My neighbour appeared at my door last Sunday holding a kitten. ‘It followed us home’ she said. They were going back to Paris, couldn’t take another cat as they had an older cat that wouldn’t accept her. Could I?
I was lost for words. ‘A cat would tie you down,’ my rational brain was saying while the rest of me was going ‘Awww but she is cute.’
‘She is housetrained,’ said my neighbour, ‘and I can leave you some cat food.’ So I heard myself saying yes, even though I had no idea what I was going to do with her. What about when I want to go back to the UK?
So I got her settled in (that didn’t take much as she pretty much made herself at home straight away). Only two ‘accidents’ until I got her litter tray sorted, which she used straight off. And she eats more or less anything I give her. Maybe this was going to be easier than I thought.
Then a pang of conscience. If she is this well trained, she must have been with a family. Not a stray. So I postered the area with cards: ‘Chaton Perdu?’ and my number. That was two days ago. (Now another neighbour tells me that was ‘interdit’. Ooops, never mind.)
Today a knock at the door It is a local boy who I sometimes see playing football in the street. ‘Le chaton perdu – elle est chez vous M’sieur?’ My heart sinks. I ask him if he has lost a cat and he nods. So I fetch her down from the bedroom and show him. He smiles and strokes her. ‘Est-elle la tienne?’ I ask even though it is clear from his expression that she is. ‘Ouais, mais…’ I’m starting to miss her already.
‘Elle est à donner,’ he says. I can keep her. In fact he is happy she has found a new home close by. From the relief I feel I am clear that I am happy for her to stay. But a bit of me is still nagging me about getting myself tied down…