The Mysterious Mr. Sewer Rat

There’s trouble walking the streets…

So those of you who meticulously follow my blog, who actually pay some attention to the real and unreal characters that pop up here from time to time, may be familiar with a neighborhood feline wanderer that has become a regular visitor to The Nest who I refer to as Sewer Rat.  One late 2015 day as I was being dropped off at home by my parents after our lunch outing, both he and a calico cat who I came to call Pretty Kitty first made their presence known to me.  While Pretty Kitty walked right up to me as I got out of the truck and wanted to be my friend, her companion leaped out of the sewer drain in front of my house scaring the shit out of my Mom who yelled “Sewer rat!”  It stuck as my name for the Maine coonish looking lurker cat who I’d see a bit more of afterwards

Gee….. thanks.  The kittens at school will torment the hell out of me!

While Pretty Kitty showed up at my door for much of the previous year to get a free kibble ration, Sewer Rat kept his distance and would always go away if I came outside.  For good or for bad, PK has been out of the picture for a number of months now… but Sewer Rat, who I’ve now taken to calling Sewie, not only remained… but had apparently finally worked up the courage to come to my door for his own free meal.

How could you turn down a handsome face like this?

I always figured Sewie belonged to the neighbors two houses to my right because I saw one of them come out to bring him inside once.  It was when Sewie began showing up on my front porch back in January that I noticed something for the first time….. their driveway that would normally be overflowing with vehicles was now empty.  As was their house (and still is).  Apparently, the bunch living there had moved out (whether by choice or eviction… you never can tell in this hood), and left poor Sewie behind!  No wonder he had changed his mind about accepting charity… he was now not only truly homeless, but seemed a lot smaller and thinner than in his glory days!  What a cruel fate to befall such a beautiful cat, I thought…

Yeah, yeah, yeah… would you shut up with the Nobel Peace Prize bullshit and just fucking feed me!

And so for the past seven months I have fed Sewie whenever he came around.  He got in the habit of waiting for me when I’d come home from work in the morning.  Sometimes he’d even come in the garage as I got out of my car and follow me in the house.  I admit, there was a strong urge at times to take him in…. though there were multiple excuses reasons I never did.  First being that I was worried he might have fleas, and sure as heck didn’t want to go through that hell again as I did shortly after getting Ody and Spilly.  Second, already footing the bill for a diabetic cat, I didn’t want to take on the additional veterinary costs another cat would and might additionally incur.  And third….. well, Sewie just really doesn’t care for Ody.

Ody’s life as the alpha cat is flashing before his eyes..

Then something happened two and a half weeks ago that turned the whole story of Sewer Rat upside down and inside out.  I was just getting home from work on a Saturday morning, and Sewie emerged from underneath the neighbor’s truck to greet me and get his morning dose of government cheese.  It was hard not to notice something weird about his collar… the back of it looked thickly encased in plastic.  Closer inspection revealed it to be a baggie.  Oh shit…. someone around here is using this cat to run drugs!  That was the first thing that went through my mind, at least…

Pssst! hey kid! Ya wanna try some really GOOD catnip?

Sewie resisted my initial attempts to remove the baggie, but I eventually removed the rubber bands fastening it to the collar and unraveled the tightly folded baggie to reveal….. a note!  A note that I could clearly see was addressed “To Whom It May Concern:”  WTF, I thought…. and yes, after being online for over a third of my life, I occasionally do think in internet acronyms even though I’ve never sent a text in my life…

Exhibit A.

It was a note from Sewie’s owner!  Yes, he apparently had a home after all.  Apparently someone (not me, he must have another secret friend) had removed his green, belled collar and replaced it with a pink one… which inspired Sewie’s “mom” to attach the friendly note to let whoever Sewie was seeing on the side know his story and that it was OK that he was “cheating” on her since he was obviously being taken care of.  Sewie is actually neutered (I’m no expert) and has had his shots.  His home is a house on the street my subdivision accesses, and the path he would take between our places is easy to see and wide open… just a yard and a ditch away.

