When I met Bryan, he had two cats.
(I should mention here that I’m a pretty devout dog person and do not like cats.)(By “do not like”, I mean, “would prefer to use them as slippers or stew meat”.)
Anyway, he had two cats, who were both ANCIENT, and I didn’t really care for them. I mean, they were FINE, as far as cats go. But one — Friday — was CRAZY in your face at all times affectionate and the other one — Shelby — was as close to a feline version of me as one could safely own.
Naturally, I kinda gravitated to Shelby.
She was old. She was partially.. well, eventually, entirely .. deaf. She had given up on grooming many moves ago. But she had that kind of Grizabella quality that made you look at her and realize that, Damn, I’ll bet she was a beautiful cat in her day.
Um, also? She was totally a bitch. She was pitch black and would hide in shadows to attack Friday and the dogs, and you’d only see claws and teeth jump toward you. She was LOUD. And.. she was pretty smelly.
But when I was sick, Shelby was THE BEST. She weighed next to nothing, and she knew EXACTLY where you were sick and would lay there, a nice little vibrating space heater. She was a great sick cat. She was also GLUED to me through my entire pregnancy, always perching on my chest above my belly.
She stayed with us long enough to make sure Tony arrived safely, and then she wandered out one day and never came back.
Since then, we had toyed with the idea of getting another cat. Again, I AM NOT A CAT PERSON and I severely dislike the idea of owning an animal that shits INSIDE the house .. especially when my child is prone to eat it .. and another cat wasn’t exactly on my list of things I wanted.
But the more we talked about it, we REALLY missed having a black cat in the house. I DON’T KNOW WHY.
Sunday, we took Tony to “walk the promenade” (i.e. the Target strip mall) and we saw the sidewalk adoption festival in front of a pet store. While my child is typically drawn to the dogs (WOOF WOOF, he’ll grunt), he beelined to a table with a cat on it. A pure, black cat.
“KITTY,” he pointed, excitedly. She nuzzled against his chubby fingers stretched through the cage and mewed at him. “Meeyow,” Tony said, doing this coy thing with his head against his shoulder he does whenever I say be gentle with that. I tried to steer him to the dogs, but he wouldn’t leave the kitty. I pointed the cat out to Bryan, who immediately fell in love with her too.
“But we .. we just can’t afford an adoption fee right now,” he said.
We went inside and looked at the fish (KISSY FACE), the birds (TWEET TWEET), and the turtles (?!), and then went outside to leave. “KITTY,” said Tony.
I shrugged. “Let’s just ASK,” I said.
“She’s free,” they said. Someone had brought her in from a local lake (Ditto Landing) and they weren’t really prepared to house her. So we were welcome to take her.
She’s EXTREMELY relaxed. Mostly, she sleeps. She loves Tony, and Tony loves her. She mews. She stays glued to us, but she only lingers in the back of the house. And she totally has filled a void in our home.