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Shorty Pants The Cat

We used to feed stray cats all the time. We'd put the food out at night so the neighbors wouldn't catch on. Even put out "heated pet mattresses" for them for the coldest nights. We don't do it anymore (now we feed raccoons) because the cats were mostly wiped out by a virus. Poor things.

But in the process of feeding them, we (and our German Shepherd Josh) got really friendly with one...Blacky. Who was, wait for it, BLACK. (Good thing Tom didn't name his children is all I've got to say.) Anyhow, after many months, Blacky would come into the house through one of our windows. He'd stay 'til he was good and warm, and then want to leave. We always let him go. (Sorry we did that now.) He wasn't ferral, as he'd snuggle in our laps for a good pet. Obviously, at some early point in his life he'd been somebody's kitty.

One cold winter's night, Blacky came to the window to come in. As he came through, he immediately turned and looked back. Then turned back and came on in. Behind him, scared to death, came a tiny little a grey and white kitty. Couldn't have been more than a few months old. He came flying in like he was on fire, following his buddy. We just left him alone...let him get the lay of the land a little bitl. He hissed at any/everything. No meows in his vocabulary for a long time. After eating and a warm-up, he went out with Blacky. And thus he became our Little Shorty Pants.

Blacky had apparently explained to Shorty that Josh was a good egg. "Just don't run when he's around," I think he told him. So whenever Josh was nearby, Shorty would go into a slow-motion walk that was hilarious. And, because that looks really sneaky to a dog, Josh would shag his ass under the bed. "Guess I was moving too fast," I think he thought. So he'd move slower. :rofl He looked ridiculous.

Eventually, he'd come to me for a pet. But only if I was sitting in a certain spot on the couch. And only if I didn't try to pick him up. He'd snuggle up to my side, let me slip a hand under his back leg, and lay their perfectly content for a long time. Shorty doesn't purr, but one could tell he was happy.

We let Blacky out one night around Halloween last year. He never came back. I like to think that he was such a friendly soul someone took him in and never let him out. Every once in a while, especially on wintry nights, I find myself looking at that window and hoping I'll see him. It broke my heart. Tears even now. Our good intentions of letting him come and go as he pleased put him in harm's way. Wish we'da been smarter...

Shorty's still with us. But now he's a scaredy-house-cat. We never let him out. More about his last day of "freedom" some other time.


Educator / Liar Champion
Nov 8, 2011
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Sharing time between UK and US.
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Wow ... a nice sweet and sad story. I dare not think what Shorty's last day of freedom was like. I had 3 kitties. One of them had such great personality, we even had frankfurter eating competitions. One night he never came back ... I have been wondering ever since. My other kitty didn't exactly gel very well with anyone but she used to sleep on top of me. We were best friends. I was surprised to see that one day she went out with my sister for a walk, she hated my sister. I've never seen her after that ... my sister says she refused to cross the big road and then joined another household with 4 other cats. Now I have only 1 kitty left, he likes to rob and is very lazy. One day I came home and found someone's note on my door that he hates my kitty and wants to kill him. I went to all neighbors and half the people all over the street to show them the note. Luckily my kitty is still alive. I don't know how to convert him into an in-doors cat, he meows so much at the door to go out. Cats are the best animals.


DP Veteran
Jul 9, 2010
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Chicago Area
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I wish I'da bitten the bullet a long time ago -- to convert an outdoor cat to strictly indoors. Shorty's converted now. We put in a litter box (the clumping kind), and cleaned it any time we saw it'd been used. (We were really afraid he wouldn't use it....but he did.) It took a couple days of incessant meowing, but he made it through....so did we. Ha! He's now a happy little clam...content with looking out the patio doors and the living room bay windows at the world he left behind.

I'm sorry about your kitties. It's so hard, isn't it? (I wish I had a do-over with Blacky...)
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