Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cats Are Not Dogs


While I was taking one of my frequent walks around the local reservoir, I got to thinking about dogs and the people who love them, and about cats. More precisely, I started thinking about the differences between cats and dogs.

Now, I or my family, over the years, had quite a few dogs. When I was living at home, we almost always had a dog. My dad was fond of English Setters, so we had lots of those. Beautiful animals, those Setters, but boy did they like to run. Most of the time, my mom or dad would feed the dog in the morning and then let it outside and we wouldn't see it again until that evening. That was fun for the dog, but it didn't really make for much companionship for us kids. The most interaction we had was in the evening when we had to somehow convince the dog that it would be better to come inside for the night than stay out and play. Not an easy task, that convincing. Another problem with letting one's dog run loose all day is that, unless you live in the middle of a wilderness area, there are highways and streets all around where cars move at high speeds. We lost all but two of our dogs to automobiles. That's one of the ways I learned about death at a fairly early age. I learned a lot about grief, too. Despite the fact that I didn't get to see the dogs much, the time I did spend with them was fun. I got to loving those dogs, since they were much more fun to play with and easier to relate to than most of my human friends at that time. With one exception, we never had a cat when I was living with my parents. My mother didn't like them. She claimed they were unreliable and sneaky. Mostly, I think she just didn't trust anyone that wouldn't do what she told them to do, or come when she called them.

My first cat came to me from a loading dock. He didn't last long, sadly. He started following my sister around. He followed her across the busy county road one afternoon near Idaho Springs, Colorado where we were living at the time. My sister made it across, the cat didn't. She didn't understand about cats. Cats don't get the concept of streets and cars. It just doesn't make sense to them. Rats and mice and dogs and skunks and opossums and birds are things that cats understand. Pillows and towels and sock drawers and closet shelves and sunny windowsills are what cats like the best. A dog will lie down in the middle of the yard and trust that no one will run the mower over him or drive a bicycle over his tail. Cats want a place that's safe from all that for their nap. Cats want a vantage point where they can see what's coming after them, and a place nearby where they can run to if they don't feel like fighting. A dog will follow you around all day and be happy just hanging around with his human. A cat wants to have a choice about what it does. I don't believe that dogs do very much thinking and considering before they act. A cat will ponder an action for awhile, sort of mull it over, before he does it. Even when he's hunting, a cat will think about strategy, he'll wait, he'll stalk, he'll watch his prey and once he's figured all the angles, he'll pounce. It doesn't always work for the cat, but you can see that he always has a plan. A dog will love you if you feed him, pet him, play with him and make him feel safe.

With cats, you have to earn that affection. At the beginning of your relationship, a cat will love you when he needs to be fed, petted and played with, but wants to be left alone when it's nap time or tongue-bath time. If you're lucky, and you do everything right, sometimes a cat will love you all the time. He'll miss you when you're gone and he'll be waiting at the door when you get home. That sort of cat will walk into whatever room you are in and make sure you are okay. He'll then go about his napping or playing, knowing that everything and everyone is where they belong, but he'll come back and check once in awhile just be make sure. But you have to have established a mutual trust with your cat to achieve that kind of relationship. You can't ever forget to feed him, you can't ever step on him, and you try not to ever surprise him. If you treat your cat with the love and respect that he knows is his due, he will return it to you ten-fold. Quint is that kind of cat. He takes pretty good care of his humans and we sure do appreciate his concern.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dental Hygiene for Cats

He's Just So Little

It is likely that there are a number of different methods we could have used to clean the plaque from Quints little teeth. The veterinarian rubbed his teeth with a gauze pad. I thought method that lacked dignity and it certainly had no element of fun whatsoever, plus it seemed like it would be pretty expensive and wasteful, what with using and discarding one gauze pad for every cleaning. If you're going to be cleaning your cat's teeth once or twice a day for the rest of his life, you better find a way to make it cheap, fun and interesting for the both of you.

