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Mr. Mow Mow

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On finding a stray cat

I take a long walk several times a week. I start off from the boathouse and stroll down the dyke and linger around the "alter," a platform where a crane used to unload logs from the river and put them on rail-cars. Then I continue down a paved walking path that covers where the railroad used to run.

I was on this path when I heard a bold cat's "Mow" from the brush on the side of the path.

"Mow." I answered.

"Mow" the cat said.

"Mow" I said. We continued this dialogue for several minutes. I didn't see the cat, just heard him talking. I grew tired of the conversation and turned to go home.

"MOW." I turned around and saw a grey tuxedo cat standing behind me. I walked up to him and petted him. I sat down and let him curl up in my lap. I felt bad that he's been dumped, and that he was hungry. He tried to follow me home, but it was a long walk. I cried much of the way home because I had gotten attached to him quite quickly.

The next day I bought a bag of cat food and I walked to the place where Mr. Mow was before.

"Mow, mow, mow" I called.

"Mow." he said and joined me on the path and I sat and fed, petted, and talked to him.

When I got home I asked my housemate if I could have a cat, and Jack said I could.

"We'll go together to find a cat that I like, and you'll have to keep him inside, and it'll have to be a kitten, and you'll have to clean the litter-box everyday. I hate dirty liter-boxes...I'll need a two-hundred dollar pet deposit, and every piece of trim the cat claws up will cost you twenty dollars a foot...and you'll have to keep him away from the parrot." Jack said.

I didn't have the guts to bring Mr. Mow home with me. I just continued to bring him food. Spending time with him was the highlight of my day.

One afternoon, when I was sitting on the paved walkway with Mr. Mow, an old lady walked by and stopped to talk.

"What a pretty cat." she said.

"Yea, he's a sweetie. I've been feeding him for awhile." I said.

"You should bring him to the animal shelter before a coyote gets him." she said.

"Yea, I know." I said. I didn't like the thought.

The next time I came to feed him, I arrived just after the same lady and her husband. They had a cat carrier with them. Mr. Mow was hiding in his tree, quietly.

"He came up to me when I was on my walk earlier, and I picked him up and tried to carry him home, but he got away from me, so I came back for him with a carrier." she said.

"Mow, mow, mow." I called and he trotted up to me. He didn't like the carrier, but he was hungry and I played Hansel and Grettle with the pieces of cat food and got him into the carrier.

"MOWOW MOWOW" came woefully from the crate as the old lady carried him to her car. His cry broke my heart.

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