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Jan 06, 2019 19:06:07

Scruffy, the Street Cat

by @Rawhead PATRON | 573 words | 🐣 | 202💌

Jeff Riddall

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Way back in university, my then future wife, one of her best friends from high school and I, rented the top two floors of a quaint little house in the middle of Ottawa. Two of us (I'm assuming you can guess which two) shared a loft bedroom on the top floor just around the corner from a large double window, which opened out onto the backyard fire escape; an excellent place to sit and chill, as uni students are often wont to do.

One evening when sitting and chilling was on tap, we caught a quick glimpse of a visitor to our cozy third-floor oasis as four legs and a tattered tail quickly made their way back down the stairs and out of sight. The following night, anticipating another potential visit, we quietly approached the double doors and peered out to indeed find he or she had returned. Our newfound friend could best be described as a "street cat" with messy oil-stained fur, an over abundance of scars we assumed were incurred from scraps with other street cats, wild, darting eyes and an understandably, skittish demeanour, but the cutest pink little nose you'd ever laid eyes on. We already owned a cat, but one of us (yeah, it was me) decided, against our better judgment, we should try to tame this wild kitty. And with this began an over month-long process of luring, cajoling and gaining the trust of the little beast we lovingly dubbed "Scruffy." Day-by-day and inch-by-inch Scruffy got closer; first to single bits of  cheese slices, then to the bowl of kibble, in through the double windows, down onto the chair, across the hardwood floor and finally up onto our bed. Eventually Scruffy let us touch him (yes, we were able to decided he was in fact a he), pet him and then, in a monumental culmination of events, bathe him. Scruffy looked like a new cat and we were over the moon with our progress.

However, by this point, we came to our senses and realized we didn't need another cat. We did have another cat loving friend who'd made Scruffy's acquaintance decided she would carry on with his care. Our job here was mostly done. Before taking Scruffy to her own wee apartment, our friend decided a trip to the vets was in order to check on his general health and ensure she wasn't adopting a flea or other pest hotel. The closest, cheapest vet was a ways away, so a cab was called to transport the unknowing patient. Scruffy was lovingly wrapped in a towel and carefully placed in a makeshift cat carrier borrowed from the local grocery store. We stood on the front porch, beaming like three proud parents releasing their progeny out into the world, as our friend lifted the Scruffy-filled box into the back of the cab and closed the door behind her. We then looked on in horror as the next 30 seconds was a wild, frenzied, whirling dervish of cat hair and blood curdling young girl/cabbie screams capped by a flood of yellowish, feline body fluid cascading down the driver's side window. Moments later, but not nearly soon enough, the driver's door flung open, the bewildered chauffeur cursed something in an unintelligible dialect and Scruffy bolted down the sidewalk, never to be seen again. We cowered back in and up to the safety of the little three storey...a hard lesson painfully learned.         

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