Apr 5, 2020

We Could Be Heroes (not COVID-19 related)

For the past few weeks, a small grey tabby cat has visited our backyard at night. Not every night, but regularly enough that we watch for him. He's quite friendly, if a tad on the frisky side, and, although skinny, rarely eats what we put out for him, so we assumed he had a home somewhere, possibly with a cat door as he is out at night. He doesn't have a collar, but neither does Harlowe, and she goes out at night all the time.

Harlowe is not a fan. She growls and hisses through the glass when he shows up, which is a good way of alerting us to his presence.

Ryan was checking the neighbourhood facebook page yesterday and discovered a posting for a missing cat, a small grey tabby named Roberto. Aha! he thought. If the cat shows up again, we will try to catch him and return him to his owners. We could be heroes.

Ryan got the person's phone number and street address (near our old house, quite a few streets away), and they told him to call any time.

So tonight we had just finished watching The Descent, which is quite a tense film, when lo and behold, here was our little cat friend at the patio door! We had brought the cat carrier outside earlier in the afternoon in case he showed up.

I threw Harlowe into our bedroom and we let the cat inside, luring him with food he didn't really want. He seemed content to explore, rolling around happily on the carpet, purring. He scratched our furniture twice, a sure sign of a family, and wandered around checking things out.

I went outside to get the carrier and bring it in, but he almost dashed out again, so I slammed the patio door shut as Ryan tried to coax him away from the door. We managed to get the carrier in the house without the cat escaping.

Ordinary cat food didn't really interest him, but I got out the Greenies and tossed a couple into the carrier. He wasn't fooled until I threw the whole bag in, and then he happily stepped in. I slammed the door shut and yelled at Ryan to help me because I was panicking and couldn't close the door.

While I was following the cat around, Ryan tried calling the people, who didn't pick up. It was around 12:30 a.m., but there's a quarantine and nobody should be out of the goddamn house, so we knew they had to be home. Plus, they had said call any time.

Ryan didn't have the exact address, but he had seen their backyard, and since it was in our old neighbourhood, he felt pretty confident that he could find where the cat lived.

Cat carrier safely stowed in the backseat, off Ryan drove to return the little fella to his home. (I was in my pajamas.) We were feeling pretty proud of ourselves.

When he returned home, I asked him excitedly what happened, imagining a teary reunion, much gratitude.

Turns out it wasn't Roberto.

Ryan let the cat out of the carrier once he and not-Roberto got back to our house, and off he bounded across the street to chase a rabbit or something. God only knows what the poor thing thinks of his adventures, but he probably won't be visiting our backyard again anytime soon.

So yeah, we could have been heroes. Instead we kidnapped someone's cat and took him for a drive. Riot on.