Sunday, July 17, 2011

Meet My New Friend!

by Leann

As I have shared here and on Facebook, I lost my precious cat Indigo in May. She was my constant companion, always there when I was down and happened to be my only "lap cat." Agatha Christie is a sweetheart, but after I adopted her, she didn't come out from behind dressers or the entertainment center for almost a year. She has major trust issues, hates being picked up and so does my other cat Archie Goodwin. They are wonderful, sit beside me, but are in their senior years and aren't about to change. My crazy Rosie is no lap dog either. She is smart and fun, but really adores my husband even though I am the one who feeds her. Doesn't mean she dislikes me. Far from it. But sometimes animals are "one person" critters.

After much thought, I decided it was time for a new kitten--a young kitten with the potential to be that lap cat I so want. I understand there are no guarantees, but certain breeds are more prone to want to "be close." I decided on a ragdoll since Indigo must have some of that breed in her. Ragdolls go limp like, well a ragdoll, when you pick them up and that's what she used to do. She loved riding on my shoulder. Plus, I haven't had a small kitten for 16 years. In that time, I took care of many a stray--feeding, vet care, you name it. I adopted Aggie out of a bad situation, found Archie at the grocery store, tube fed a litter of kittens a feral cat left in my garage when they were about 4 days old, rescued a kitten that a mother cat gave birth to in the ceiling of the school where I worked (he had to be tube fed, too) and just seemed to be the stopping place for many an animal--even a big old turtle who lived in our garden until our neighbor took the old guy to an animal sanctuary he knew about. (I'd saved him from the middle if a busy road.) This time, I bought a cat whose health is certified, has been DNA tested for congenital illness and doesn't need to visit the vet right away. I am easily fatigued and must admit, with a diabetic cat who's had a kidney infection for 4 months and my shorthair who is FIV positive, this time I needed to do what would not affect my own health adversely. Taking animals to the vet as often as I have had to do these past few years simply wears me out.

There is nothing that makes me smile more, with the exception of new grandbabies, than a kitten. I now introduce you to Wexford (named after Ruth Rendell's police detective. Poirot just doesn't roll off the tongue.) In the past week, Wexford and I have become fast friends. He LOVES to cuddle, sleeps right by my side every night, and is doing all those kitten things I had forgotten about--like the sideways walk. Don't you love the sideways walk? Though I was afraid my senior citizen cats would heartily object, I was wrong. Aside from a few hisses and swats, they are fine with him. The dog also sees a potential friend who might have the energy for a game of chase every once in a while. Smiles this week, despite a not-so-fun doctor visit and a battle with pretty bad headaches every day, have been in abundance. What have you done for yourself lately that made your life richer and more joyful? I've answered that question for me, now it's your turn!