We already had the poultry-flavored toothpaste, so now we needed a brush of some sort to do the cleaning. We already had a couple little brushes that are attached to a splint-like plastic device which fits on a fingertip, but they were too big to get inside a kitten-sized mouth. Nope, it looked like we were going to have to put our hands into the lion's mouth. Okay, the kitten's mouth. Still, those little teeth are very sharp, so how do we keep our fingers out of harm's way and still get the job done. Yet another flash of brilliance on my part had me heading off to the local drugstore to see if toothbrushes for babies might be the right tool for the job. It turned out that they were perfect. Baby toothbrushes are available in two colors, pink and blue. Since Quint was a boy (well, not as much of a boy as he used to be), I went with the blue color and bought two.

Armed with the proper tool and the will to accomplish the mission, I now had to create a workable technique. There are quite a few very sharp obstacles in the road to kitten dental hygiene, ten claws and lots of needle-sharp little teeth. Any technique that evolved would have to take into account the avoidance of all of them. It took some trial and error, but eventually I achieved a moderately decent accomodation between my vulnerable flesh and his lethal weapons, though I did shed some small amounts of blood in the process. One bit of good fortune that made the process easier was that Quint liked the flavor of the toothpaste, which transformed the whole process from an annoying ordeal into a bit of a treat for him. I learned to keep the claws from automatically reaching up and pushing my hand away. I learned, too, that when you apply ointment with a bare finger, it is best to keep said finger out from between the upper and lower jaws. Ouch!

I give you the benefit of my research in hopes that you will avoid some of the bloodshed which I experienced. Here's how I brush Quint's teeth. First, I always wait until he's in nap mode, or at the very least, in a relatively calm and relaxed state. Trying to brush a cat's teeth when he's only interested in playing is a recipe for pain on your part. When I first started the brushing, I would pick him up from wherever he was laying and hold him in my lap. Now, he usually comes to me after dinner and asks if it's time for his brushing. Next I let him watch me as I put the toothpaste on the little blue brush. Then, I cup the back of his head in the fingers of my left hand and reach around under his jaw with my thumb to pull back his lips at the corner of one side of his mouth. Holding his head this way lets you tilt it back to you can more easily see what you are doing. With the right hand, I gently brush his teeth as far back as I can get and then brush forward to the fangs. I repeat the process on the other side and then I let him lick whatever toothpaste remains on the brush. While he licks his lips, I put a bit of the antibiotic oinment on my right index fingertip. Using the same technique as I use for the brushing, I apply the ointment to his gums from front to back and as far back as I can get my finger, being careful to keep said finger from straying in between the jaws. I do the other side the same way. Finally, to reinforce the pleasant aspects of the experience, I brush his fur for awhile. Bushing your cat's fur is highly recommended, even if you don't brush his teeth. I use a soft brush, since he's a short-haired cat, but I also use a regular fine-toothed "people" comb which I find gets out quite a lot of loose fur. Removing as much of the loose fur as possible every day helps keep your cat from having so many hairballs to cough up and leave lying in the middle of the floor, all cold and wet and squishy under your bare foot in the dark.

Now that you know the technique, go forth and brush your cat's teeth. Take my word for this, it will save you money in the long run. Cat dental hygiene helps keep your veterinarian bills much lower, and your cat much healthier. Tooth and gum problems in cats can have all sorts of complications and cause severe damage to other areas.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pilling the Cat

Gazing Upon His Minions

"Who shall pill the cat?" - Aesop.

Okay, it's really "bell the cat", but we didn't do that until later in this story, so I thought "pilling the cat" was a clever play on words. Please forgive me, especially since we didn't really have to give Quint pills. Instead, we had to squirt a nasty-tasting antibiotic liquid into his mouth twice a day for two weeks. How do I know it was nasty tasting? Well, his reaction to it from the first time I administered it made that fact quite evident. He said "Yuk!!", and tried to shake the stuff out of his mouth, which he partially succeeded in doing, scattering little drops of the medicine all over the floor and all over me. It was great fun for both of us.

