Seamus is Sick by Leslie Monk
Before we purchased our present home, we viewed it, and also the four incumbent residents, two humans and two cats.
The adult humans who owned the house were pleased that we liked the cats and explained that one of them would be staying with the house and only one cat would move with them out of the house.
Subsequently we purchased the house and embraced the resident big fat black cat, and in time we learned that he in fact belonged to another household. A lady came searching for our cat lodger and we discovered that he was named Seamus. We handed over Seamus to the lady and said our goodbyes, but within the hour Seamus was back with us and in the house that he had adopted.
Seamus was happily boarded by the former owners and was fed a diet of fresh shrimp. Mrs Monk had continued to feed him but not with shrimp. Even so, he seemed content with the new arrangements, and had no desire to return to the other household where he belonged. One theory is that he did not like the other household because it had a number of other cats in residence, with whom he did not get on.
In time we got to appreciate Seamus and he got to appreciate us. We saw ourselves as foster parents. I spent more time with Seamus because I worked from home while Mrs Monk was teaching in school. Seamus would stare at me all day, every day for over a year. Occasionally he would be recovered by the other woman, his owner, but within an hour he would be staring at me again as I worked on my computer. I was inspired by him and even made up some songs about him, and recorded his sleeping habits and purrings.
One day the husband of the lady that owned Seamus came to the door.
“I have come for Seamus. We are moving,” he said.
I was obliged to hand over my best friend and on this occasion Seamus did not return. Mrs Monk was horrified when she came home from school. That night she was unable to sleep with the worry, but then it got worse. 24 hours later the owner of Seamus came to our door. We learned that Seamus had escaped their new home and could not be found. When we were told where they had moved to, we were not surprised that he had not made it back to us, since it was a mile away and would involve crossing two major roads.
Mrs Monk and I walked those streets every night for a month calling his name. Occasionally we would find a black cat on top of a fence, and get excited but in time we began to accept the inevitable that he was lost for ever.
We took a summer holiday in America that year and then returned to Leigh and got back to life without Seamus.
4 months after we had lost him, I got a call from the Cat Protection League. I was told that a very small black cat had been found, even though we had reported losing a big fat black cat.
We crossed the two major roads on to the house of the lady who found the beast. There we found a skeletal Seamus who immediately did a very slow figure of eight around my legs. Mrs Monk was in tears in front of this stranger, who admitted that she could not afford to take this barely recognisable Seamus to the vet, and that is why she telephoned the Cat Protection League.
We thanked her and got Seamus some professional help. The vet did not immediately reassure us that he would survive his ordeal, but in due course he was restored to his former stature, and back where he wanted to be.
However Seamus was still not our property, and we would be tormented once more.
One year after he was lost and then restored to apparent fitness, Seamus went missing once more.
An old lady two doors away recognised Seamus and telephoned the owners who came over and picked him up once more. This was to cause so much distress, that we were obliged to confront them. We were not pleased with them and they were not pleased with us, but they held all the cards and of course Seamus.
They invited us over and we begged them to let us have him back. They turned us down, but twenty four hours later I got the call back I hoped for.
They agreed to let us have Seamus. Mrs Monk and the lady were hugging and crying all the while, as I and the other husband kept ourselves together.
Seamus would no longer be a fugitive and would see out his days with the Monks.
I started Shoestringonline in January 2004 and I began with a Seamus who was sick.
The Story of Seamus and other cats will be serialised on these pages, but if you cannot wait for the whole story you may read all about it here in one helping.
Seamus is Sick