I have a cat lover friend whom I've know for years. I met her through Tetsu's work and we found we both had a love for cats. Like our family, her kitty Mick, always is featured on her New Year's cards and though we don't see each other often our first question is always about the health of our cats.
After Tetsu and I picked up our new kitty, I was talking to my vet about how to care for all the strays that end up in my yard and my feelings of coping with an ever growing population of cats.
"You should talk with Mrs. Nakazawa. Here, let me call her for you now." and he did.
Since then Mrs. Nakazawa has been involved with my cat situation and a couple of days ago I went over to visit with her and she gave me a present.
(a ceramic tile built into Mrs. Nakazawa's table →)
Mrs. Nakazawa has only one cat, Mick, who is 18 years old! But 6 or 7 years ago she decided that she will be the neighborhood cat lady and cheerfully goes about catching cats and kittens, having them neutered and releasing them into her yard. (She has a big yard!) From there she feeds them and makes sure they get flea medicine and she brushes each one in turn. Sometimes she finds homes for the kittens, sometimes they find their own homes and since they are clean, have learned to trust humans and are relaxed, they turn into wonderful pets. In her yard, Mrs. Nakazawa has a feeding station and also "cat houses" that she has designed to keep feline visitors warm and dry. At the moment there are only 4 visitors in her yard but she said a few years ago there were there were nearly 20 feline friends!
So, Mrs. Nakazawa's present to me (actually to the new kitty) is a cat house! She makes them from Styrofoam boxes that she gets from the local co-op. The lid is taped closed, a door is cut into the side, a pet sheet is placed inside (to absorb moisture) and then a warm piece of fleece is added. The whole box is wrapped in plastic (to keep the kitty from using it as a scratching post) and then a vinyl curtain is put over the door to keep cat body warmth in. Mrs. Nakazawa has made many a cat happy with her cat houses.
Our new kitty does not appreciate the thought and effort that went into its new house. I excitedly showed the kitty the box and left thinking that at least one of my concerns had been solved. 15 minutes later I came back and this PIRANHA was attacking the house and leaving bits and pieces all over the floor! DUMB CAT!!!
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!! THAT IS HOW YOU ARE GOING TO STAY WARM THIS WINTER!"
Well, the kitty doesn't completely hate its house, I think it just felt it needed a personal touch; a bit of decoration that declared it was her own. She is still decorating (and making the house a bit drafty) but she does go inside and make use of it.
I'm a little embarrassed to post these pictures and let Mrs. Nakazawa see what all her efforts have come to.
And this kitty still doesn't have a name. "Piranha" doesn't seem to fit this sweet face.