After that first dose, he was somewhat reluctant to receive any further doses, but, good natured guy that he is, he didn't actually run and hide when it was medicine time, he just moved away ten feet or so and made me go and pick him up. I tried doing the procedure on my lap thinking that he'd feel more secure that way. Once was enough for that method. After I stopped the bleeding from my leg, I tried to figure out a way to medicate him without either of us getting injured. What I needed was a corner that I could back him into that would still allow me to get at his mouth. Ahh, the bookshelf outside the kitchen door might be perfect. It was. Twice a day I would place his hindquarters gently, but firmly, into that corner with my left hand holding him by the scruff of the neck. With my right hand I opened up his lower jaw and squirted in the liquid, holding him in place until some of it had trickled down his throat and he had calmed down a bit. Immediately thereafter I gave him a couple of his favorite kitty treats and lots of verbal praise and petting. It worked. It wasn't pleasant for either of us, but I managed to survive with only minor scratches on my hand and Quint didn't completely stop liking me. It could have been a lot worse.

I think part of what made the process relatively easy was that I had determined from the very beginning to get Quint accustomed to being handled. Every day I would pick him up, pet him, rub my fingers over his teeth and gums and touch his paws. I hoped that doing this while he was young would make it possible to take better care of him when he got older. If he was going to be "set in his ways", I want his "ways" to be open to any kind of handling that might be needed. I had learned my lessons on cat handling the hard way from Jasmine.

Jasmine came to us when she was five years old and by then she already had set ways of dealing with people handling her. Mostly, she would rather not have been handled at all. Sure, she would sit in your lap and allow you to brush her. Her and I actually had a routine where whenever I was sitting at my place at the dining room table she would hop up on my lap and demand that I brush her. As long as it was her choice to be on your lap or held in your arms, she was okay. As soon as she suspected that she was being restrained in any way, she would do everything in her power and use every weapon in her arsenal, to get away. I tried to pill Jasmine on several separate occasions while she was with us. Only the first time was ever successful. After that, she knew when you had a pill in your hand and she would not allow it. Even when both Carol and I tried to pill her as a team, with one of us holding her and the other administering the pill, she would slash and bite her way to freedom. We had to resort to hiding the medicines in her favorite foods.

Having learned what happens when a cat is not made comfortable with lots of handling, I wanted to have no such problems with Quint. So, I petted him and poked at him and prodded him and got him used to being handled. I recommend doing so to anyone with a kitten. It'll make your lives so much easier on down the road.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pre-empting Nature

The Patient Patient

The decision had been made, but we still had to wait until he was old enough to undergo the neutering operation. And so life went on at our house. Quint continued to give us joy and entertain us with his explorations and fascinations. As the holidays approached we had another decision to make. Not as serious a decision as surgery, but a decision nonetheless: Do we dare put up a Christmas tree with a curious and very active kitten in the house? The visions I had of tree decorations scattered and broken all over the living room were probably somewhat exaggerated, but I felt that some damage was inevitable if we put all those tempting little objects anywhere that Quint could reach them. What I needed was a solution that would allow us to enjoy some holiday decorations, but would keep Quint from getting himself in trouble. After much consideration, I came up with an idea that may well border on genius: I would decorate the ceiling! It was the perfect solution. Our living room has a high, beamed ceiling, so I strung bead garlands across the room and hung the glittery stuff ten feet in the air. It was perfect. Everybody won. Quint had a great holiday helping unwrap gifts and playing with the ribbons and the living room got a lovely, if unconventional holiday makeover. Actually, we liked the decorated ceiling so much that we left it like that. There was no reason not to.

