The Suitcase Lady


August 6, 2013, 10:51 pm

Mr. Tom doesn’t purr. We know that he is a happy cat. Every time we approach him, he flops down, rolls over and wants a tummy rub. He also kneads exuberantly when petted. Only happy cats do that.

But Tom doesn’t purr and we don’t know why. All of our other cats can turn on their motors with varying degrees of decibels. Neko’s purr is so loud that he can’t be a bed cat…we wouldn’t get any sleep.

Big and little wild cats and our little domestic cats share an amazing number of features and behaviors.  Purring is the exception. Big cats roar but can’t purr. Little cats (both wild and tame) can purr but not roar. The exact mechanics of the little cats’ purr are still a zoological mystery.

Perhaps Tom’s lack of a purr is related to his mysterious past. He used to be Miss Kitty. One day, over two years ago, a beautiful, long haired, well groomed cat showed up in our yard. We assumed that this glamour puss was a “she” but couldn’t get close enough to check. For months we saw her daily, but she would streak away if we came anywhere near her. When winter came, we concluded that she had no home and left a full food bowl for her in the garage every night. (Our garage has a cat door.)

When spring, a.k.a. kitten season arrived, we knew we would have to trap Miss Kitty and get her fixed. We didn’t want to find a garage full of kittens some morning.

Each night for two weeks we inched the food dish out of the garage and closer to our front door until Miss Kitty was finally eating on our door sill. And then one night we left the door open and the bowl inside the front hall. Miss Kitty came in and my husband went out via another door, snuck up behind her and closed the door trapping her inside. She panicked and climbed straight up the dining room wall to a second story windowsill where she remained for many hours.

When we got her to the vet, we were informed that neutering was in order. We had a lovely male cat.

Mr, Tom did not want to return to the feral life. He can live with us forever, even if he never finds his purr.

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