A couple of years ago, my daughter was moving from one apartment to another. She asked if I could take care of her two cats Zoë and Zeus during the move. She said, “It won’t be more then a few days”. I tentatively agreed, because my husband and I were living with my son and his family. We had sold our house and were waiting for our new house to be ready. We were already imposing on my son and I didn’t know how he and his wife would feel about this.
I approached my son on the matter of the cats and he readily agreed. He said, “Since they are inside cats and can’t defend themselves, we’ll put them in the garage”. “There’s ample room for them to roam, and we can keep the cars outside on the driveway.”
The next day I called my daughter and told her to bring the cats over.
I lost one of the cats on the second day. I was throwing out the trash through the garage door and I guess Zoë the female ran out. She was the most docile of the two, big beautiful blue eyes and a fluffy white coat. I searched all day and finally found the cat just before dusk on the wall in the back of the house. The cat looked like it had been through hell. Its tail was all puffed up and she hissed and tried to scratch me. I couldn’t understand it. How could her personality change so drastically? She seemed to have grown sharp claws in just a few short hours. Zoë was a loving cat, so even through I knew she had been spayed, I figured the worst had befallen her.
I put her in the laundry room before dinner. After dinner I decided to move her in the garage, with Zeus the male cat. I couldn’t get near her. She clawed me to the point of bleeding. I tried putting a towel over her so I could carry her, but she became even more enraged.
Finally, my son came in and saw the terror in my eyes. I said, “Don’t go near her, look what she’s done to me?” Without any fear, he spoke softly, picked her up, and put her in the garage. I was speechless; she never put up a fight.
That night I spoke to my daughter and told her she better come and see her cat. She was acting very peculiar. She said she would, “tomorrow”.
The next day the cat was a little calmer, but still hissing at me and I couldn’t get very close to her. By this time, I nicknamed Zoë, SOB. Even the male cat Zeus, who weighs about thirty pounds, wouldn’t go near her. She was walking around the garage hissing and striking my shoes with her claws.
I decided I better go and buy two collars for the cats in case this ever happens again. At least the neighbors would know where they lived and return them to us. I came home and put one collar on that hissing SOB. It wasn’t easy but I did manage to catch her off guard.
By the time I finished, I couldn’t find the male cat Zeus to put his collar on. I searched all over. I went outside and walked the neighborhood two times. All I could think of was what I would tell my daughter.
By the time I came home my daughter was there. My son was out with the family. I said, “You better go look at your cat, she is acting very strange”. “I think she’s been through hell.” “And by the way, I can’t find your other cat Zeus.” We go into the garage and my daughter takes one look and says “that’s not my cat”. I looked at her dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe my ears. I kept saying, “Are you sure”? She started crying. I said, “Take another look”. She said, “I should know my own cat” and left my sons house sobbing. My husband looked nonplus as my daughter ran out.
I’m standing there, looking down at that SOB cat, staring up at me. She was still hissing and striking my shoes. Now I’m thinking, how I am going to get that blankety-blank collar off that SOB. I looked down at my arms and hands covered in scratches. I felt the deep scratch on my neck. I thought, it’s now or never. I lunged for her, saw that She was a He and took off the collar, opened the garage door and said, “Goodbye you SOB”!
When my son came home with his family I told him about the two cats disappearing and the SOB. “What am I going to do”, I said to him. He looked at me like I was crazy. He said that Zeus was sleeping in the laundry room when they left. He was inside one of the cabinets. I ran in the laundry room and sure enough there he was. He had been hiding from that SOB, all along. I was so relieved I started to cry. “What about Zoë”, I said. He said, “She must be here in the garage someplace”. She was there, concealing herself on top of a couple of boxes, in my grand-daughters old car seat. I can’t tell you how relieved I was.
My daughter called later that night and I gave her the good news. “I never did lose either cat”, I told her. My only crime was keeping a strange cat hostage for twenty-four hours.
We’re living in our own house now and every so often, when I’m visiting my son, I see that cat in the backyard. He sits defiantly on the back wall and glares at me. I never did find out where he lives or his name. But to me, he’ll always be that “SOB”.