We figured we'd wait until after the new year rolled around to take Quint in for his operation, so early in the morning of January 19, 2009, I loaded him back into the carrier, lugged him out to the car and drove over to Highland Park. We had an appointment, so when we got there he was admitted right away. For Quint it would be a strange, busy morning, but for me there was just the waiting until later in day when we would get the call to come and pick him up. If everything went okay, he would be ready to go home after 5:00 p.m.

A couple of hours later I got a call. The vet who was working on him had discovered in the course of the pre-surgery exam that Quint had a problem with his gums. Apparently, he was allergic to the plaque on his teeth and this was causing his gums be become inflamed. If the condition wasn't remedied or controlled it could mean that he would have to have all his teeth pulled. The first step was to do a thorough cleaning, and the vet wanted permission do the cleaning while he was knocked out for the neutering. Of course, I said, "Yes, do whatever you need to do." That's just what they did, cleaned his teeth and removed his, well, you know.

Carol took off from work early so we could both go over and pick Quint up to bring him home. We had a meeting with the vet when we got there and found out what our part of dealing with Quint's gum and tooth problem would be. We were told that if we could get the plaque under control and get his gum inflammation handled, he might grow out of his allergy. Our part of that was to brush his teeth to remove the plaque and start him on food that would help scrub the teeth and gums. In addition to the brushing, we would have to spread antibiotic gel on his gums after we had brushed away the plaque. We left the hospital with a bag of the new food, a tube of poultry-flavored toothpaste, and some liquid antibiotics that we were to give him twice a day while he healed from his surgery. We were warned that the liquid antibiotic medicine did not taste good and that Quint would, no doubt, not care for it at all. That turned out to be an understatement.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Decision


It wasn't so much a matter of if but when to do it. I knew that before he got too much older, Quint would have to be neutered. Ouch! The very thought of it made me shiver. Sure, it's the right thing to do, and, yes, it will most likely prevent some sort of future behavior problems if it's done while he's young. The question is: Will he ever forgive me? Quint and I feel pretty much the same way about visits to the doctor. We both recognize the necessity in some extreme circumstances, but for the most part, we both believe that the fewer visits we make the better off we'll be, and that none at all would be the very best. I mean, what do we go to the doctor for, really? Well, we go to the doctor to find out why we don't feel well and to get some sort of remedy so that we do feel well. That seems simple enough, but we both believe that it's just better to feel well all the time and not see the doctor at all if possible. In Quint's case there wasn't anything wrong with him. He was feeling just fine. He was a normal male kitten, who, very soon, would grow up to be a normal male cat.

The problem is that normal male cats perform normal male cat activities, like finding normal female cats to help them make more cats, and marking their territory as they roam around looking for those female cats. Quint was destined to live the life of a pampered, happy, healthy, indoor cat, the keyword being "indoor." There are great many very good reasons to want your cat to be an indoor cat, rather than an outdoor, or indoor/outdoor cat. These reasons include: no fleas, no ticks, no cat fights, no being run over by a car, no gifts of recently dead small animals or birds, no expensive vet bills caused by any of the aforementioned hazards and especially no being run over by a car!! Indoor cats live much longer than outdoor cats, and can be perfectly happy doing so, given loving, attentive human companions. A neutered, indoor cat often never develops the undesireable marking behavior that would be normal for a non-neutered outdoor cat. All the logical reasons say that a neutered cat would make a happier indoor cat. Still, I wondered if he would ever forgive me when he came back from the veterinary hospital missing two of his favorite parts. We'd just have to wait and see and hope that he'd blame the vet and not me.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Learning to Listen

