My 12-year old, Margaret, and I volunteer at a local cat rescue shelter that finds homes for abandoned and stray cats, and houses older cats whose owners can no longer keep them due to death or other reasons. We play with them, brush them, and love on them. We’re cat people.
On a recent visit, Margaret and I noticed a cat that looks a lot like our late cat, Bella.
Bella was a ‘Simon’s Cat’ cat – a Ragdoll. He (yes “he” thanks to the veterinarian who told us he was a she when we found him and subsequently tried to spay him) was the love of my life until I met my husband. In fact, Bella is the reason my husband converted from being a dog-loving, can’t-handle-cats kind of guy to a dog-loving, I-guess-not-all-cats-are-bad kind of guy.
This cat’s rescue name was Blanche. Immediately, Blanche made an impression on Margaret. And me. She had the same silky soft fur as Bella, a similar coloring, and an all-around American cat charm. Think polar opposite of Grumpy Cat.
Margaret started holding Blanche and within moments, she was gripped with emotion. (This happens regularly these days, but this was definitely not hormonally-driven.) I became verklempt as well – which is odd for me. Though he was only 13 ½ years old when he kicked the tuna can, I think the knowledge that he sucked the dander out of life has made all the difference for me.
As you might have guessed, Margaret begged (read employed ‘major histrionics’) me to adopt Blanche. I suspected my husband would be fine with another feline in the house given he doesn’t think we’re ready for dogs (stay tuned for a dog blog post on that) and recently indicated maybe Maximus Decimus Meridius, our 8 year old cat, needs a buddy. Reluctantly, I agreed. Unfortunately, we learned that Blanche is not cat-friendly so that was a deal breaker, especially since Maximus was thrilled when Bella left him as an only cat. My hesitancy in adopting another cat lay in the concern that Maximus would be unhappy with another cat roaming around.
So this opened up the door to an unofficial search for the right pussy cat. It was odd because we had always gone to volunteer without thinking about adoption. Suddenly, every pussy cat was a possible pet for us.
In the end, we chose a feisty kitten. His rescue name was Krueger, as in Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddie Krueger, invoked because he was clawing the cage he shared with some other feral cats when he was dropped off at the shelter. We promptly renamed him Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web, mainly because I have always wanted a pot belly pig as a pet.
We’ve had him now for two weeks and he’s settling in well! Maximus has surrendered to the fact that his dreams will not be coming true: Wilbur isn’t going away. Wilbur loves to torment Maximus
who is largely a couch potato. But it’s good for Maximus because he’s getting more exercise to compensate for the additional food I give him because I feel guilty for shaking up his perfect world.
Overall, it’s a win-win for everyone: Wilbur gets a loving home, Maximus gets more exercise, Margaret gets another kitty who doesn’t make her cry because he looks like Bella.
And I get my faux pig.