Had an adventure today. I’ve written before here about a stray cat who decided to live on my deck. Major Tomcat has been living on the deck and the backyard and nearby for about a year, probably over a year. As of today he is officially mine. He’s at the vet, getting a physical, getting fixed (hopefully that will cut down on his roaming, but who knows), and getting his microchip and I will officially be his owner.
On paper, anyway. He may not think of me that way. But it had to be done. You see, I hadn’t seen Tom in a few days until he dropped by the house yesterday. He used to live on the deck and hang out there every day. Until he got a girlfriend. Ever since he took up with her he started coming around here less and less often. But he usually shows up every few days and whenever he’s gotten hurt.
And that was exactly the case yesterday. But in usual Major Tom fashion he didn’t let me know he was hurt until he was headed out the backdoor and I just happened to catch a glimpse of a red spot on one of his front legs. I managed to keep him from slipping out the door and he came back in and rolled on the floor (hoping for some catnip, I think) and that’s when I saw it. A big spot with no fur on it, red and inflamed, and in the center of it, a hole with a dark spot at its center.
Somebody had shot him, maybe with a BB gun, maybe something else, but he was trying to handle it himself, trying to clean it, and I don’t know how he stood it. The wound was on the upper part of his leg, well, arm, really, and about an inch or so down from where the limb joins the body, an inch or so down from the armpit, and on the inside of the arm. He was walking and acting normal but he was trying to clean it himself. That’s when I told him he was going to have to let me help him, but he put up a fuss and I had to let him out.
But I couldn’t get him out of my mind. I prayed and prayed for help. And this morning Miss Lucy Dawg went to the backdoor, barking and jumping around, letting me know that he was there. She’s good about that. He was on the loveseat on the deck. I was never so glad to see him and I’ve been glad to see him a bunch of times. He came in, he ate, he went to the front bedroom (he decided to make that his room several months ago after he began coming inside), and took a nap for a couple of hours.
I called the vet, I prayed some more, posted a prayer request on social media, got the carrier off of the deck (he has always avoided it, I never once saw him so much as peep inside it), and set it on the floor in front of the backdoor. When he got up from his nap, we played a little game of Let’s Get Tom in the Carrier and he was having none of it. One time he even popped me, four claws got my right hand, but none them went in very deep.
I prayed some more and then the lightbulb went off. Catnip! I usually give him catnip after his meal and before he leaves to go find “her” (and I have to tell you how he rolls in it and then immediately wants out the door and goes off to find her, meowing up a storm calling her, so he can share it with her, maybe it drives her wild, heh!). I threw so much catnip in that carrier, I’m sure he got high from it from across the room. He poked his head in to check it out. I was excited but I knew it couldn’t be that easy. And it wasn’t. He pulled his head right back out of the carrier and looked at me as if to say, You know I’m not going all the way in there, right?
We played the game a while longer. I threw more catnip in and when he came back over to the door this time, the catnip overwhelmed him and he stuck his head in further than he did before. I was across the room but I took two silent steps toward him. Okay, maybe not silent but silent-ish. Then I stopped and waited. He leaned further into the carrier, enticed by the catnip. I took two more steps and stopped, waiting. He leaned further in and took a few steps. As I watched in near disbelief he walked all the way into the carrier and I closed the distance between us and closed the carrier door with my foot. Hey, I’ve been scratched plenty by cats in my time, I know how those little paws can slide lightning fast through the thin bars on those doors. And Major Tom is particularly agile and quick. He scratched me earlier, that’s more than enough for one day.
The most surprising part of the day—aside from actually being able to catch him in the first place—was how well he did once he resigned himself to being in the carrier. He didn’t put up a fight at all. I had expected to hear some serious meowing, some hissing, some sounds of him throwing himself against the inner walls to get out or express his displeasure. But he didn’t do any of that.
Well, just that once he did hiss when Miss Lucy Dawg pressed her long dachshund nose against the side of the carrier and peaked in at him and asked him, “Hey, whatcha doin’?” He hissed louder than I’ve ever heard him hiss. But that’s all he did. I’m glad he didn’t swipe her across her nose or worse.
He really is a good boy. Why anyone would shoot him with a BB gun, or anything else, is beyond me. I love all of our animals out here and believe me, we have many, many animals out here in the woods and around our two lakes. I can’t stand to see any of them get hurt and I can’t understand why anyone would want to do that. (I don’t worship nature and I don’t like animals more than I do people. We are part of nature, we are all part of creation. To hate part of creation makes no sense to me. I don’t hate myself, how can I hate others? Some people do sick things, I hate the sick things they do. I don’t take it out on everybody else. Plenty of people are trying to help animals, too. If I hate people, then do I hate the people who are trying to help them? This also makes no sense to me.)
So there you have it, the story of my adventure today, and also the story of how I was going to write another post in our Catholic Book of the Month series but couldn’t stop thinking about Major Tom, so I wrote this post instead.
Thank you for visiting and reading. I hope you’ll join me again. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, virtuous and holy, be kind to every one of God’s creatures, and most of all, may this Easter season bring you all grace and graces so that you may become who you were meant to be: a SAINT! May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+
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