It's possible I might be a horrible person.
That said, I want to state for the record that I had the best of intentions. You see, this is not my cat... despite the fact that she (or he; I didn't actually check) is pictured here lounging on my couch and below sitting on my floor. I was minding my own business this morning when I went downstairs to the laundry room to see if our building washing machine was free. On my way there, I happened upon a defenseless little kitty sitting on the stairs in the hallway.
I thought it a bit odd that a cat was hanging out on the stairs by herself (I'm just going with my assumption that this cat is female), but I believed she must belong to someone in one of the three apartments on the basement floor. However, no doors were open, and it certainly would be irresponsible for someone to let their cat roam the hallway. I noticed my new feline friend had an ID tag with a telephone number. The number began with area code 916, but I figured it to be a cell phone number and decided to call whichever neighbor of mine owned this cell phone and inform them their cat was in the hallway.
I instructed Miss Kitty to stay on the stairs while I fetched my own cell phone. She did, and when I returned we dialed her owner. No answer. Well, no human answer, but the mechanical device that took my phone message was clearly an answering machine, as opposed to cell phone voice mail. So I had probably called a landline in Sacramento. This gave me pause, but then I decided that maybe the cat's owner has parents who live in Sacramento or something.
So I spent the next ten or fifteen minutes looking for whomever in the building had misplaced their cat. Occupants of two of the three basement floor apartments emerged from their dwellings, but they denied knowledge of this cat. One guy said he believed he'd seen the cat in the building before, but he thought the owners had moved away six months ago. He didn't seem overly concerned about that fact; prompting me to handily judge him as cruel and unfeeling for this poor little kitty's welfare. After wandering all four floors of my building and consulting many a neighbor (several of whom I'd never seen before), I gave up my hallway foot search. Keep in mind, I was doing this in my pajamas.
I didn't want to leave her alone because people in my building are notorious for leaving street doors open, but I did have a life to lead. So I took Miss Kitty into my apartment where she would be safe while I got on with my day. If I didn't hear back from her Sacramento owners, I'd just call back in a couple of hours. As much as I love cats, I have nothing in my apartment that would pass for cat food or a litter box, but still, I figured she'd be okay for a little while. And she was.
I tried to give her water and a little milk, but she showed no interest in either. She did explore a bit and was very affectionate. It wasn't long before her penchant for scratching her back triggered a concern in me about fleas, however, so I had to forbid her from playing on my couch or my bed. After about two hours, she started to seem a little anxious, making me think she was hungry or, worse, needed the kitty loo. If you've ever lived with a cat, you know the horror that is cat urine and understand that I needed to prevent any deposit of it in my apartment. I tried the number on her tag again. Still no answer.
My upstairs neighbor, whom I met for the first time today, had offered to take over cat sitting duties when she got back from the gym, and she said she would only be gone for a couple of hours. It had been more than two hours at this point, so I decided to take Miss Kitty into the hall with me while I retrieved my laundry, should she have a bladder accident. Then I would change into my running clothes, leave Miss Kitty with my upstairs neighbor and go on my daily jog. I had to leave Miss Kitty in the hallway because you go outside to get to the laundry room, and when I came back with my clothes five minutes later... She was gone.
That's right. I misplaced the wayward cat.
Again I found myself scouring the halls in my building, but I could not find her. I can only hope her owner collected her from the hall while I was in the laundry room. At least I'm sticking with that belief. For the record, the people who live at that Sacramento number I dialed have yet to return my call. Apparently, they're really concerned.
Would a better person have left the cat to possibly saturate their apartment with kitty waste? Maybe. Or maybe I could have gone out and gotten a litter box, or at minimum some cat food, to make Miss Kitty more comfortable while she lived with me. I did neither. It's probably the lack of food that caused her to ditch me once my back was turned. Well, I hope she's okay.
On a side note, I had a little conversation with my upstairs neighbor about noise in our building. We all have hardwood floors, and she was concerned I could hear her walking around over my head. I told her I haven't heard anything, really. In the five years I have lived in my building, I have heard voices, music or other noise emanating from various apartments while I'm in the hallway, but the units are very well insulated. I never hear what my neighbors are doing inside their apartments while I'm inside mine. My upstairs neighbor agreed, for the most part, but she told me she hears me singing.
I've often wondered if people can hear me practice my vocal styling, especially when I do exercises. Well, now I know the answer to that question is yes. Singing is one thing, though. While my upstairs neighbor may grow bored with my singing exercises and repeated renditions of whatever song I happen to be working on any given week, I'm far more concerned with what else she may be able to hear. My voice probably carries a little better when I sing, but still, I'll have to keep this in mind.
Especially the next time I have... um... company.