Last Saturday, I did something I thought I’d never do: I got another cat.
I didn’t intend to get another cat, at least not yet. But Lollypop farm
, our local Humane Society, was running a “summer special” on cats and kittens ($50 off, and they were spayed or neutered, had shots, were flea’d, wormed and microchipped, and came with a vet visit and 30 days of pet insurance) so I figured it was at least worth checking out. Any cat more than 5 months old was only $25.
The process at Lollypop Farm is long. I mean, reeeeeally long. There were hundreds of people there to see the cats and dogs, and I spent about 4 hour deciding which cats I wanted to see, then filling out the adoption paperwork and waiting for my turn to see 3 cats (the max they’ll let you see).
I sat on the floor in the “meet and greet” room as Joy, the adoption counselor, showed me first two 9 month old cats (cute, but busy with each other), then a cage full of playful kittens (cute, but they didn’t even realize I was in the room) and finally a 4-year-old cat named Jasmine. The cats crawled under the bench, scratched at the walls, chased a ball around, and tumbled over each other. Jasmine was probably the best match, temperment-wise; she was calm but a bit unsure of me. I wasn’t sure I wanted a cat that old.
Let me state for the record that I am not a cat-person. I loved MY cat. And if I was going to get another cat, it had to be the right cat. Not a nice cat or a cute cat or a pretty cat but THE cat. Penny had a difficult temperment, was moody, and sometimes not the most pleasant cat to have around. That’s why I loved her so much. She was just like me. And while I was eager to rescue a cat and Lollypop Farm had a great deal, it had to the perfect match. And so far, I wasn’t feeling it with any of the cats I’d seen.
After I’d seen my alotted three cages, Joy said she was very happy to spend a few more minutes with me, so she went to put Jasmine back into her cage and get one more cat that another attendent, Katie, insisted I see.
While Joy was gone I started tearing up a bit, because I was really missing Penny and it was looking like I’d never find another cat I could bond with the same way. I asked God that when the time was right to send me the right cat, and I started to gather my purse, ready to tell Joy I didn’t want to see any more cats. Then she came back in with a cat they called Zoro.
Zoro was about a year old, and had been brought in as a stray. They’d randomly picked a name from a book so they could put something on the information card. He was snuggled in Joy’s arm’s, purring, as she carried him in. “This one’s a lover,” she laughed.
She put him on my lap, where he immediately settled in and started kneading his paws on my arms. I sat on the floor and took him off my lap, thinking he might like to check out the room, and instead he climbed back onto my lap, licking my arm and kneading his paws. When I reached under his chin to scratch, he stretched up and rubbed his face on mine.
“That’s the way cats mark their territory,” Joy said with a smile. But I already knew for sure what she was trying to imply: this was my cat.
After filling out paperwork, I brought the cat home – I already knew we were changing his name – and prayed that he and Scout would get along. I had been torn about getting another cat because I thought maybe Scout was enjoying his time as the only pet in the house. Then again, he’d lived his whole life with us with a cat and if we were going to add another one now was a good time.
When we brought Scout home last year, Penny high-tailed it for the basement, where she stayed for a month. Gradually, she made her way up and joined the family, and while she and Scout find a way to co-exist there was always some tension between them. Scout was constantly scratched across his nose from Penny’s attacks.
This cat, on the other hand, popped out of his carrying box and settled in quite nicely with the dog. Once, when Cassie was holding the cat, Scout lunged at them both, causing the cat to scratch Cassie. But he never fled and soon they were both tolerating each other, if not happily enjoying each other.
We named the cat Murphy. He’s been with us for four days, and except for the first night, when we locked him in the kitchen (with basement access) until we were sure he knew where his litter box was and that he was using it, he and Scout have slept in our bed. Right now, they’re curled up about two feet from each other, sound asleep. Scout’s accidentally entered Murphy’s personal space a few times, usually trying to retrieve a ball, but hasn’t bled even once from the experience.
Murphy seems quite content in his new home. He’s eating, cuddling, purring, using his litter box, and generally making it known that living with us is much more enjoyable than the streets.
The balance of fur in the household finally feels normal again.
(PHOTOS: Cassie bonds with Murphy the cat. Let me assure you – he’s most at home when part of his body is lounging on part of your body. Or when he’s eating. If he can do both, he’s in cat heaven.)