we begin again
We all miss Babette very much.
Toots asked sweetly if we could get a new cat. Captain Comic looked at me with big sad eyes and asked what he was going to do when he needed soft. My heart ached for a cat, I expected Babette in all the usual places. A small furry haunting giving us approval for wanting to continue her catness.
I have a friend who had to give up an older cat over a year ago. She had been fostered all this time and in and out of display at Petsmart through the Isle of Wight Humane Society, a no kill organization. She is 10 years old and solid black, two strikes against her in cat adoption, so I wanted to help. I called and left a message, didn’t hear back. On Saturday, I felt a pull to go to Petsmart to see if she was there again. Captain Comic was having a rough morning, doing more than the usual wandering in circles and hovering, so I took him and a cat carrier, just in case, when I dropped Mr. Cynic off at work at his new job with Kroger.
My friend’s cat wasn’t there, but they had half grown kittens in nearly every kennel. Captain and I decided to call the number on a couple of the kittens’ cards for the foster homes. The first call wasn’t available. My heart sank a little, but I thought, it is too soon, after all. I called the next number, and the woman the other end said the one we asked her about was already reserved. I asked about my friend’s cat’s status and that we were interested in her, and she said, “Oh, she was just adopted by a lovely family! I am so happy for her!”
Having known that cat , she asked what we were looking for – a cat that could tolerate a small terrier on the chase, overly affectionate fourteen year old with Asperger’s and four year old girl. She then asked me if I had noticed the black 5.5 month old kitten named Salem.
He was tucked in the back corner of his kennel, and did not seem happy to be there, but looked very chill, like, “I may not like it here, but I’ve got this.” Just a pair of spring leaf green eyes blinking in a shadow. The woman on the phone said, “Have you had a chance to see his tail yet? It is very regal.”
The woman on phone said she was on her way there, anyway, with more kittens and to run the adoption on the other kitty, could we meet her back there in about an hour or so?
Captain Comic and I were so excited, and I wanted to confer with Honey (really for formality’s sake) and on the way home, Captain Comic and I were already falling in love.
Needless to say, I grabbed Honey and Toots after eating some lunch, and we headed back there to adopt him. The many tiny kittens that had arrived were a huge distraction for the kids, but we managed to adopt the older kitten for whom we returned.
He has basically been under Toots’s bed, sequestered in her room from Lucy, the terrorizing terrier since. Also under the bed with him almost constantly have been Toots and Captain Comic. And me, too, from time to time.
He purrs when we scritchy scratchy under his ears and chin. That tail is so regal, he made me think of a Russian Czar with a big fur collar. I asked Toots if she liked the name Sasha (a diminutive of Alexander in Russia – I read way too many 19th Century Russian novels in college). She immediately loved it for him, though she has a little trouble pronouncing it.
We’re letting him acclimate, and he seems to be warming up. We love our Sasha already. And he doesn’t seem to mind us, too much. This morning he came out of hiding and allowed Toots and me to pet him a bunch. He loves to be stroked long along his back and tail, he rolls and purrs into our hands.
He even ate in front of a small audience. He may just decide to keep us, too.