I've always been a fan of neighbors. Growing up, we were always friendly with ours and helped each other out. When Grant and I lived in our first apartment in Louisiana, we became good enough friends with several of our neighbors that we had them over for dinner and sometimes went out for a night on the town!
Our apartment in Houston didn't provide as many options but there was a sweet couple across the hall from us that we often talked with and we looked out for each other when one of us went out of town.
In the short 2 weeks that we have lived in our house, we have been "loved on" by our neighbors! The very night we moved in, we got a knock on the door and met some very sweet people who brought over an apple pie and a "if you need anything just come on over!" Those same people watched our house for us while we were in New Orleans for New Years.
Well, last night, around 11:00, I had been hearing some pretty constant "meowing" at our front door. There was a kitty that for some reason felt that we were his owners. Grant was getting irritated... but I turned on the porch light and then we made eye contact. Now, in general I am not really a "cat person". I don't hate cats or anything but I'm much more prone to dogs. But this cat looked well-kept and very much like an inside cat. He also looked young and had a cute face. And, more importantly, he had a collar.
So, amidst the moaning and groaning of my husband, I stepped outside and tried to read kitty's collar. "Freedom - 281-XXX-XXXX- REWARD"
Then I felt sad... this is someone's pet. So I grabbed my phone and called the number. "Hi, Sorry, we're not home right now, leave a message and we'll call you back!" So I left a message saying I had found their cat and to call me back. They didn't call back.... but i couldn't just LEAVE HIM out there! It is so COLD! But I couldn't let him in the house because Moxie was going to go bonkers.
So, I brought him into the house and sat with him in the utility room, waiting for a phone call that just was not coming. Then I had the idea to google the phone number and see if it was listed. Sure enough, the address that pulled up was just down the street.
"Let's go for a drive!". Grant, very irritated at this point, got dressed in warm clothes (because it was stupid cold outside) and we all (Grant, Freedom and I) drove around trying to read people's addresses.
We finally found the house... both cars in the driveway had "Sav-A-Pet" bumper stickers. When I approached the house (at 11:30 at night, mind you) I was semi-afraid that someone was going to shoot me. All the lights were off in the house. I knocked lightly which of course did nothing. So then I rang the doorbell and all the dogs inside started barking like crazy. After a few minutes, a very scared woman started inching her way towards the door. I held the cat up to the window so she wouldn't shoot. I knew that she wouldn't shoot an animal!
Then her eyes lit up and she ran right to the door... opened it and yelled "FREEDOM!!!!" just like William Wallace did in Braveheart. I handed him over and kept saying "I'm so sorry it's so late... I am so so sorry, he was at my door, It's so late I'm so sorry". I could tell she had kids and it was a school night!
She then said thank you about 48 times in rapid succession and then shut the door cause it was stupid cold. I ran back to the car and was greeted by my husband saying "did she give you a reward?"
I then lectured him on "what if that had been Moxie?!" and "we did a good thing!" and "I wouldn't take a reward even if she offered it!".
I was just being neighborly.
And this has been a very long story that could've been summed up in "I found a cat and I returned it". But then again, everytime I see this giant scratch on my arm, I'm reminded of Freedom.
Unless the reward was like $500. Cause I totally would've taken that.