Ernie turned up at our place on wet night about 4 years ago.
He is a tabby. He has a broken tail and a distrust of menfolk! I loved him straight away - much to The Stud's chagrin.
"How can you encourage that smelly cat?" he has asked me a million times in 4 years. While trying hard not to hear the Smelly Cat song from friends in my head, I just state simply "Look at him, how could you not?".
Yes. He is smelly. As he has a broken tail (which doesn't seem to bother him at all) he cannot lift his tail out of the way when he wees.
He also arrived as a tom, hence the huge head on him. Some in my family regfer to him as Melon Head, but I won't be naming names.
Over the years Ernie's time with us has been sporadic. He comes and goes when he pleases and sometimes has disappeared for weeks before arriving 'home' bedraggled and shabby looking, big woeful eyes peering through the back doors.
Before we legged it to Australia for Xmas he shot through about 2 weeks before we left and didn't show up again until March this year. I was so relieved and he was genuinely happy to be back. I could tell. Its in the way he looks at me you know. And he has stayed here everyday and night since then.
Last Friday he had been gone a day and a half, arrived back with a very swollen paw. What to do, he had just scoffed his dinner (he gets through a tray of chicken necks with lightening speed) and had limped off under the house. No amount of coaxing would get him out. When we got home Sunday, it was raining but within an hour Ernie was at the back door yowling plaintively. His paw still swollen. We fed him and off he went.
I was sure he would be gone for a few days, last time he had na abscess on his head and he went off only to come back almost proudly when it had burst.
However, he was there Monday morning. I grabbed him and stuffed him in the cat/rabbit cage and carted him off to the vet. They found no sign of an abscess initially so that meant an X-ray to check if his paw was broken or something. I threw caution to the wind and suggested the Vet give him the ol' snip snip while they had the cat sedated.
Turns out that Ernie did indeed have a very deep abscess which is only just healing. He has spent the week locked up in the kids disused playhouse, having a drain in his paw and recovering from loosing his 'nads'. He is not a happy camper at all but I hope he knows I'm only doing it for his own good. Now, he's been a fighting whoring machine for all his life - the Vet says it might take some time for the habits of his life-time to be over-ridden.
The Stud is shaking his head that we have spent $400 on a stray. He's not a stray in my opinion.
It may be the presbyterian ancestry in me, but I believe that the moment we started feeding him and named him we gave him an assurance that we would be responsible for him. He can rely on me.
He's my wee boy.
Look at him, you see what I mean don't you?