There has been much ruckus in the RoadDave Household lately that has precluded some of the writing efforts. Submitted for your approval, the reason why.
Marylou and I are neither cat people, nor dog people. We have had both, all together, in a long line of disreputable companion animals, mostly shelter rescues of both cats and dogs. There was the Fish Period, with tropical fish inhabiting two largish aquariums, much to the amusement of the cats who saw the aquarium inhabitants as 4K Dolby 5.1 HD video in a size that would upscale to 24 foot diagonal if it were human-sized.
After Joseph Arthur Lonley passed before Christmas last year, we went down to one cat, no dogs, no fish. A couple of months ago, after Marylou came back from a business trip, we hotfooted over the Ottawa Human Society to add to our brood.
Our approach to household animals is simple enough: They must be from the Humane Society, as we don’t do puppy or cat mills, and, the animal must have some kind of quirk that speaks to us both. There has to be that je ne sais quai component that leads to some truly remarkable personality lurking beneath the surface as most of our friends will attest: Our pets are all unique personalities.
After rambling through the areas at the OHS it came down to three, Tommy a 4-year old neutered male “wallflower” who had been in the care of the OHS for a few months, then Gus and Charlie, found strays, litter mates, about 4 months old, also neutered males.
In talking with the adoption folks at the Humane Society, they assured us Tommy would find a home shortly, as more mature cats tended to be adopted sooner. Litter-mate kittens like Charlie and Gus took longer. We decided to keep the litter mates together and brought Gus and Charlie home, much to the annoyance of our incumbent, Bella, a ten-year old spayed female, who is very much the Queen of Her Domain. Her motto is “Apres Moi, le Deluge”
The usual madness ensued of introducing two high-energy kittens to the comfortable lifestyle of Bella. There were the occasional issues of hearing very bad language late at night as one or the other would attempt things they should not have. I still have some healing scratches where Charlie decided that climbing Daddy’s leg, while Daddy was wearing nothing more than a housecoat, is acceptable behaviour. We will not speak of the occasion whereby one of the new family took a look at me in bed and decided “Oooh! Nipples!” That has healed, more or less, but the emotional trauma will linger for several more months. Charlie has forgotten it, but I still shake from time to time.
Earlier this week we needed more cat food for the kids and rather than going to the nearby purveyor, combined some domestic tasks and headed to a store in the west end. Since the cat food at PetSmart is near the adoption cages, we naturally dropped by to see who was around, if only to give the adoptees a few minutes attention from some humans.
A grey and white lump was sleeping in his cage. He had been moved from the Humane Society and as PetSmart has a very good working relationship as satellite adoption centers for the Humane Society, we asked about him. It was the same cat, a “wallflower” 4 year old, who had spent the preceding several months in the system, named Tommy. The OHS transferred him to the high-traffic PetSmart to find him his Forever Home.
Call it Kismet, the Planets Aligning, the Hand of God, Curious Circumstance or whatever, but the decision was made, instantly feeling absolutely, perfectly, Right.
Tommy’s new Forever Home is here, with Gus, Charlie and Bella.
It means we have heard more swearing, the occasional sound of something crashing to the floor in the kitchen and endured requests for massive quantities of food at hours of the night usually reserved for shift workers and sex trade professionals. We don’t care. Tommy, Gus, Charlie and Bella all share their forever home with us now.
There have been antics of course, some so sweet as to require insulin and others that make Marylou and I laugh uncontrollably for hours, but we’re not the kind of people to bore others with the stories. Everyone is adjusting well enough, not perfectly yet, but well enough that we’re expecting to capture that visual meme of four cats, all sleeping, piled up together in a Gordian knot of feline contentment, in a discarded cardboard box. When we do, we will post it.
Cats, shelter adoptions, forever home, crazy cat people whatever meta tags you want to apply, feel free. They’re happy, we’re happy. The next chapter awaits.