Roy reads the newspaper while lounging in bed one morning.
It has been several months since we last turned to the cat informally known as Amigo Kitty, who was spending lots of time around our house.
In November, after several weeks of work, Rain and Amigo Kitty successfully shared the same space for the first time. Through the winter, Amigo Kitty spent many nights sleeping on our cozy bed, curled up next to me and eventually even next to Rain.
The advice I had been given by cat owners was “don’t feed someone else’s cat!” As I saw it, Amigo Kitty could do as he pleased, come hang out or even sleep with us all night, but I would not feed him.
Technically, I wasn’t feeding him when he helped himself overnight, chewing open an unopened bag of Charlee Bears on top of the fridge.
This spunky kitty has become a fixture in our lives over the last several months. Here are a few amusing stories about him.
His Name is Roy
Portland experienced a few days of snow and ice in early January, and I did not want Amigo Kitty out at night in the freezing cold. At this point I suspected that his owner lived across the street from me, but I hadn’t confirmed it. Roy stayed inside with us for a few days, until one morning when he was clearly hungry and wanted to go outside.
He walked to the yard’s edge, a small hill that had been made slick with snow and ice. He was hesitant to slide down, instead running back inside my house.
This continued a couple more times before I decided to take matters into my own hands. I grabbed a jar of homemade apple butter, put on my coat, and walked around the corner to my neighbor’s house, knocking on the door. She answered, and we had a brief conversation.
Amigo Kitty’s name was actually Roy. Brother Kitty was female (WHOOPS!) and her name was Sweetie. I offered the apple butter to my neighbor as a gift, trying to assure her that although Roy had been in my house for a few days, I was not trying to steal her cat. She told me that Sweetie tends to stay at home more, but Roy mostly just comes home to eat.
While we were talking, Roy mustered the bravery to slide down the little icy hill in my yard, and ran across the tire treads in the street to come in and sate his hunger.
Roy Brings Me Presents
Roy continued hanging out with us like normal through the winter. As temperatures warmed outside, he started spending more time outside. He’d frequently still show up around bedtime, expecting to come in and curl up inside the house.
One evening when my mom was visiting, Roy staggered up to the door and I let him in. As he walked past me, I noticed something seemed odd. once he was about 15 feet from the front door, he dropped the dark thing I noticed in his mouth. It was a mouse!
This mouse was still alive, and not happy. Right away it scurried toward the front door and I let it out. Roy rushed out after it.
A few nights later, I started finding worms on my doorstep. Really big worms. The type of worms that I might see slurping back into its den at night if I was walking on my lawn.
By the time three had showed up, partly mangled, I assumed Roy had brought them to me as a gift. I threw them back in the moist grass in hopes that they might survive to see another day.
Then, Roy started bringing them into the house.
Again, I disposed of any and all of Roy’s presents in the front yard…although I started trying to do so without him noticing.
He has been working his way up to bigger game: on a recent Saturday, I was writing a Rain in the Forecast blog post when I heard him playing in the kitchen behind me. When I took notice, I realized that he had brought in a dead bird! Headless at that.
Roy hasn’t really displayed a lot of fear of the unknown, more like curiosity about things he hasn’t explored yet. This spring, he started getting curious about the inside of my car.
When I came home one night after dark, I said hello to him as I took a first load of cargo into the house. When I came back out, he had disappeared…but it turns out he had already made it through a barrier and was checking out Rain’s designated space in the back of the car. (And looking possessed while doing it!)
Last summer when Amigo Kitty (Roy) and Brother Kitty (Sweetie) started hanging out in my yard, my friend Steven gave me an extra catnip plant and I put it out on my front porch.
It was obliterated in days. 😻
This year I decided to try a modified system Steven uses himself—putting a milk carton over the plant with a weight to weigh it down. Kitties can enjoy the catnip, but only the parts that poke up outside the holes in the milk crate. This protects the main part of the plant from damage it won’t be able to recover from.
We took a couple of catnip cuttings from his plant this spring, and within a week they were growing. I placed them back on the front porch with their protective cage.
Two nights later, Roy had obliterated all the starts. Despite the rooting hormone I put on them, the plant hadn’t rooted into the dirt far enough—he pulled all the cuttings out with his curled kitty paws, little roots poking out at the ends.
Then I bought a new plant at Fred Meyer and repotted it a few nights later. This one has been thriving so far, although the bits outside the milk crate are getting chewed within an inch of their life.
Here he is enjoying the fruits of our labors.