Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was a movie with Michael Caine and Steve Martin, where they made their living fooling rich, lonely old ladies. Basically, they wanted and got money tricking people. It was a great comedy and I would highly recommend it. However, it is not so funny when someone plays such tricks on you, to say nothing of when that someone is a cat.

Now if you have read The Roaring Mouse, I have been truthful about Bill’s and my fixation with various dogs and cats. To say nothing about the squirrels, rabbits, crows and coyotes on our property. And we feel we have a good way with our animals. We have two indoor cats who are not coyote food and two indoor, at night, dogs.

We have our animals vaccinated and fixed, so they do not reproduce. We buy them pet food with good things in it and then feed them from the table, much to the despair of our sons, whose dogs do not eat table scraps. Heck I feed the rabbits from the table and they are a little snotty about watermelon rind. It is not the right size or shape for them. The crows are aggressive and mean. If we don’t get out there with white, yes, white, bread in the morning, they come and sit on the wrought iron and beat at the windows. We buy the dogs toys and treats and store-bought bones. We never feed them chicken bones or pork bones. We really like them.

And of course, there is James, our 24-lb. black cat, who is six, and our 21-year-old grey cat, Phantom, who sneaks around and thinks we don’t see her trying to drink out of our teacups. You get the picture.

Three weeks ago, another completely black cat came to our front door and cried pitifully for food. Bill and I went outside, and he was so friendly. He let us pet him and pick him up. He jumped up to our second story deck and looked inside. James saw him through the screen and pulled his, “Hiss! I’ll come out and beat your butt” meow. Phantom just ignored both with a look that said, “Boys, I was here before you and I’ll be here after you.”

We took food and water out on the deck for Piwacket. The name comes from medieval text and an old movie in black and white with Kim Novack, Jimmy Stewart and Jack Lemmon. It seemed Kim was a witch, as was her brother, Jack. Jimmy Stewart, a mortal, returns her cat, Piwacket; then he falls in love with her. It was “Bewitched” without the special effects, but a really cute cat.

We were glad he could get to the deck, because it made it much harder for the family of coyotes that have lived here for 47 years to get him. At first we thought because he was so well groomed and friendly that he must be from a neighbor’s house; so, I did a few calls and nope, he was a stray. Now my brother expressed an interest in moving him into Albuquerque since Arch has two young cats. Oh, we figured Piwacket was about six or seven months old. He cavorted like a kitten rolling in the grass and being really, really, cute. But when Arch came to see him, poof, he disappeared.

So, we decided to take him in for shots and to be neutered. I slept with him that night in our spare bedroom away from our cats. We got up at 6 to get him to Albuquerque by 7. Then and only then did we get the word about this conniving little scoundrel and cheat.

Piwacket was already neutered and had a chip. He belonged to someone else named, Angelo. We called when we got the number and the original owner was in Clovis taking care of his grandfather. According to Angelo, Piwacket was almost four years old and had been stolen three years before by person or persons unknown. Baloney! This cat is a con kitty. He has been looking for a cushy home. We are not the first to fall for his, “I am just a poor little kitty and need food and love.”

The former owner now can not have him back. His grandfather is allergic. Our cats are still not pleased and personally I am a little ticked off. How dumb are we? Don’t answer that. Now we get up at 6 to feed one more cat on the upper deck and when it snows I will probably let him in the spare bedroom, but I am not going to sleep with him. Yes, we were conned by a cat.

Roaring Mouse, totally disgusted but petting him anyway, out.