Oh, and as you may have guessed, his owner doesn’t call him Sewer Rat.  Sewie’s real name is Buddha!

And who wouldn’t want to scritch the Buddha’s belly?

So with Buddha’s Sewie’s real story now laid out in front of me, that got me to wondering about about his past… and why he started coming to me after my neighbors I had thought he belonged to had left.  I started pulling up my old posts on my blog and made an absolutely shocking discovery!

Almost as believable as the Before and After photos in those weight loss ads.

Sewer Rat was actually TWO DIFFERENT CATS!!!  Though they shared the same general fur pattern, side by side their differences could be seen by a blind possum.  The original Sewer Rat, who apparently DID belong to AND moved WITH my former neighbors in January, was only extra fluffy in his tail and was grey tabby all the way to his feet.  While the beggar who assumed his identity with some very fortunate timing is fluffier all over and has white rear feat.  It also explains the size difference between the “healthy” and “homeless” versions of Sewer Rat.  And I might have never noticed this dichotomy at all had it not been for that note…

You’re not very bright for a squirrel, are you?

Well, that wraps up that bizarre mystery of the suddenly friendly feline.  Despite my newfound knowledge, I still call Buddha by the name I will always associate with him… Sewie.  He hasn’t been around as much since I got the note (guilty conscience?), nor does he seem as interested in my handouts now that he knows that I know he isn’t starving.  But he still visits his second home occasionally, as he did this morning when I let him come in and chew out Ody again…

Ody’s just not as brave as he acts when there’s a solid piece of glass between himself and a stranger…

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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32 Responses to The Mysterious Mr. Sewer Rat

  1. Merbear74 says:

    Wow, it’s a small world after all…

  2. fanrosa says:

    Ha! When I saw the first photo full photo I thought, When did Sewer Rat get white boots? Did you send a note to his mom in return?

    Meanwhile, I’m now worried about PK. Please let your meticulous readership now if you see her round again!

  3. ghostmmnc says:

    What a wonderful story about the kitties! I’m glad the mystery was solved. We have ‘the herd’ of cats that live outside. They claimed us, and all the cat food we set out. There was one we called Garage Cat, because she would always hang out in our garage. 🙂

    • I figured once I started putting the food out I’d end up with my own herd, whether I wanted it or not. I’ll see a strange cat every once in a while picking up the scraps…. funny thing is, the most recent one I saw is yet ANOTHER doppelganger for Sewer Rat/Buddha!

  4. ody N biskit….we send R best fizhez hopes that sewer rat, pretty kitty AND “buddha” all R living large N in charge N stay that way ~~~ 🙂 ♥♥

  5. noelleg44 says:

    This is such a wonderful story! And Sewie is a gorgeous cat! How could you resist that face?

  6. JackieP says:

    Well, I DID wonder myself why Sewie suddenly had white feet (like another reader). Now that mystery is solved! Like others, I’m worried about PK. When cats are left to roam they usually don’t live too long. I heard a cat here last night in the middle of the night. From what I heard the coyotes might have got it. Man, I’ve heard cats in pleasure mode before but I would say this one was in terrifying pain. Made me upset all night. I just never understood if you were going to have a cat as a pet, why kick it out of doors at night, especially in the country where you know there are predators. I have two cats who are nice and cozy inside (and safe!).

    • That is very dangerous to put a cat outside in more rural areas. Other than whatever mysterious creature ran down my street at night a few months ago, I don’t think we have anything scarier around my place but the possums and raccoons. The Yotes are further out on the edges of town. Traffic is probably the biggest danger to outside cats around here… and I am always amazed that the white cat that lives at the beginning of my street hasn’t gotten squashed yet since he/she loves to lay out in the middle of the road… and as I found out once, doesn’t like to be bothered to move out of the way!

