Tire, and who told us that she’s been seen around there for at least three weeks or so, living out of garbage cans, and sleeping in the garden centre tent overnight. We left her a can of Friskies under the corner of the garden centre fence, and I went home to worry about her.

Saturday, around dusk, I took a larger carrier that would be easier to get her into and went looking for her. This time I met Marisa, who was out with her dad who was waiting patiently while she tried to coax our girl out from under the garden centre fence. She was having none of that, but we made sure she got a good meal from the wet and dry food and treats I’d brought with me, and then we watched her disappear into the tent. (And, incidentally, someone walked off with my carrier while I was busy… thanks HEAPS, whoever that was…)

Sunday, I dropped by the garden centre and met Natalie all over again, and discovered that the tent will be disappearing after next weekend, leaving no shelter. Natalie suggested that if I could track down a live trap, she could set it up when she closed, and that she’d be the one opening the next day. This led to me scrambling madly to find a way to do this. Now, phones scare the crap out of me, ever since the bad emotional crash that put me on disability. Nonetheless, I ended up calling my friend Joanne who is involved with SNKI, and she passed on my number to the right person in SNKI. In no time, Kendra met me at the garden centre and we talked to Natalie and got everything arranged.

Every instinct wanted me to go bring her more food Sunday night, but then she wouldn’t have gone in the trap. So it was a very long night, without a lot of sleep, worrying whether she’d go in the trap or not and how scared she might be – but better scared for one night than living out there!

Unsurprisingly, because there are NEVER enough foster homes (foster if you can, please!!! it’s wonderful with the right organization, and saves lives!!!), SNKI has no openings for her. I can’t keep her long-term, not only can we not afford it but with Cory’s health issues it’s probably a bad idea. Unless we can find her a foster-home or a forever home, I’m eventually going to have to take her to the Humane Society, where she has at best a one-third chance of never coming out. I’m going to be looking for options other than that, and so are other people who care about this poor baby.

Sunday night, Jackie and I set up a large dog cage/kennel for her that I’ve used previously: she has a small litter box, a kitty hammock, soft blankets in the bottom, and a heavily-catnipped prysma-mousie to take energies out on. There are blankets over it, down to a few inches from the ground except one open end, to give her some privacy. Clean fresh water in a fairly large ceramic bowl that won’t tip went in at the last minute, along with kibble.

Monday morning, off I went to the garden centre when they opened – a few minutes before, actually. Tired and with my anxiety running high, I seriously didn’t know what I was going to do if she didn’t go in the trap overnight. (There’s sadly a reason why I can’t do rescue consistently these days – the whole anxiety/depression combo would send me into another all-out collapse in no time. *sigh*) I ran into Marisa in the parking lot, and Natalie was already there. And… so was our little grey girl.

Marisa helped me carry her back to our building, which isn’t far away, and Jackie met us at the door.

And now, after who knows how long living in a parking lot by herself, with temperatures dropping, and eating what she could scrounge from garbage and what kind people irregularly left out for her… she’s safe and sound.

From here, I don’t know what happens. Her cage is in a room alone – yes, I suppose I could let her out of the cage, but then if I need to catch her, there’s the question of how to get her out from under furniture, and realistically, I don’t know what she might have picked up out there. We can keep her for a few days, at least, long enough to get past Thanksgiving weekend and see if we can find somewhere more long-term for her to go.

Meanwhile, one more lost soul who was let down by humans is safe and has a future.

Pictures to come soon! But she’s a very pretty little fine-boned grey long-hair, no white or stripes that I can see. The narrow face and the build are making me think female, but I could be wrong. Surprisingly friendly, after what she’s been through. Given a vet check-up and a bit of patience, she’s going to be a wonderful companion for someone who’s willing to love her for life.

Added a bit later: I went in to gather some laundry, and planned to give her some treats. She was close enough for me to reach through the bars and rub along her jaw; she didn’t respond, but she didn’t move away, so I kept going for a minute. When I pulled my hand back to get some treats for her, she watched… and when I reached back in, she ignored the treats and clearly wanted my hand itself. When I started petting her again, she leaned into it and kept leaning, this side of her jaw and now that side and now under her throat and now her ear. No purr, but every time I pulled back to see if she’d had enough, to let her choose, she moved towards my hand again – not initiating contact, but asking for it. She finally stepped back a bit and I gave her the treats and let her be. How long has it been since anyone has touched that poor baby gently with love?

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