In March, when the city shut down and people were quarantining themselves in their homes and not going to work, this cat started showing up in our courtyard. He was very skittish, filthy, and looked underweight. You could see his muscle definition. My neighbor saw him once and exclaimed, “Man, that cat is RIPPED”!
The cat would enter our space by climbing down from the rooftops on sculptures my neighbor built and has leaning up against the walls. I took a real liking o the cat, because I was always out smoking now that I wasn’t going in to work. I liked watching him climb and was always flattered when he came to visit. he also chases off rats. I saw him actually get one once from under our bamboo plant, and then he carried it up to the roof in his mouth. I never fed the cat because I was concerned he might be a she, and if I fed it I might end up with a litter of kittens on my doorstep, which I just didn’t want to deal with. That happened with a stray cat in the past, and it was a nightmare.
Anyhow, right next door is a metal fabrication shop, single story (this is one of the rooftops the cat would climb up to. Next to that is an apartment building. If you exit through the window from the apartment building you will end up on the roof of the metal fabrication shop. Since the shop guys were staying home, these dickhead kids who lived in the apartment were out all the time playing on that roof. On the other side of the shop is the corridor leading from the street to our courtyard. The kids kept dropping a laundry basket down into the corridor trying to get the cat to go in the basket and get him up to the roof. (You cannot access our property or this corridor without a key to our gate out front, so they can’t just walk in). I thought that was annoying, but whatever, the cat wouldn’t fall for it. My neighbor up front said that yeah, the kids next door had been over a few times looking for the cat, claiming it was theirs.
On a couple of occasions, there were catfights between the neighborhood strays, who all use this weird rooftop network. And some shitty teenage kid was up there on the roof antagonizing a cat and hitting a metal sheet with a bat or a stick or something, terrorizing the cat. I yelled and shook my fist and told them to leave the fucking cat alone. The next day I told my neighbor who has the building in front of the house to under no circumstance give those bastards the cat if they came over.
One day the cat killed a rat and bit into it and got sick, he started spasming like he was having a seizure. I decided that day if he survived he would never eat another rat again and I would feed him.
And honestly, I didn’t think it was really THEIR cat. I mean, the cat was clearly hungry, I knew he was sleeping outdoors all night, he wasn’t fixed, he was dirty… He wasn’t a cared for cat. But….. he was too nice to be feral. He was also too dirty. He eventually let me pet him and just became a regular fixture. He would wait for me and try to sneak into my house. And he’s the coolest cat in the whole world. I don’t regret it one bit.
So I got the cat neutered and he lives with me now, and I spoil him and he seems very happy.
Tonight I let him outside so he can still maintain some of his old adventurous life, and those dickhead kids were out on the roof. Buddy climbed up to the roof and I hear a kid scream something about the cat (“HIS” cat). I heard the cat give an alarming meow. Flashlights were produced. I freaked out thinking those bastards were going to abduct my sweet Buddy.
But alas, my cat is too smart. He waited somewhere for the excitement to die down while I stress watched The Bachelorette and showed back up on my doorstep an hour later. I have never been so relieved.
So….. sorry – not sorry, asshole kids next door! He’s mine.