  7. He is — both of him — quite a handsome cat, albeit a bit bedraggled. I had a purebred, well-fed dog that decided he didn’t like us, but definitely like a neighbor to whose house he escaped any chance he could get. It’s kind of insulting, actually. We brought him up properly, gave him toys. He had his own backyard AND a little kid to play with … but he love THE NEIGHBORS. Eventually, they adopted him because it was too depressing to live with a frequent runaway. Cats are more often wanderers, but it’s rare to have a dog who decides to go live elsewhere.

    I hope Sewie or Buddha is looking healthier these days.

    • The only reason Sewie/Buddha looked unhealthy to me was because I thought he used to be a bigger cat with a more tamed coat of fur. Other than gakking up giant hairballs (Which isn’t a surprise since he’s about 90% fur), he is actually quite the physical specimen…

  8. draliman says:

    Cunning devil. Wanders around, pretends to be homeless, gets food from everyone in the neighbourhood…

    • There are human “beggars” who make a pretty good living out on street corners pretending to be homeless and down and out. It always pisses me off when the poor guy I just gave a few bucks to packs and and leaves in his Mercedes behind the bush….

  9. Cats in survival mode visit anyone they think might help them out – with a snack or shelter or WHATEVER…..those two – Sewie and PK – figured out that you were “up” for some assistance which you were. Interesting technique Sewie/Buddha’s Mom had of letting the neighborhood know that he was NOT homeless….!

    Pam

    • I’ve kept an extra bag of food on hand since the beggars began showing up last year. I hope that by serving food to other cats that I won’t be required by law to wear a hairnet now…

  10. I agree with draliman, the cat is a cunning devil. He is a con artist and an identity thief! If you are not careful, one day you’ll come home and find Ody looking just a little bit different.

    • Hmmmm…. if he wants to impersonate one of my cats, I guess that’s OK (For me, not Ody, though I’d feed him when he came to my door). But I better change the password on my computer and all accounts now…

  11. Trisha says:

    Funny story! When I saw the first picture I thought there was something odd about it because I remembered Sewie looking more like Scooby. I’m happy to hear that he has a home but I like the name you gave him better. He might like it better too! I’m sure the cat we called Junkie had a perfectly respectable name in his old home down the street but he preferred to live with us and be called Junkie.

    • I’d seen those original Sewer Rat pictures recently and thought nothing of the now obvious differences between it and the cat now showing up at my door! I can be so dense sometimes… and it just reinforces how I’m so bad at recognizing faces. Maybe the name does bring him back, because I’ll call for him when I see him walking in the yard. I think cats might have a thing for names ending in that “ee” sound (Which may be why Biskit never seems comfortable around here)….

      • Trisha says:

        Hmmm. I think you might be on to something there. Our two cats that spent most of their lives in hiding are/were Trouble and Snuggles. Maybe I should try calling Trouble Trubby more often to see if he stops hiding in he closet.

  12. What a nice twist to the tale (tail) of two cats. Street cats live a shortened life but glad the Buddha, aka Stewie has assorted peeps looking out for him. Even in my city neighborhood, one of the local coyotes would be tracking him making his days numbered. Good on you.

    • I’m guessing Sewie’s owner brings him in at night, which should alleviate any stray coyotes or other predators of the night. I never see him around outside of the morning hours…

  13. speak766 says:

    Great story and super cute pictures!!

  14. Ally Bean says:

    This might be your best story ever. Sewie isn’t Sewie, but is Buddha… who is conning you into an extra “buddha bowl” of chow. Think of the good karma you’ve accumulated by knowing this/these cats.

    • I do feel privileged to have met Buddha, who I otherwise may not have paid much attention to had I not thought he was someone else. I still feed the little rascal…… waiting for that good karma to roll in……..

  15. chattykerry says:

    What a fascinating story! We had a stray Himalayan for many years, called Mr Fluffs, which I always got mixed up with our neighbors much pandered over Himalayans…

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