RIP, Lil Howler

A strange thing happened the other day. Humu was doing her regular patrol route along the backyard fence line. Then, all of a sudden, she froze in place and started barking. Actually, that happens all the time, and she barks regularly at invisible beings, aliens, and other things I can't see. But this time was different; it really seemed like she was barking at something that did exist, and I was pretty sure I heard an odd growling sound coming from under the deck.

Jason went out to investigate, and came back to report a cat curled up in a corner, hissing and growling. I headed out myself to see, and sure enough there was a little siamese cat, seemingly sick or injured, and definitely scared. Having grown up with siamese cats, I went in to grab leather gloves and a sturdy jacket before I tried to pick it up. When I approached it, it did the crazy siamese thing of lashing out, hissing, growling, and generally acting all spazzy. But it would kind of flop over, and was pretty frightened.

I went back inside to grab some towels and a box. We couldn't leave it outside, as it was unseasonally cold - below freezing! I covered the cat in a towel, picked it up (sick or injured, but it still put up a good fight true to its siamese nature...), and placed it gently in the box Jason was holding. We took the cat inside to the laundry room while Humu stood guard outside the laundry room door, and went back out to find the owner.

Jason and I canvassed the neighbourhood, knocking on doors and stopping neighbours in the street. No one knew whose cat it was. We went to check on it, and even though it mustered a feeble growl, it was pretty lethargic and in the same position, curled up in the box, we'd left it in. I tried to see if there was a tattoo in the ear, but every time I got close, the cat would growl and lash out; clearly it wasn't going to let me touch its ear. We named it Lil Howler, and called our vet.

When we dropped the cat off at the vet, they said they'd try to find the owner. I called them the next day, thinking if they hadn't been able to reunite Lil Howler with its family, I'd make up some signs for the hood. But I got some sad news... Lil Howler had died. We felt pretty bad about it, and wondered how long it had been curled up under our deck. Where did it come from? Somewhere, there's a family missing their cat, as there was no tattoo in the ear and the vet was hoping someone would call them looking for it.

We did what we could, brought Lil Howler out of the cold and hopefully let it know that people cared about it. RIP, Lil Howler.

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