Last night, one lost, bewildered little old cat, placed in a hastily-assembled puppy crate rather too small for its needs.
But it made do. Better than a night wandering in an icy back lane, amongst the wheelie bins.
Someone else made do too. The Big Sulk was carried on all night. At 4.30 a.m., unable to sleep and rather worried, I got up and tried to coax Scooter off next door's shed. Nothing doing; all I got was the evil eye over the wall.
This morning, he had moved onto the wall itself. Progress. I tried again: Come on, Scooter! Come in, sweetie!
No, not coming in.
Breakfast! No, not coming in. Can stay out here for ever.
And I hate that creature in the crate! Yowoooooo!
But eventually, the crate creature was moved elsewhere, and Scooter's resolve disappeared. He needed to catch up on his sleep. Indoors, beside the radiator.
The old cat was moved into the big dog crate today, and seems happy enough there, unaware of the daggers being looked at it by Millie, princess of outrage. Leaflets and posters were distributed round the neighbourhood, vets were phoned. No success so far. The cat will stay with me for now; he/she (I haven't taken the liberty yet of checking under its fluffy, if matted, tail) is stiff and bony, stone deaf and completely blind. Experience of caring for elderly cats suggests kidney disease and age; I also think (hope) it has simply wandered from home, and hasn't been lost for long.
It purrs like a little motorbike when stroked, and prefers tuna to expensive cat food. Later I shall try to snip off the worst of the matted lumps in its fur, and tomorrow we shall go to a local vet to scan for the (unlikely) possibility of a microchip. But today we are being quiet; yesterday brought quite enough excitement and upheaval.
And like Scooter, it needs to sleep too.