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

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