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February 3, 2009


So this morning, I was slaving away in my home office per usual and my neighbor shoots me the following curious email:

Subject: timmy?

I put a cat that strongly resembled timmy into your garage kitty door today. He was out wandering by the bus stop and I was worried that he would get squashed on meadow view. He didn't have a collar and I thought timmy did, so if you have two black kitties now, sorry, he seems friendly though.


We have a cat named Timmy, and he's as black as two midnights in a jug. And about as big as a Volkswagen Beetle because I'm too lazy to feed him. I just feed him out of a pig trough I got off craigslist so that I don't have to worry about feeding on a daily basis or anything. I figure that, if he eats too much, then it's his own fault. He's not small. Trust me.

So I get this cryptic email and I start calling for Timmy and he comes bouncing up from downstairs. He likes to sleep in the dryer or chase the gerbils, so he spends a lot of time down there but he comes bounding up the stairs. And I check and he has his collar on so I'm wondering what Rose was talking about. So I start looking around the house for a spare cat but don't see one so I go to my cat door and damned if there isn't a spare cat peering in at us through the cat door to the garage.

Timmy sees him about the same time I do and starts howling and caterwauling so I open the cat door and let him in and he looks exactly like what Timmy looked like six months ago. Same eye color. Same fur color - they're both as black as two midnights in a jug. They could be twins except this new cat must be six months younger than Timmy.

I pet him and he seems nice and friendly and they aren't fighting or anything...these two cats...they're just sort of checking each other out. The new cat seems friendly and lets me pet him and pick him up, but it's clearly not Timmy, of course. So I email back my neighbor and our emails go pretty much like this:

Me: Omg that was so not timmy. I let him in though. Timmy likes him. :)

Rose: Shut up. I know his purr.

Me: We seriously have two cats at this point. I wonder who's it is, because I think this is the one we saw around last summer probably, right?

Rose: I kept mistaking that guy for timmy but he would run away if you got near him. Today's guy was very cuddly and friendly and not shy. I dumped him on your front porch and he followed my back to the car wanting to play. I had to walk him back again and shove him in the kitty door so he wouldn't follow me. I'm still not convinced it wasn't timmy, how bout a picture of the two of them together? I still remember the Birthday Penguin Incident.

Me: Haha. That was funny wasn't it. For real, we have two cats. I'll send photos, although it could be shopped like the penguin, right? Jen is coming up after school, so send Allie over for eye-witness verification.

I don't have the cat in the house very long before I need to leave to go eat lunch with Jennifer and go to the planetarium down the hill. I'm not sure what to do with the new cat. I don't want them to fight, though, so I stick him in the basement with food, water, and a kitty litter box and figure he'll live til I get back.

I go down the hill and eat lunch with Jen and we go to the planetarium. On the way home from school, some 4 hours later, I start thinking what I will tell Jennifer. I'd not mentioned it to her because I didn't want her to get too worked up. But as I drive home, I hatch a plan to try to trick her. I decide that I'd put Timmy's collar on the new cat and see if she can tell that the cat is a 'Timposter'.

So, when we got home, I took Timmy's collar off, shoved Timmy in the bathroom, and put the collar on the new cat and took it upstairs and handed her the new cat, also as black as two midnights in a jug, and said "here...don't you want to play with Timmy?"

She immediately said "Timmy looks smaller" and "Timmy's lost some weight". She noticed that something was wrong right away. But she still hadn't figured out that the cat she was holding wasn't Timmy. She was just noticing that he'd shrunk. So then, I let Timmy out of the bathroom and he came bounding upstairs looking for the new cat and Jennifer squealed "Daddy! There's two Timmy's!"

And, when she calmed down a bit, I told her the story of how we came to have an extra cat and she came up to me and hugged me she was so happy to have a new cat.

Timmy and the new cat seemed to get along fairly well. They had a cat fight or two, but by and large, they got along fairly well, all things considered. I was working at my PC when I heard a cat sharpening his claws on one of the office chairs and I yelled "TIMMY!" and Jennifer said "That's not Timmy, daddy."

Slowly, it dawned on me that I was going to have to go through this whole cat-training process all over again and I was ready to kill my neighbor, of course, because now I had two cats instead of one, through no fault of my own. I'm thinking maybe I'll take it over the their house and staple it to their front door and tell them that they should keep it instead of me, but Jennifer is so happy with it that I just know that I'm stuck with it.

I'm half thinking that I'll have to take it to the vet and figure out if it's male or female and if it's been spayed or neutered and vaccinated and chipped and declawed and all. More money than I have. If my dad was here, he'd put it in a burlap sack with a brick and toss it into Turkey Creek to "see how good he can swim", at least that's what he always threatened to do.

Just then, the doorbell rings and it's two Jehovah's Witness kids...there's a nest of them next door and the county hasn't sprayed for them yet this year because of the economic downturn. So there's two Jehova's Witness kids standing there. The little one says that "Joba hates Halloween" and "Joba hates Christmas" and " and "Joba hates birthdays". So, I think that, so far as religions go, they've gone to fairly great lengths to make their religion about as appealing as unleavened bread.

But this time, they're not here to put the smack-down on the Easter Bunny or Valentine's Day. This time, the little boy and the little girl are crying and looking for their lost kitten. Jennifer hands them Timposter and they both stop crying and break into broad grins and we're happy to see them reunited with the one true joy that isn't banned by their religion.

I wasn't sure what to say. What would you say? "Sorry for stealing your cat?"

It was a strange day, but I was glad that the cat ended up with its rightful owner. Now if we can just get Joba to buy the cat a collar...

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 3, 2009 at 11:08 PM


More cat stories please! Well, maybe I should be careful what I ask for...
Regardless, Timposter is a very clever name.

Posted by: Elise on February 5, 2009 at 7:58 PM

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