Freshman Abby LaComb might have won her soccer tournament on Sept. 9, but high-school science teacher Glenn Mangold was the true winner when he scored a new cat named Gus.
LaComb and her mother, middle-school teacher Kathryn LaComb, were in Concord, Calif. for a soccer tournament when they discovered a small black cat at their motel.
When Kathryn LaComb picked the cat up, “He crawled up my neck and gave me a hug,” she said.
LaComb said this gesture struck a chord with her, as she has pets (including cats) already.
So she went to the front desk to ask how long the tiny black cat had been there.
The clerk said that Gus had been there for almost a year, making his home in their dumpster. The motel staff would feed him from time to time, he said.
LaComb decided to sneak Gus into her room. She and Abby walked across the street to Petco, where they bought him food and toys.
After Abby had won her tournament, the LaCombs (and Gus) stopped at their Sacramento veterinarian to get him shots before heading home.
Now Gus was ready to live with the LaCombs except for one problem: they already have two dogs, Tuffy and Olive, a cat named Jinx and a parakeet named Ozzy.
So LaComb sent out an email to her fellow teachers asking if they or any of their friends wanted a cat.
Luckily one teacher responded after a few days with good news: Mangold.
He adopted Gus the following week.
“We were looking for a third cat anyway,” Mangold said. “We had room, we like cats and our older cat wants to play all the time.”
Mangold already owns two cats, Newton and Tiny Tim (who got his name because he has a bad leg like the character in Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol“). Mangold teaches Newton to do tricks.
Mangold separates the cats from each other and does not allow them to meet.
According to Mangold, cats aren’t supposed to meet their roommates until they’re given some time to pick up on their scent.
“So you have the two cats that know each other and live in one part of the house while Gus lives in the other part,” Mangold said.
“You let them smell each other’s litter box and paw at each other under a door. Then eventually you can let them meet, and they will most likely be friends.
“He’s very, very nice, friendly and well behaved,” Mangold said. “The only difficulty is having to push him off your lap.”
Gus will officially become a full member of the Mangold family when he meets Newton and Tiny Tim in a couple of weeks.
—By Ben Miner