hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Friday, November 23, 2012

Interviewing Cats, Part I

Our lives very recently have been somewhat consumed by the issue of cats, so this long story will cover a number of intermittent posts.  I don't know how many because the story has not yet come to a conclusion, but this is how it starts, anyway.

 Awhile back, we made a somewhat vague decision that we'd like to have a cat come and live with us.  Both Ed and I have had animals around for most of our lives--cats, dogs, rabbits, turtles, fish, rats, birds, what have you.  For the past 20 years, however, we have been pet-less, largely because we were moving around between B.C. and P.R. so regularly.  Hard enough for us to make that adjustment constantly without imposing it on a fur person.

In the days when we did have pets, the pets mostly just came to us.  The kid comes home from school bringing a cat that 'followed them."  Or at least that was the story.  Or a friend moved and couldn't take her dog with her and we took her in.  Or a dog just walked up to the door saying, "Hi, I'm yours."  Like those things.  It's possible that we sometime actually went to an animal shelter to select a cat or dog, but I don't have any memory of that.

Here on the Point, I wasn't quite sure how to proceed, so I conveyed our interest in a cat to a knowledgeable friend who emailed me back: "What kind of cat do you want?"  Oh. Uhh.  Gosh.  I considered.  "One that understands English?  One that doesn't want to go outside?"  Not a good enough answer, perhaps.  I then wrote my older daughter who is highly knowledgeable about animal pets and asked her what kind of cat did I want.  She replies, "well, you don't want one that bites, for example."  To myself I say, "Does anyone want a cat that bites?"

She also suggested I consider age, and kinds of cats I might be more likely to be allergic to.  I continue a little unclear about what to answer and I'm a little fixated on the idea of someone wanting a 'cat that bites.'  Kittens are nice, I thought.  The only cat I've ever been severely allergic to was one that belonged to my younger daughter, but I'm not sure what characterized that cat other than the fact that it triggered a considerable asthmatic reaction and I normally don't have asthma.

I wrote back to my friend, telling her that I had had a dream the night after I wrote to her about wanting a cat and that in the dream there was a grey cat named Charles.  "Perhaps," I confided, "that is the kind of cat that I want."

And I sat back, child of the 60's that I am, and awaited the arrival of a grey cat named Charles.  Weeks passed.  (End of Part I: Interviewing Cats)

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