Alex called me about a week ago from home. He was working there -- and despite what people might think, it's not because I nag him at the office. It's because he likes to do his Accounting at home (and he loses count when I nag him at the office).
Anyway, he got a telephone call from a lady who asked if we had a pussycat who had part of his face missing. He told her we did. She then informed us that he (the pussycat, not Alex) had been visiting her house for a very long time, and she'd been feeding him and he disappeared about five weeks ago and she's been terribly worried about him. Her stepson saw a picture of him posted at a veterinarian's office, and he called her to say that somebody had "Dum Dum" the stray she'd been feeding.
She said she really liked the cat but she was afraid to capture him to get him to a vet, and she wanted him back so he could live with her family and their two cats...if we'd let her have him.
Ah! A moment of decision! Alex had to decide whether we really did want to part with Scarface. Over the weeks, we'd become very fond of him. I fed him half-and-half cream and human tuna. Alex shared some pate de foie gras with him. He slept on my bed. I tended his wounds. He'd become our baby!!!
But, he was also another lady's baby.
Well, Alex called me and gave me the woman's phone number. So I called her and we agreed to meet at my house. She came armed with a cat carrier, prepared to take Scarface away.
We chatted for a while and I asked questions like, "Where will he sleep?" and "Will you feed him tuna?" and "Will you take him back to Dr. Shields?" (Dr. Shields of Cross Creeks Veterinary Clinic in Pickerington happens to be the BEST veterinarian in the world. He's so gentle with animals, and even the most frightened pussycat, like our old Hannibal, liked him. Dr. Shields had done everything he could for Hannibal, so we knew he'd take very good care of Scarface for us. When he'd fixed him up, he allowed me to put a poster on his bulletin board so I could find a new owner for Scarface, even though I really didn't want to give him up.)
Okay...back to the story. The lady told us the "Dum Dum," as she called him, loves cream and turkey and a scratch pad made out of corrugated cardboard (just like the one I'd bought him), and I knew that she really did love this cat. When he heard her voice, he even sauntered down the stairs from his room to see her.
I knew I had to give him back.
The lady, Lisa, was so happy that she'd found the stray she'd been caring for. We were happy that Scarface (okay...Dum Dum) was going back to someone who really loved him. And Scarface seemed happy that he was getting so much attention -- and people were almost fighting over him -- after living in the wilds for so long.
So I guess this story has a happy ending...except the part where I don't have a cat anymore.
Oh! Here's something neat that proves Alex is not the cat-hater he claims to be. About a week after Lisa picked up Dum Dum, she came to our house with a check to pay us for the vet bills. Alex refused it. He said we'd made the decision to help the pussycat, so it was our responsibility.
What an old softie. And what a fraud. We both miss Scarface. On Sunday, we walked over to Lisa's house and hung a little bag of pussycat treats on her door knob. We wanted Scarface to know we were thinking of him.