He Seems Pretty Comfortable In His New Home

Some cats are pretty quiet, only making sounds when they are hungry, hurt, or angry. Jasmine, our dearly departed Abyssinian, had a very soft, hoarse meow sound which she made if she was hungry. The sound was so soft that sometimes she would open her mouth and nothing could be heard, though you knew she was trying. Another of our cats had a special sound she would make when she had caught something and was carrying it home to present it to us as a trophy. It was a rather muffled mew sound that escaped around the edges of whatever she might have in her mouth. That cat's name was Muss. We didn't name her, she was a hand-me-down cat from my sister-in-law. Muss had some quirks, oh yes, she had some quirks. One of them was that she liked to hunt, kill and bring home socks from our neighbor's clothesline. She would march proudly into the kitchen with her dead sock trophy in her mouth, all the while making the muffled mewing sound. She was very proud, and we were embarrassed. We would retrieve the poor dead socks and hang them over the fence between the backyards so that our neighbors could match them up with their missing mates. One year, we gave our neighbors a bag of clothes pins for Christmas. The number of their sock losses declined drastically once they started using them. I'm not sure that this explains where all the missing socks go, but it certainly explains a whole lot of the ones in Hollywood for several years.

Quint is the most talkative cat we've every had, and has the ability to produce quite a broad spectrum of sounds. He makes a sort of warbling chirp, very bird-like, that means "Hi, I'm here. What are you doing?" There's an annoyed sort of loud ROOWWWRRR that means "Hey!! Come here! There's something outside you should see!" Then there is the MEOW? with the question mark ending that says "Is it time to play?" Of course, there is the MEOW! with the exclamation point that means "Feed me now!" There is also the long plaintive Meeeoooowwww! which can mean "Okay, enough is enough, can you please play with me!" or just "Will someone please pay attention to me now?" It's his very own language and he combines the various sounds into what I would have to call sentences, short sentences, granted, but still definite intentional sentences which we try very hard to understand. He made one statement just a moment ago which I interpreted to mean, "Hey, Carol's trimming the plants outside the dining room window, could you ask her to come in and pet me?" To which I replied, "I know, I know, I waiting for her, too. We'll just have to be patient." I'm almost certain I got that one right. Some others we have to guess at.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Kittens are Fun Wrapped in Fur

Of Course, He's Playful.

It had been a long time since we'd had a kitten around the house and we'd forgotten what that was like. What a wonderful thing to rediscover! Kittens like to play -- all the time. They don't really need to sleep, although they do quite a lot of that, too, but playing is always the right thing to do. Anything that is small and not attached to anything else is a potential toy, which means that any small object that is no longer where Carol or I thought we had seen it last is probably somewhere on the floor, or under a couch. Though he wasn't very big, there would soon come a time where nothing was safe, no matter how high above the floor it rested. He was always testing his limits to see how high he could jump. He couldn't quite make it to the top of the kitchen counter yet, but you could see him thinking about it and biding his time and practicing his skills.

He soon found a favorite toy among those we offered him, a tiny mouse-shaped thing made from some sort of fur, probably rabbit. He batted that little thing all over the house. The kitchen soon became the favorite playground, probably because when Carol and I are home we spend quite a bit of time there cooking, washing dishes, making lunches in the morning, and dinner in the evening, plus that's where Quint's water and food dishes are. More and more the little mouse thing would wind up under the stove, which meant that either Carol or I had to get down on our hands and knees and poke a stick around under the stove to retrieve it. It got so bad that Quint was spending a good part of his day sitting in front of the stove waiting for someone to come and get his toy for him. I gave that problem a bit of thought and then contrived a sort of shield that would fit across the front of the stove to keep the toy out from under it. It was quite an effective solution, but sometime thereafter the tiny mouse thing disappeared and, though we searched, we have never been able to find it since, so we've had to move on to other less satisfactory toys. I suspect that someday, when we are doing a bit of spring cleaning, we will find the little mouse thing. I'm pretty certain that Quint will remember it and be very happy to have it to play with once again. But in the meantime, he was running and jumping and eating and sleeping and playing and growing stronger and longer. All of that was fun. It was fun for him to do and fun for us to watch. Being the clever kitten that he is, he found ways to get Carol and I to play with him. The best games are those where all three of us are crawling around on the kitchen floor chasing one of his toys. Yep, kittens are pure fun!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Cat & Mouse
It's an oddity, but still a truth that you don't know what you are missing until you have some of it. Carol and I had a very nice life during the thirteen months from the time Jasmine died until the time that Quint arrived. We went to work, had some meals together when our schedules permitted, went for walks, talked about politics, and just generally enjoyed another year or so of married life, a year not so very different from the thirty-one years before it.

