There’s five of them now. Four just showed up and we sought out the fifth, though not necessarily in that order.

They’re cats. There were a lot of cats at the house when I was a kid, but in 2018, when a tuxedo cat that had apparently been left behind when some neighbors moved, walked onto the porch, meowing its head off, and jumped into my lap, it was the first time I’d had a cat in more than 30 years.

It had probably been that long also since the wife had owned a cat, so we weren’t too familiar with how they worked. We saw no, um, evidence this tuxedo cat was a boy, so we assumed it was a girl and named her Harley, after a Jennifer Lopez character on a TV show we were watching at the time.

Harley had actually been hanging around the house for awhile, but she wouldn’t come near us until one day she decided we could be trusted. We fed her and she was a porch cat for about a week, then we took her to the vet, found out what kind of shape she was in, and promptly found out she was a neutered boy.

Oh well, at least he had already been fixed. He checked out all right, the vet estimated he was 7-9 years old and we brought him into the house where he immediately made himself at home and crawled into the bed with us at night.

That seemed all right, but then we were in a pet store and a small tuxedo cat (again) stole our hearts and Tulip joined our expanding cat family. Harley wasn’t happy. If looks could kill, he would’ve finished us both off when we walked in the door with her. But she was a feisty little booger and soon they were all right.

Then came Sherlock, a Siamese who showed up not long after Harley to steal his food on the porch, but he eluded our grasp for nearly two years. He was big and healthy looking (and there was ample evidence he was a boy), so we figured he belonged to somebody and was just wandering the neighborhood. People don’t usually abandon a Siamese.

But he hung around for two years and, during that time, he showed up one day with a tiny tortoise shell kitten. We fed her (we were right in the gender guess this time) and she immediately tried to come into the house. We held her off, but soon took her to the vet where she was fixed and got all her shots, named her Buttercup, and our cat family grew to three members.

Harley just rolled his eyes this time.

Not long after that, Sherlock showed up at the backdoor with a bloody wound on the side of his head. We opened the door and he came in and collapsed on the floor. Not sure what had gotten a hold of him, but he was in rough shape.

We took him to the vet, got him fixed up, and fixed, and our cat family grew to four. Harley put his hands on his hips and gave a look that said, “Really?”

We were done. Four was more than enough. But you know how life is. A fifth cat, this one looking like a tiger, showed up and promptly started climbing all over us. She was big and healthy and had a frayed collar on, but not a name tag. We didn’t doubt she belonged to somebody and figured she’d eventually go home.

But she didn’t. We fed her and she made her way into the house a couple of times, and we finally decided to take her to the vet and see if she was chipped. She wasn’t, so we shrugged and told them to go ahead and see if she was fixed and give her whatever shots she needed.

And we also found out, you guessed it, she was a neutered boy. We named him Hobbes, and if you get that name, we’d probably get along pretty well.

But five it is. If another one shows up, he/she’s going home with momma.

Why did I write about a bunch of cats? Because with the world being weird and obnoxious, I wanted to write about something nice. And cats are extremely nice creatures. Most of the time.

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