A Cat Is a Cat?

A couple of years ago I owned a Victorian two family home with a large, covered, open front porch.
This home was located in upstate NY where there is always a lot of snow.
I felt it was wise during the winter to move my garbage can up on the porch to avoid it being buried in the snow, and for easy access
It was an ordinary day starting out the same way doing the usual around the house chores including doing the dishes, cleaning the house, and emptying the garbage. I was finishing up with my chores and the last thing to do was to take out the garbage. I was about to place garbage in the garbage can when I noticed a cat laying on top of the bags that had been already placed in the trash can. I wondered why the cat was there and began to think about the freezing temperatures and the number of stray cats in the neighborhood, it was not beyond reason that a cat would seek some warmth in a sheltered area and I felt compassion for this cat. I noticed this cat looked a lot like my cat Cassie. I wondered if this cat might be related to Cassie. After all she was a stray from the same neighborhood.

Their colorings were the same. Long soft gray fur over an undercoat of stripes. I could not see the head or tail since they were buried down the sides of the can and the paws folded up under its body, but I was pretty sure it has be related to her some how. .
Compassion gave way to the reality after a while since I was standing there without a coat and it was freezing cold out and I was getting cold.
I reasoned that with the sun out and there were other places for the cat to take refuge it was time to wake it up and go about getting rid of the trash I was still holding in my hand.
First I shook the can lightly not wanting to startle the cat by waking it up suddenly that try proved unsuccessful.
Next I shook the can harder. Still nothing. The cat did not budge.

I then placed my hand on the cat thinking I might be able to wake it that way.

When I touched the cat the body was stiff and cold.
I realized the cat must be dead.
I went back in the house to try and decide what would be the best thing to do. I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to things like this. The reality was, I needed the trash can, I would

have to place it on the curb sooner or later, and if there was a dead cat in the trash it would have to be disposed of some way.
A couple of hours later I went out to check again to see if perhaps I was wrong and the cat was really only sleeping and maybe with a little luck it was gone.
No such luck the cat was still there.
I decided to call my tenant who lived upstairs from me and tell him what I found and asked him if he would dispose of the dead cat for me. He said he would as soon as he returned from work. I was relieved this would be taken care of and got on with my day.

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A couple hours later after the meeting I called my tenant to touch base and find out if he had taken care of getting rid of the dead cat.
When I asked if he had taken care of the dead cat he said it was not dead! I was elated! I then said what happened to it? He said I took it out to the country and dropped it off. I was shocked! Oh my God! I said that is a city cat! It will never survive in the country! He laughed he could not hold back any longer. I asked him what was so funny.

He said Coral that was not a cat, it was a possum!
At first I didn't believe him. I said the fur was just like Cassie's! He said yes it was but it was a possum. I had no choice I had to believe him. He loved animals and I knew he would not just take a cat out and drop it off that way.
Yes I did make sure later about the fur, the size, and sleeping habits of a possum just to reassure myself it was a possum and it was.
I began to wonder and think about my cat Cassie. I do have a history of taking in cats that aren't really cats. The first mistake was mistaking a bob cat kitten for a domestic kitten. But it's really not my fault I am a born and raised in the city and what do I know about wild animals? I began to wonder if Cassie the "cat" I gave a home to be really a possum? Was it a cross between and possum and cat? Or was it just a cat that looked like a possum?
I finally decided it was OK which ever turned out to be true Cassie is a great companion so if she is a possum we will deal with it later. For now life continues for this city girl a little more aware of what a cat is and is not but to be on the safe side she is not taking in anymore cats!

feralcat feralcat
1 Response Feb 25, 2009

LOL,<br />
This story gives a whole new meaning to "playing possum".