Yes, a calico. She showed up at my front door at 9 o'clock tonight, meowing to beat the band. We don't get stray cats here, and I am perplexed where she came from. She might belong to a neighbor and got loose, or might have just been dumped. She's a little skittish, but very friendly (about rubbed straight through my pants leg thanking me for the cat food, which she gulped down between swipes against my legs) and tried her darndest to get in the front door. She evidently knows houses, and vastly prefers them to the outdoors.
I was worried about leaving her running loose outside, and it's getting chilly tonight, so I put her in the garage with food and water bowls and a litter box (please, oh please, let her know about litter boxes!). In the morning I will canvass the neighborhood and see if she's local. If not, I have to decide what to do.
I know I can't keep her because my calico detests other cats and I really don't want another one. Ours is a handful. There is a no-kill rescue shelter in town run by an organization called CATS and I can call them if I can't find her owner. CATS stands for "Cats Are Totally Special" - OK, I admit I had a snicker over what lengths they went through to make their acronym spell CATS. Husband and I call it "Cats Are People Too".
Out in the garage, she is meowing so loudly I can here her all the way in the den. She surely has a mouth on her. I can't decide how old she is, partly because I'm used to looking at Molly, who is over 12 lb and definitely larger than the average cat. She might be full grown, but I doubt it. The thought crossed my mind that she might be about 6 months and just came in season for the first time, which would account for the big mouth. Oh, lordy, please not.
With the temperature dropping for the night, and rain predicted, I was incapable of just letting her meow out there, or tossing out some food for her. Now I have to figure out what to do. Sometimes a soft heart bites you on the butt.