When I got married three years ago, I brought to the union lots of neat new things for our house: antique furniture, heirloom linens, Le Creuset – and a rescued cat named Calpurnia. All were welcomed, except Cal. Because already living in the house was my husband’s adopted cat, Eve. As in…the first.
The fur-flying fights stopped after about six months. The need for two sets of bowls and two litter pans placed strategically around the house ended after about a year, when they began accompanying each other to eat or pee, waiting before taking a turn, for surveillance purposes, perhaps in tolerance—definitely not with fondness. Especially with the last frontier continuing to be our bed. Eve had been accustomed to sleeping in “the big room upstairs with the man,” and Cal had been used to “the big cat bed the lady likes to sleep on too.” We joked about “The Changing of the Kitty,” when one vacates a spot and the other one fills in. Although there had been those episodes when one refused to relinquish, which had meant nights jolted awake to an ear-piercing “Rowwwww!!!”
You may have noticed a tense change in that last sentence. This had been life in our two-cat house until last week when we moved my great-Aunt Betty’s scalloped-edge Queen Anne end table out of the corner of the living room into the dining room to make it easier for the delivery of our new flat-screen TV. That’s when the “starting gun” cracked the air and eight little feline legs galloped across our bamboo floor with the din of the Persian advance. They propelled and plummeted themselves from sofa to chairs to floor, the pads of their feet barely making contact with a surface as they whipped and bounced and flew around the room. Our cats were playing together, their simple kitty lives suddenly expanding, although Eve, who’s zaftig (that’s Yiddish for overweight), rested by the table a lot, batting her chubby paw while Cal continued her mad dashes. She was showing off.
I have always had a rescued cat. And usually more than one at a time, except in college when I was defiant enough to have smuggled one into my dorm room. Right now, my husband and I are sponsoring Wiley, a behemoth who’s sheltered (yes, the cat is a “who”) at Animals in Distress in Coopersburg. We would have taken him home, but he is tumble-weed-sized because of an eating disorder and still needs to be in solitary until they regulate his weight. This is to call attention to June being National Adopt-a-Cat Month. I probably can’t make a cat-lover out of you if you aren’t one already. But if do have one, consider another. Everyone needs a friend, or in the case of our “fur girls,” a partner in crime. The going may be ruff at first (that was a joke), but eventually there will be peace. And if not, try moving a piece of furniture.