Sabu, Lord of Encino

I came home from work yesterday & found this on my doorstep. 

Not actually a 3rd world nation, just a weird angle.

One does not typically encounter what looked to be a pure bred Himalayan wandering the streets of Los Angeles, even in the valley. I emailed a cat rescue. They recommended I take him to a vet to be scanned, then they could call the owner of the microchip.
I took a bowl of water down to the beast, as it was 100 F, then made dinner & figured the owner would probably come home soon to find their beloved pet had escaped.

My roommate came home weirdly early for her & told me the cat had now moved up the steps toward the door. “It’s still out there?” “Yes.” I grabbed my keys & went to sit on the steps with the cat while my roommate emailed the HOA, asking if anyone was missing a very expensive cat.

As I sat on the steps, the beast hissed at me, but I gently held my hand toward him anyhow. He immediately rubbed his face on my hand & started purring. He was not mangy or very tangled, & I perceived a collar which meant he did indeed belong to someone. 

Just then, a neighbour I haven’t met pulled up & asked about the cat. “Is he yours?” I asked back. “No, but he is beautiful.” She got the number for her vet & called to see if they would scan the cat’s chip for free. They would. I asked her to watch the kitty while I got my cat carrier. It was now my mission to find this cat’s home.

Soon after I came outside, with my roommate following, I got the cat in the carrier with no fuss at all (bizarre). It was then that the door opened again & a guy popped his head out & said “Yep, that’s the cat.” I asked if this was his cat & he said his wife inherited him from her grandfather who had just died, & “Do you want it? It’s a $500 cat but if you want it you can have it.”

I said, “I’m sorry, did you just say you don’t want your cat?”

“We don’t really know what to do with it.” Then a car showed up & a woman & a small boy got out. I recognized the small boy as our neighbour down the hall.

The woman told me the cat’s name is Sabu, explained the story to me & said they were afraid the cat would scratch their baby (they have a toddler). I explained this was highly unlikely with a pure bred Himalayan, which she confirmed he is. She also fretted that he likes to sit on the couch, which is a sure sign they don’t know cats. “We have papers and everything, & the litter box & food. I can give you all that stuff. He has a lot of brushes, too. My grandfather brushed him every day.”

It didn’t look like he’d been brushed in a little while.

The man then asked the wife “Do you want to keep him now or no?” She said “Let the kid say goodbye” & I asked “You really don’t want the cat?” & my roommate, God bless her, said “We’ll take the cat. Do you have all his paperwork & health record?” And they said they did.

As you know, I’ve not been able to even think about getting a new cat since Persephone (19) & Neil (13, who had a stroke soon after she passed) died last year. But as my roommate pointed out “He found you.” So that was that.

The woman went to her apartment & we carried all Sabu’s stuff down to ours & she promised to get the paperwork to us when she found it. I let her know I was going to acclimate him in our bathroom so he could gradually get used to the house. She admitted they didn’t know a lot about cats. I explained that Himalayans are even stranger because they are not bred to be like “normal” cats. They are gentle, patient, good natured, cuddly, & cannot under any circumstances go outside. 

If abandoning a regular cat is like abandoning an 8 year old child, abandoning a Himalayan is like abandoning a 10 month old. They just want to be cuddled & cannot hunt. Their bodies aren’t even correctly built for hunting, jumping, or escaping. They are built to melt into laps.

Anyhow, she had left & I set up the litter box, food, & water in my bathroom. By now he had wet himself, & I could get a good look at how unkempt he was after a day outside.

Watchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?


He was entirely uninterested in food & water, but oddly for a cat traumatized by two moves in as many weeks,
he wanted to be pet. So I pet him. Then I brushed him, & he wanted to be brushed. Then I gave him a couple treats, which he prefers to eat out of hand.

After a little brush & eye cleaning.


The bathroom does not get air at night, & he seemed to want to explore, so I let him wander into my bedroom after my roommate said goodnight to him & gave him belly rubs. He protested loudly about everything while looking at it, like “I wouldn’t put this here. What’s this for?” And he did go under the bed, but he traversed to the other side & emerged in less than 30 seconds. This was the most chill cat rehoming ever.

He did cry much of the night, though he did jump up on the bed, at one point even hugging my leg, but then would wander around & cry again. I pet him at 2:30, 3:15, 4 something, & then I lost count. I heard him use the litter box. I thanked God.

When I got up to shower, he seemed nearly nonplussed, & when I left the room to make breakfast, he wanted to come with. I didn’t want to do that when I was just leaving for work. He did not seem to want to be left alone.

I tried to leave work early, but that did not quite work out as planned. It didn’t matter; when I got in, he was sleeping peacefully under the bed. I left the door open, made & ate dinner, then came back to his spot under the bed with the bag of treats.

He eagerly followed me out to the living room, but I scooped him up so I could brush him & clean his eyes (Himalayans need a lot of maintenance). I sat him on the ottoman, brushed him down, cleaned his eyes, gave him treats, & let him explore. He wanted to be pet, so I did that first, & then he jumped down.

He was vaguely impressed with the living room, taking a leisurely stroll around the perimeter & returning to the bedroom. I decided to upload some photos, then sweep & mop the bathroom. He was using the litter box! I scooped it & swept, noting that he was finally grooming himself. I mopped & then dumped a basket of clean laundry on the bed to fold & put away.

Sabu immediately emerged from under the bed & inserted himself amongst my small piles to be folded. He rolled around & showed his belly like he’d been mine for years. I finished putting away the laundry & got on the bed with him, rubbing his belly & scratching the fluff around his ears. He purred & I got a toy to play with him, which in typical Himmy fashion bored him in about two minutes. 

So this is what he looks like now…

His paperwork says that his dame is Catzboutique Paper Doll & that his full name is Catzboutique Sabu. He is 9 years old & is basically a naked love Ewok.

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