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Friday, April 18, 2014
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Published: 10/5/2013

After weeks of worry, wayward cat rejoins family

BY MARY ALICE POWELL
BLADE COLUMNIST
Mary Alice Powell Mary Alice Powell
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Callie Cat is back home. After going missing for three weeks, the 4-year-old feline limped through the yard and received a warm-milk welcome.

Where had the little rascal been all that time and what happened to her left front foot?

Those questions were overlooked in the joy that Callie and Dove were back together. The two have been inseparable since they were just old enough to climb up on the porch and find their way to the food tray.

After she was missing one week, I began to worry. Was she hit by a car? Was she a midnight snack for a coyote? Did she join the band of feral cats that live in the nearby woods? Perhaps in her wanderings she got locked in a building.

I have always wanted to believe that Callie Cat and Dove are sisters even though their markings and personalities are opposite.

Callie Cat obviously has the calico coloring. Dove is a soft gray with white tinges. Dove is friendlier and, after three years, finally trusted me to pet her. Callie is timid and only accepts petting if Dove does too.

Rarely a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask me if I have replaced Digby. Of course he is irreplaceable, but, no, I have not adopted another dog. I always said that if a stray comes down the driveway as Digby did, I would keep it. But in the two and a half years that he has been gone, only cats have come my way and I do enjoy them and keep them well fed.

There are three feeding stations. The main one is in the kitchen for the seniors, Hemingway and Geranium. Two small glass dishes are filled morning and night with wet food and a large bowl of water is replenished daily.

Lydia, the third indoor cat who is exceptionally smart, only eats dry food, so I try to have several dishes for her.

Because I never had a heart to find a home for the mean tomcat who picks on Callie and Dove and that eats on the front porch, I always have a tray of food in case he shows up. It is the cheaper wet food than I give the house cats, and sometimes leftover table scraps.

Callie and Dove have a private feeding station in the garage that often includes warmed milk as well as wet and dry food. I never fuss when Hemingway and Geranium leave food because I can always give it to Callie and Dove so it’s never wasted.

If I would spend as much time grocery shopping for myself as I do for the cats, I might be healthier and thinner.

I have met interesting people in cat food aisles in pet stores and supermarkets. We have a lot in common and cat stories to share as we load the carts with cans and sacks of food, treats, and kitty litter. (The rule is one litter box for each cat.) When buying pet food my goal is to find the best nutritional value for the money from hundreds of choices and extreme price variances.

My theory is to buy four different 4-pound bags of dry food at a time and mix them up in a large canister. I figure they can’t help but get something they will like and that is good for them and my cat food budget.

And here’s a tip picked up in my last conversation in the cat food aisle. Listerine is ideal to remove cat urine odors. Use the original formula, not flavored.

Mary Alice Powell is a retired Blade food editor. Contact her at: mpowell@theblade.com.



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