Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A conversation with myself.

"Don't bother asking for explanations, she'll just tell you that she came in the year of the cat."

I'm restless.

It's not lack of sleep. I'm sleeping better lately.

It's not wanderlust. I'm glad our trip to North Carolina is behind us. I'm glad I opted out of Chicago in August. I kind of dread New York in September.

It's this kitty that has me feeling betwixt and between.



I spent my volunteer shift at the shelter on Saturday in the kitten room, which used to be the cat room. It must be kitten season, because we have lots of them.

The bigger cats have been relegated to a smaller room next door. Some of them are at Petsmart, hoping for homes.

I liked volunteering on Saturday. There were customers and interaction and several kittens went on sleepovers, the first step in the shelter's adoption process.

Just before I left, I went in to see the adult cats, and there she was.

She seems very sweet. She purrs non-stop. She's about a year old, already spayed and the shelter is pretty sure that she was a pet and not a stray.

I sent Neil an iPhone photo. He said, what is that? Then he said, I hope it's stuffed.

I said, no, she doesn't eat much.

I know all the logical reasons why it doesn't make sense, but I can't stop thinking about her. The shelter was closed from the time I left on Saturday until Monday morning.

I went back to see her. She had a towel pinned up on her cage. I asked why, and was told she has a weepy eye, a sympton of a URI, and the shelter is trying to avoid exposing the other cats.

So I took her into the bathroom, a large room where the scrubs are kept and we change. It's big enough for a full size cat tree, with ample room to spare, to give you an idea.

Kitty explored, purring the whole time, coming back to me to be petted when wheedled.

Neil has surrendered opposition. I think he just did not want to have one more conversation about it while he was trying to watch the Yankees play ball.

As a result, I'm having the "cat or no cat" conversation with myself. We have a pretty good status quo with our two cats. They're not best friends but they get along. And I think they have ESP, because they've been having a love-fest for the last two days, hanging out together, grooming each other.

Two cats. The right number to eat their chow together on the ironing board (off the floor, so we don't attract ants). The right number to share a litter box. A good number to handle jealousy, especially when both of us are home. Zamboni isn't a lap cat anyway, so Loki doesn't have competition there.

I think this new cat, let's call her Charlotte (because that's what we're naming her if we get her, which is not a done deal), might be a lap cat.

Puck was a lap cat. Loki became a lap cat only after Puck died.

I think I'll always want a white odd-eyed cat. I always have. Puck was a great cat and I have no regrets about him, except that he didn't get to live another dozen years. Getting him was a very good decision.

When he died so suddenly, I couldn't rest until we got Zamboni. Loki had grown up with Puck as a big brother. I didn't want him to be an only cat. I know he loved Puck and missed him. I thought he'd like a kitten.

But it just made him unhappier. He seemed depressed for months, although I might be anthropomorphizing. Still, even Neil would agree that he lost some of his spunk - and never got it back. He's seven years old, and he acts like he's an old man.

Oh, he's still adorable and unusual. He runs to the door like a dog when the doorbell rings. He's very interested in people. When the plumbers were here recently, he had to be wherever they were working. I had to put him in a bedroom to keep him from going into the attic with them.

I love my boys. I don't want to cause them stress, and I'm anxious about how a new cat would go down. I'd be less anxious about a kitten. A kitten would not be fazed by any treatment and probably wouldn't trigger as much of a defense as an adult cat, albeit a small young female one.

Loki didn't like Zam at all at first and there was some hissing but they worked it out pretty quickly. At least they worked out some sort of truce, some conceded neutrality. Zam was just a five-month-old kitten though.

Right now, Charlotte is being treated for her weepy eye. And she's "on hold" for me until Thursday. I was hoping Neil would be able to see her, but he has early softball games that night. I'm angling to get him to take off early.

One good thing is that we'd get to "test drive" her, due to the sleepover requirements of the shelter. If we (meaning I) brought her home on Thursday, we'd be committed for the holiday weekend, which has it's pros and cons.

We wouldn't be able to bail quickly, but that would give her a fighting chance, so to speak, to fit into the household.

Sweet Puck. Puck and Loki. Loki and Zamboni. Silly Zamboni. Loki the party animal.




And one more of Charlotte and her weepy eye. It's an unfortunate picture, because she's quite beautiful, and it didn't look so bad in real life. The camera always tells the story. She's on antibiotics and I'm hoping it's already a lot better.




"On a morning from a Bogart movie
In a country where they turn back time
You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre
Contemplating a crime

She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolor in the rain
Don't bother asking for explanations
She'll just tell you that she came
In the year of the cat

She doesn't give you time for questions
As she locks up your arm in hers
And you follow 'til your sense of which direction
Completely disappears

By the blue-tiled walls near the market stalls
There's a hidden door she leads you to
These days, she says, I feel my life
Just like a river running through
The year of the cat

Why she looks at you so coolly?
And her eyes shine like the moon in the sea
She comes in incense and patchouli
So you take her, to find what's waiting inside
The year of the cat

Well morning comes and you're still with her
And the bus and the tourists are gone
And you've thrown away your choice and lost your ticket
So you have to stay on

But the drumbeat strains of the night remain
In the rhythm of the newborn day
You know sometime you're bound to leave her
But for now you're going to stay

In the year of the cat
Year of the cat."

(Al Stewart)

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