i wasn’t looking forward to going back to work today, so i put myself to bed at a reasonable hour and, despite the rainy traffic noise i managed to fall asleep and get myself into some pretty immersive dreams.
then i heard the yowling.
it woke me up enough to realize that it was a mournful cat sound and i sleepily called out “Rose! it’s okay. come to bed!” thinking it was her meyowling out the window at some emo raindrops as she’s wont to do.
what seemed like a couple of hours later, the yowling got louder and more regular and i realized neither kitten was hogging my bedspace, so i got up to see what the problem was. both cats were hovering around the door to my aparment with HUGE eyes and inconsolable twitching. i tried to cuddle them into submission but they were having none of it. i hunted for poop/puke piles and checked food/water. nothing was amiss. finally, i shut them in the bathroom to avoid bolting, put on my robe and opened the door to the hall.
imagine my sleepy surprise to find the above pictured tuxedo cat hissing at me after midnight. it was the one doing the yowling and disturbing my kittens through the gap below my door. it wouldn’t have anything to with me besides growling at my existence and when i walked both downstairs and up to see if any apartment doors were ajar, he (or so i assume) was always half a hall away and scowling like Cleo.
i went back inside my apartment and texted my super asking if the new people upstairs had a black and white cat, stuffed a towel under the door to block out any stressful sounds/smells in hopes my kittens would calm the fuck down and then i proceeded to spend the next hour stressed out about this damn hallway cat.
where did he come from? is he a resident of my building? did he sneak in an outside door and get stuck? if he did live there, why didn’t his people miss him? why hasn’t anyone else heard the mournful meyowling and investigated? why didn’t i get my kittens rabies shots so i could take him in for the night? where the fuck were his people? why hasn’t my super answered my midnight text message? am i ever going to get back to sleep?
i somehow managed to fall asleep and stay so until my alarm started faking daylight just after four a.m. i hadn’t heard any more yowling, so i hoped that someone had realized the situation and brought him back inside. i was wrong. he yowled again. oh, fuck.
i decided to ignore the issue until after my shower as my kittens weren’t as anxious and upset as they’d been earlier (i guess the towel trick worked – yay). so, after i’d cleaned up and the girls had been fed, i peeked out the door again to see the situation. i hadn’t heard anything more and couldn’t see him at first, but i the sound of my deadbolt unlocking brought him up the stairs to see what was going on. i spotted his ears peeking up over the top step and heard his morning hissing.
by now he’d been in the halls for at least seven hours without amenities, so i put out a tiny bit of dry food and a small cup of water for him and he eagerly and, dare i say it, happily came prancing over to check it out. i thought maybe he’d realized i wasn’t an enemy until he growled the entire time he was chewing. ungrateful jerk!
i went back inside to get back to my morning routine to prepare to go return to the daily slog and happened to hear another apartment door open, close and then an exterior door do the same. hoping this was Tuxie’s owner getting up early, i peeked into the hall. no, cat was still there, but the early leaving neighbour had picked up the dish of food and put it up on a ledge where the hallway cat couldn’t get it. WTF?!
why would this person take the food away from the cat? WHY? if it wans’t their cat, why would they bother? if it was their cat, why didn’t they just put him back in their apartment? grr, fuck! i was (and still am, obviously) fucking confused by this behaviour. so, being the sucker i am, i put on shoes (because, by this point, hallway cat was guarding the hall with hissing and threats of violence and i didn’t want to get blooded by a strange feline before six a.m.) to go return the food to the floor so he could return to breakfast. which he happily, and hungrily, did.
i wish i had a happy ending to this tale as he was lounging on those stairs when i left for work at 7 a.m. i’m going to call the super on my lunch break to see if he knows who the cat belongs to and, if he doesn’t, hope that he’s just not been let loose into the wild.
this kind of thing guts me entirely. i wish i’d had the balls to go knocking on doors at one a.m. i wish i’d been able to take him in to feel less scared. i wish his people weren’t such heartless fuckers to not give a shit about where he’d been all night.