Wednesday, March 30, 2005

population increase

This living alone business is getting more crowded all the time.

So here's the story: My cat, Suki, is eleven years old, spoiled rotten, and a little on the neurotic side. When we first moved here, she seemed thrilled to have a whole apartment all to herself (well, with me too, of course). As the weeks went by, though, I started to get more and more worried about leaving her home alone all day - there's not much to do around here by yourself, even if you're a cat.

So I started looking around at shelters online to see if there might be any other older, sedate, low-expectation cats in need of a good, if smallish, home. Kind of a feline au pair, if you will.

I didn't really think it was a great idea to get another pet - in a 600 square foot apartment, that would be one cat per 300 square feet, and that's a lot of cats. I'm already a 30-something single woman, living alone. . . I really don't want to turn into one of those crazy cat ladies who have pictures of their pets in their wallets where their grandkids should be.

I went down to the shelter anyway, more for something to do than anything else. I'd seen a photo online of a beautiful black and white fellow who looked like he might be a good candidate, and I told myself that I could go look, and that's it.

When I got there, it was love at first sight. He was gorgeous, charismatic, and a total pushover. He literally leapt into my arms when I opened his cage, and rubbed his face against mine, purring to beat the band.

I was all ready to take him home, when the woman who ran the shelter asked me to look at just one other cat. I tried, but it wasn't easy - she was cowering under a towel, hunched up in a tiny ball, pressed against the farthest corner of her cage. All I could see was that she was vaguely brown. The shelter woman told me that she was worried that this pathetic little creature would never be adopted, and it was easy to see why. I'd never seen a less appealing little animal. She (the lady) then proceeded to tell me the saddest sob story you ever heard about the cat's history - going from pregnant and abandoned in Hyde Park, to a dank basement complete with rat poison, and ending with a kitten that got adopted instantly, leaving the mother cat to linger alone in her cage, running out her clock in smelly, noisy confinement.

So to sum up:
1)I need another cat like I need a hole in the head.
2)If I were going to get another cat, there's an adorable, loving, cuteness-factor-10 cat at the shelter I visited.
3)The other cat I looked at had all the appeal of a worn-out bathmat, and freakish mutant toes besides. (Did I mention the mutant toes? There must be 7 of them on each paw.)

Careful readers will have already figured out how this story ends.

I think I'm going to call her Nell.