We have always divided up the chores so that each of us does what he or she does best. I like to cook, Carol doesn't mind cleaning up afterwards, and we both like to eat what I cook. I know how to keep the cars running, so I do what maintenance is needed. Carol likes things neat and tidy, so she cleans and dusts, though I've been known to help out with those kinds of chores on occasion. I have had a tendency to be less than thrifty, so Carol is in charge of the finances, though, lately, I've been helping with some parts of that job. Mostly, we have a fairly even division of labor and life runs on rather smoothly around our house, with only minor complaints, and those are easily remedied. But there was a hole in our lives, something missing, a emptiness that we didn't even know existed, didn't know, that is, until Quint arrived.

Now that he's here, the house is more alive. When we go off to work, we have someone else to say goodbye to, and someone to look forward to seeing when we arrive home. Before Quint, we'd arrive home from work and it was just a house, a place where we keep our stuff. Certainly, Carol and I enjoyed seeing each other at home, but our schedules didn't mesh very well at that time, so, often, Carol would get home when I was already at work and I would come home after she was already asleep. With Quint in the house, there is someone there to greet us as we walk up to the front door. We both look forward to getting home to be with Quint, and we always make sure we say goodbye to him when we leave. Usually, we assign him a job as we leave, such as house guard, bird watcher, or bug catcher, and we try to give him an approximate time when we'll be back. It's just common courtesy, and I believe that he appreciates knowing that he has a job and that we'll be coming back at some predictable time. We're pretty sure that he understands what we say to him. He's an important part of what makes our house a home and we want him to know that we appreciate all that he does to make our lives better. I think most of all we want him to know that, of all the things that he does, making the house feel alive is the thing he does the best.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Check-Up and a Name

The Dreaded Cat Carrier
The second thing that crossed our minds, right after we realized how cute our new kitten was, was that we needed to get him to the veterinarian and have him checked out as soon as possible. After all, he'd been living in an abandoned house, so he was probably infested with fleas, worms, and all kinds of other horrors. The third thing that crossed our mind was that he needed a name. Now, please realize that I was still a bit reluctant to get too attached to this little guy until we found out how healthy he was, and that had to wait until Monday. In the meantime, we showed him where the litter box was and dug out a couple of toys that we had saved after Jasmine had died.

This formerly wild cat fit right into our household routine. He spent the weekend exploring every square inch of the house. He played, he followed us around, he took naps, he acted as if he had always lived with us. From that first day, he knew where his litter box was and it's purpose. He did everything right. He scratched on the scratching post, he purred when petted, he played with his toys and he made quite a amazing number of different sounds. He was perfect.

Carol and I talked about what sort of name to give this new kitten, but we couldn't come up with anything that seemed to fit. We agreed that it might be wise to give him a few days to settle in and see if something in his behavior would help to name him. So, we watched, and played and waited to see what sort of things he would do.

On Monday, Carol went off to work and I loaded up the new kitten and headed to the animal hospital. We've been going to Highland Park Animal Hospital for a great many years now and have always been happy with the treatment they've given to our cats. It's a bit of a drive, but they know us and we know them, and so, naturally, that's were we went. I had collected the appropriate samples before we left, so we could get a complete picture of our new cat's health. The kitten wasn't exactly happy about being in the cat carrier on the front seat of the car, but I've had cats who voiced their complaints at much higher volume and with much greater frequency, so the ride to the hospital wasn't too bad for either of us.

