Saturday, September 6, 2008

My Cat Has a Posse

Aug. 26, 2008

My cat has a posse. This is perplexing. I admit I am new to pet ownership, specifically cats, but I get the midnight prowling, the insistence of sitting atop my keyboard when I am trying to work and the meddling with my knitting. Thanks to a book on cats given to me by my site mate’s mother, I even understand the Chewbacca noises and the kneading of my stomach (I previously thought he was just trying to make me feel fat).

But a posse?

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought cats were supposed to be solitary creatures? My dad is no help with this: “They’re probably just his girlfriends honey. Male cats like to go on the prowl.” Except that he’s neutered and, of course, my dad never seems to remember this. Maybe he thinks that because Guatemala is a third world country, neutering is impossible here.

It started out with a small tabby cat, which I assume is my neighbor’s. I’ve found him in my house more than once, which leads me to believe that Xpint has shown him how to get into my house through the window I leave open. As a true Guatemalan animal he is terrified of people and flees the minute he sees me. Then I came home to find another larger cat lurking about my yard. He looked rather guilty when I came in through the gate and immediately made a beeline for the cornfield.

I am not particularly pleased with this whole situation. I don’t mind that Xpint is hanging out with the riffraff; I actually think it’s kind of cool that he has friends. However, the other day he disappeared for a full 24 hours and came home with a giant gash on his face. I was in hysterics. You never know how attached you have become to your pet until it goes missing. I’m beginning to think he’s found friends in the wrong crowd. I have a feeling his posse is helping itself to his food and leaving fleas in my house. I’m not stingy, but I am on a Peace Corps budget and I did not sign on for three cats when I bought one. I can’t go about Cabric├ín frontlining every cat I see. And cat food is EXPENSIVE. Luckily he’s an outdoor cat and I don’t have to invest in kitty litter.

I bought Xpint instead of a dog because I knew I could leave him alone for long periods of time when I went on trips. I also thought he would be easier to handle (no potty training etc), but I forgot to factor cat posses into the equation. It just didn’t seem likely at the time. Maybe I would have been better of getting a dog, but I am beginning to realize that owning a pet regardless of species is a big responsibility and comes with the good and the posses.

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