The continuing tail

It’s not enough I have two cats in the house who don’t get along and my main concern is no more blood is shed, or rather they don’t cost me anymore unnecessary money, but we inherited a stray cat from the previous owner.

She delegated the neighbor be the keeper of the stray, he in turn showed up at my door with the food and said, “feed it or not. I don’t care.” Of course I took the food figuring the girls would get a kick out of the new, outdoor cat. They named her/him Nachos because one day I texted my husband, “Nachos in the house.” He texted back, “cheese nachos.” I didn’t understand and replied, “Nachos out of the oven, gonna be cold by the time you get here.” He answered with, “I thought that was the name of the outdoor cat.” The kids thought it was hilarious and dubbed her/him Nachos ever since.

My oldest took a shine to him/her and has been pushing to get her/him proper care ever since they were cuddling and a worm crawled out its butt (sorry, it had to be explained). With that, my youngest was out, and won’t have anything to do with him/her. It’s okay, Lego is her cuddly cat despite his attitude toward Cally.

We did the healthy thing for Nachos and the family and wormed her/him. She/he started gaining so much, I thought she/he must be pregnant. Every time we didn’t see Nachos for a half day, I was convinced she/he was off having babies. My oldest tried to kennel him/her so we could take her/him to our vet (in a minute you’ll see why the confusion of gender). She/he stuck her/his legs out like a cartoon cat and refused to get in the kennel. I found a catch and release person who loaned us a trap cage, gave us instruction on how to catch her/him, and was going to take her/him in to get neutered or spayed. The biggest issue she had with him/her was going to be how friendly he/she was, as no one will spay a non-feral animal even if it is a stray. At least not for free. However, the catch and release gal took one look at her/him and said, “This is a neutered male. Take him home and integrate him into the house.”

Yeah, right, like that’s going to happen. My daughter wasn’t convinced with the lady’s gender identification system, even though she’s dealt with 27,000 cats. She insisted since we had him in a kennel we should take him to the vet on the way home for shots and a more careful examination. The vet flipped him over and said, “This is a girl.” Then he shaved some of her belly and found what may be a spaying scar, and also declared, “she’s too fat to know if she’s pregnant. You’ll find out soon.”

Oh come on! Two days I spent running around trying to help this cat. I didn’t want any more beings in my life that needed my attention. Though my daughter has taken responsibility for her, it’s still a stress for me. I’m not a monster after all, I am a mother. We brought her home, she stayed around that evening, then disappeared the entire following day. I kept telling my daughter, “she’s off having babies.” I was prepared to go searching for her the following day, flashlight in hand. The most likely hiding place would be under our little barn. The next morning, on my daughter’s way out the door she texted me, “Nachos appeared this morning. She looks as fat as she ever did.”

And that my friends ends of my tail of woe. Or does it?

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom living in a neighborhood near you. Catch the first part of this column at under the Life section. You can read more of her writing on her website, or follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.”