Almost two years ago I was visiting my sister down in San Diego. A childhood family friend was also visiting. He was telling us how he was being deployed to Japan and didn't know what to do with his two cats. I said if he didn't mind his indoor cats becoming indoor/outdoor cats, they were welcome to come and stay with us. I figured with having a dog, two cats, a goat, sheep, chickens, and grandchildren, who would really notice two more cats? His deployment to Japan was cancelled and we didn't get the cats.
Last year he called to say he was being deployed to Kuwait and wanted to know if the offer of cat sitting was still available. Of course, so last August he came up and dropped off the cats. He stayed for three days, having a very hard time saying goodbye to his "children". I reassured him all would be well.
It wasn't. The cats hid under the couch for a couple of weeks. I thought they were going to starve to death. I knew they were still alive because they refused to use the litter box, instead using the library floor, kitchen floor, or wherever they thought they could present me with a pile to really tick me off. It didn't work and they finally settled down. This meant hissing contests with our cats, jumping on me in the middle of the night, and their most interesting talent - peeing in my shower.
They both decided that it was fun to go outside and hunt. They started bringing me dead things that they killed but instead of leaving them where I could see them and tell them what good cats they were they'd bring them into the family room and hide them. I wouldn't know the dead things were there until I started smelling them...and until maggots were crawling around. They ended up becoming really good hunters - hunters who leave their catch out on the porch!
It took a while for them to settle in and I wasn't sure that they were going to live through the seven months of "cat care" here on the farm. Their dad just returned last week and showed up today to collect them. He's leaving in the morning and heading back down to San Diego with his two "kids". I told him if he gets deployed again we'd be happy to watch them. I'm actually going to miss those two cats.