The Sucker Lives Here!
Seriously, I'm just putty in their paws.
Anyhow, back in October of 2010 a little stray cat (who evidently saw the sign) took up residence under the big pine tree in my front yard.
Within an hour or two, I had named her Princess. See what I mean about the sucker part?
Anyhow, to make a very long story short... after trying unsuccessfully to get close to her, find her owners, trap her, coax her into a warm shelter or otherwise help this little kitty, I finally resigned myself to the fact that she was just a feral cat, and the most I was gonna be able do for her was to feed her.
But the thing is, it was winter, and I just couldn't bear to see this poor little cat out there freezing under my tree. I tried everything I could think of... shoved every imaginable kind of kitty house, blanket, straw, even heated bricks under the tree - all of which she completely ignored. I can still hear the neighbors muttering to themselves... "That crazy lady is out there crawling under the tree again..."
Then when the temperatures were forecast to dip to twenty below, and stay below freezing for a week, I got desperate. So we got an outdoor rated heating pad, and CatMan helped me rig a little covered platform for it and we shoved it under the tree in a place where she'd have to walk over it to get to the food.
It totally worked and within a few hours she was glued to it.
So at that point Princess became in indoor kitty.
But since several neighborhood strays had tested positive for FIV (the feline equivalent of HIV) I had to keep her isolated from the other cats for about 6 weeks until we could be sure she didn't have it. The only good place to put her was in the unfinished half of the basement, which stays pretty cold. Plus, she was totally covered with mats and pretty much had to be completely shaved.
So, to keep her warm, we moved her heating pad into the basement. You know, it seemed like such a good idea at the time, but the thing was she just stayed totally glued to the thing. After she got out of quarantine, I kept trying to coax her upstairs. I know I should have just unplugged it, but it was like the only source of comfort the little girl had. Did I mention her name is Princess?
So what did I do? I bought two more heating pads! She pretty much ignored them, but every once in a while she would come spend a few hours on the upstairs heating pad and I figured we were making slow progress, even though between the three of them we were burning about 100 watts 24/7. I know, I know... it's terrible... contributing to global warming and the destruction of all future life on the planet... but she's my Princess!
Then about a month ago, CatMan saw a report on the news about a house that burned to the ground, and the fire was stared by... you guessed it... a kitty heating pad!
OK, so at this point I finally decided that we were gonna have to pull the plug on the Princess Kitty. Still unwilling to see her suffer in any way, I went out and bought several microwaveable heating pads and came up with a complicated schedule of heating and re-heating them.
But a funny thing started to happen... Princess actually decided that perhaps there was more to life than the heating pad! It's like a miracle!
She's actually been spending time upstairs, and she's been climbing the kitty trees, and looking out of windows, and lying in sunbeams... I've even caught her snuggling with the other cats on occasion!
Maybe she wasn't quite as fragile as I thought after all!
Now... waddya think we should do with all the money we're saving on our electric bill...