Reader, this post has nothing to do with writing or reading. It's about pets. Husband and I have a knack for half-adopting our neighbors' neglected pets.
When we lived on the north shore it was Coda, the cat who lived upstairs in our two family Victorian. There were SEVEN people living upstairs--three generations including a new baby.
And one forgotten cat.
Coda was an indoor/outdoor cat so we started our relationship slowly, by letting him into the house when no one upstairs could here his cries. It got so that I had a sixth sense about when he needed us. One night I woke up, looked out our half open window, and saw him outside, waiting for me. He was so smart he learned which window to cry at--the one next to my computer.
At first we could barely pet him, and earned a couple scratches. Eventually we developed a nightly routine. When he was done with his evening prowls, he would meow at our window, we would let him in, and he'd stay in our apartment for an hour or so until the grandfather upstairs got home around eleven at night (he was a musician). He would curl up beside us, or in his favorite chair, and just enjoy the quiet. Every night I hated to watch him go back to his "family."Coda, all curled up on one of the last nights in our apartment.
Now, the pet breaking my heart is the lab across the street. He's a gorgeous, sweet, energetic dog who is totally neglected by his busy family. I knew from the start that this would happen--when he was little he looked just like the puppy from Marley and Me--as visually perfect as a puppy can get--and yet the family would play outside while he was roped up, far enough away that he couldn't be included. Now he's all grown up. Husband and I often play with him outside--where he spends most of the day on a runner with nothing to do. When he gets lose, he comes to our house and looks for us.
Just now I looked outside and saw he'd gotten out again. He's had no real training as far as I can tell, and I worry he'll be hit by a car or run so far he gets lost (though sometimes I wonder if that would be best--someone would surely adopt him). So I went outside and called him. He came barreling down the hill towards me. He didn't run away, he seemed happy to hang out with me.
Then he sat on my feet right in front of the door and waited. He wanted to go inside! I didn't know what to do. I didn't want him to run away again. So, I let him in. He was so good--sniffing around but listening when I told him no. I think he was looking for Husband. Eventually I thought, okay, the neighbors didn't see me. they aren't coming over with a leash. And as tempting as it is, I can't kidnap their dog forever. So I took him back outside and luckily one of his owners was out so she took him back in.
She always tells me that Husband and I could take him if we wanted him. Coda's people said that too. I can't tell if they really mean it. I usually tell myself that after our failed dog adoption, we can't handle a dog until we have our own house. But. It was so hard leaving Coda behind. And it's so hard to see Seamus outside, alone, waiting for the next time he can get away.
It breaks my heart.