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Think we might be undergoing a job interview...

(19 Posts)
have4goneinsane Fri 14-Feb-14 20:49:20

Jasper is an elderly burmese from 2 doors down and it appears we are being interviewed as potential alternative staff.

HIs current setup includes a couple of newly extra cats and 2 yappy dogs (one new) and the staff member is elderly (keeps acquiring extra pets when her children move overseas/into flats etc)

He's been in before and we had to carry him home after a couple of hours, yesterday he appeared at about 4.30pm and I chucked him out the front door at 9pm when I wanted to shut the front door (on warm days here everyone leaves their front doors open so he had free access). DH appeared 20 minutes later saying that Jasper was asleep on our bed, I chucked him out again and he came straight back in through an open window, this morning he is still here.

He is the most chilled cat I have ever come across (think 4 young children, 2 with ADHD traits, 3 with ASD and he hasn't twitched a whisker) and the kids are thrilled.

How do we work this one? (we would love a cat but just don't have the money right now) Do some cats just maintain two residences? We haven't fed him (well, he may have had a couple of scraps while I was cooking dinner last night blush)

hmmmm, not sure what I'm asking

RegainingUnconsciousness Fri 14-Feb-14 20:55:36

If you don't feed him, it's likely he'll keep going home for dinner and worming, but come and hang out at yours for some peace and quiet. (Relative to the other cats and dogs)

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 14-Feb-14 20:56:20

Well the dogs probably scared him off his own house but his owner most likely loves him to bits.

It's a tricky one, there's no harm in him staying for a bit but I wouldn't want my cat being adopted by the neighbours.

cozietoesie Sat 15-Feb-14 01:41:45

What are your relations like with the elderly owner? Have you spoken to her?

have4goneinsane Sat 15-Feb-14 02:23:32

relations with the neighbour are good, I finally got hold of her just before lunch, she had of course been worried and had been looking for him. As soon as she saw me she said "have you got Jasper?"

She was off to visit her husband (in a local nursing home) and said she would get him when she came back. Jasper is currently curled up asleep on our sofa. I've got a feeling he will keep coming back even though we aren't feeding him, I'm just hoping he will at least learn to go back home for food.

Or should we just lock him out? (hard as it is summer so doors are open and no matter how cold-hearted we are, the kids are besotted with him and will tempt him in I fear)

have4goneinsane Sat 15-Feb-14 02:25:30

PS wasn't proposing to adopt him really, but suspect he may have designs on moving in.

We have been looking at rescue cats as we really really miss having one, but just can't afford it right now.

cozietoesie Sat 15-Feb-14 07:43:06

If you have good relations, I think that's likely half the battle. (I recall that most recently, The Lodger had a devoted fan a few houses away and was wont to drop in there of a day and hang out. We didn't mind partly because she made it very clear that she wasn't trying a takeover and we felt that if there were any dietary issues to look after, she would have obeyed them without question - in his best interests. And he always came home.)

If you have an outdoor cat, it's arguably better for him to hang out sometimes with a known quantity of a nice neighbour than to go walkabout in unknown places. Even though as a Burmese, he's likely to be the light of her life. I'd be tempted to see how it goes for a little.

msrisotto Sat 15-Feb-14 07:49:15

Hey, if you don't feed him and he's electing to adopt you, at least part time then I see you're doing nothing wrong. By the sounds of your household, you're doing well if you're the quiet and peaceful option!

cozietoesie Sat 15-Feb-14 07:56:24

Peace and quiet seems to be his choice doesn't it? (With two new cats and a couple of yappy dogs, who can blame him?)

How did she seem when she picked him up?

have4goneinsane Sat 15-Feb-14 08:34:51

neighbour seemed fine when she picked him up - slightly embarrassed in a rather British way (she's also a Brit) that he'd been causing 'hassle' - we tried to reassure he hadn't. She's obviously a little worried that he might move on, but also seemed surprised that we hadn't fed him.

She tottered off with him under one arm, walking stick in the other (he's a compliant critter!). He hasn't reappeared (yet) ...

guess we'll just play this one by ear and remember that the cat is always boss

has been lovely to see an animal so chilled with DD1 tho, normally they run a mile from her because she is so impulsive and 'flingy', he even curled up on her bed last night and she relished it

cozietoesie Sat 15-Feb-14 08:53:33

She sounds like a valiant old girl but orientals, Burmese, Siamese tend to get under your skin. I suspect he's her 'main boy' so she may be feeling very conflicted about his going off to another house even though she's had to introduce complicating factors into her own place. (I know that Seniorboy, an elderly Siamese, couldn't care less about big furry stupid lumps dogs but loathes and despises other cats.)

I'd keep the emotional temperature cool, not feed him, and always refer to him as 'your boy' if asked. And then see how it goes.

Best of luck.

cozietoesie Sat 15-Feb-14 09:01:19

PS - I actually like dogs but that's clearly how Seniorboy regards them and he's lived with a couple.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 15-Feb-14 12:10:22

Maybe she thought you were enticing him away with fresh chicken & little tins of gourmet.

You could be his daytime owner while she's visiting the nursing home. It's very stressful having loved ones in a nh.

cozietoesie Sat 15-Feb-14 12:21:37

I actually found it reassuring having someone madly in love with The Lodger. Not only did I know where he was likely to be but on the one occasion that I had to go away and couldn't take him, the neighbour stepped up to the plate with the speed of light! (And I knew he would be super-well looked after in my absence.)

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 15-Feb-14 12:22:25

Do you still have the lodger?

cozietoesie Sat 15-Feb-14 12:24:45

Not here at the moment. (He was only lodging!)

dunmopin Sat 15-Feb-14 22:04:02

There used to be a cat in our street who visited everyone. She would go out in the morning, and the owner would see her sitting in someone's window when she went to the shops. Everyone knew where she lived and not to feed her, and she went home for dinner.

have4goneinsane Sun 16-Feb-14 02:07:48

well he re-appeared last night about 9pm and slept on top of me all night, hung around for a bit this morning, headed off about 8.30 (for his brekkie I guess) and then was sitting in the bike trailer in our carport waiting for us when we got home from church

is currently looking hopeful while I cook lunch but I've made it clear he isn't getting any!

Apparently he's had his current staff set up for about 3 years and was stray before then so owner was clearly wondering if he is about to make his next move sad, maybe he'll go back fully when the other cats and dog move on

cozietoesie Sun 16-Feb-14 08:45:15

I'm afraid that, although it's very early days, it sounds as if he now thinks of yours as 'home' and his elderly owner as his 'cafe'. He certainly comes across as a cat who has his life as he wants it.

Difficult one for you. You won't want his owner to be hurt but as he's an outdoor cat and a roamer, there's the possibility that if you didn't allow him in, he'd be over the hills and far away to look for another billet. At least this way she knows where he is. You're right not to feed him at the moment - although I bet the DCs are on your case with 'XXXX looks awfully hungry, Mummy!'

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