It was the most straightforward visit to the veterinarian I've ever experienced and one of the most pleasant as well. The kitten was easy to handle, the vet was pleasant and the results were all good news. His only problem was a few ear mites. After vaccinations for all the things kittens are susceptible to, a blood test and a topical treatment for ear mites, fleas and worms, I left our sample to be sent to the lab, wrote my check for the visit, loaded up the kitten and headed home with a clean bill of health. Hurray!! I called Carol on the way and gave her the good news. We, apparently had adopted the perfect cat. We got a call the next day stating that our sample had tested negative for any parasites.

Now that we knew that we had a healthy kitten, likely to live to a ripe old age, we could move forward with the naming. As we watched and played over the next couple of days, we realized that this kitten possessed all of the best qualities of every cat we'd ever know. He was affectionate, unafraid of strangers, playful, handsome and curious. He was also extremely photogenic, which I consider an essential characteristic in a cat. He really was the quintessential cat, and he named himself simply by being who he is. We call him Quint.

Friday, May 1, 2009


The Quintessential Cat (an essay) In April of 2007, our Abyssinian cat, Jasmine, was diagnosed with Diabetes. By the time we became aware of her condition, the damage had been done and it was too late to save her. I was devastated by her loss. I feel it to this day. It took a long time for me to even consider adopting another cat. Carol, my wife, is a bit more resilient than I and, after a few months, she began exploring with me the possibility of acquiring a new kitten. About a year had passed since Jasmine's demise before I began to feel more amenable to the idea, though I was in no way enthusiastic about it. I do love my wife, though, and will do almost anything to make her happy. So, if she had her heart set on adopting a cat, I knew that I would eventually agree. It wasn't long thereafter that we decided it might be time to begin exploring the possibility. Thus were let loose the hands of fate. We didn't know it yet, but there was a kitten on it's way into our home and our hearts.

Carol let it be know among friends and associates at her workplace that we might be in the market for a cat or kitten. Once you put an idea like that out into the universe, there is really no stopping it. One of her friends had an aunt who had a friend who had a cat to give away. The problem with that one was that the cat was currently living in Riverside, which is pretty far away. I suggested that perhaps we should look a bit closer to home, while keeping the Riverside cat as an option. Carol kept talking to people and the Riverside cat found someone else to adopt him.

Meanwhile, Leticia, or, Letty, as she likes to be called, was still seeking a home for the poor homeless kitten living in the abandoned house next door. Now, Letty has a boyfriend named Evan. Evan's mother is named Valerie. And Valerie is one of my wife, Carol's co-workers. You probably see where this is going by now. Valerie is also part of our extended family. She and Carol occasionally meet for lunch or go for a walk over the noon hour. On one of those occasions, the subject of cats came up and, as a result, Carol received some pictures of a small kitten in her e-mail. Of course, Carol had to share the story of this kitten with me and I agreed to look at the pictures. A few snapshots of a small grey and white cat arrived in my in-box. He looked perfect to me, so we set up a meeting with Letty, Evan and the kitty to see if we all got along. Letty wanted to make sure the kitten was going to a good home. Carol and I wanted to see how he would react to us and our house.

Letty and Evan arrived at our home on a Saturday morning carrying the little grey and white kitten. Carol and I introduced ourselves to Letty, we had already met Evan, and, after all the greetings were exchanged, we all sat down around the dining room table. Letty set the kitten down on the floor and he immediately jumped up onto the bookshelf that sits under the dining room window. We had always put a towel on the top of that bookshelf for Jasmine to sit on when she jumped up there to look out the window. In preparation for the new kitten's visit we had, once again, put the towel on the bookshelf. And there he was, the new kitten, previously an unknown quantity, never having been in our house before, sitting on that towel in that window. He looked around a moment and lay down facing the dining room so that he could watch us all. That was the moment that we all knew that this particular kitten had found his new home, and that a new adventure had begun for he and I and Carol.
Apologizing In Advance