Sunday, August 2, 2009

Easily Swayed

A couple of years ago, I decided to adopt a furry friend. Though we'd always had cats and for many years, a dog, they were all sweet memories now. I was officially in the dog camp now. I couldn't help myself when one would pass me on the street. I fell in love. Yes, I wanted a dog, preferably. One who would get me out of the house to walk, sit beside me as I wrote and make me laugh. My husband, David, wasn't as enthusiastic. He saw the writing on our (traveling) wall. Me, worrying about the dog. Me, with separation anxiety that always settled into my relationships with my dogs. Me, saying no to going out of town because of the dog... You get the idea.

But I was undeterred. I campaigned, I scoured shelters. I was determined.

Finally, I found a cute little mutt who needed a home. I twisted David's arm and dragged him to the shelter and tried not to notice he was lagging behind me, dragging his feet. Here's how the conversation went:

Me: "Wait til you see him. He has the cutest eyes. I think they're hazel."
Him: "Hey, look. A cat house. Let's go look in there first, just for fun."
Me: "But I want a dog."
Him: "We're just looking."
Me: (actually falling for this line) "Okay."

We prowled through the cat aisles. There were so many of them. Young, old, chubby, street-thin. One little tiny calico with a waist I could wrap my fingers around, peered lovingly up through the bars at me and meowed.

She was the most beautiful calico I'd ever seen. I nearly caved. But I steeled myself. I came for a dog. A DOG, understand?

We kept walking. And soon we saw a cage with a lump of a towel in the middle. No cat. Naturally, David had to see what was under the towel. That's just the way he rolls.

We weren't prepared. Nothing could have prepared us. Under the towel was a black and white long-haired beauty of a cat, hiding and madly sucking his thumb.

David had to have a closer look. He took him out of the cage. In the little private room, he cuddled him. I let him curl on my lap where he continued the thumb-sucking, and the paranoid glances up at us from under his inch-long lashes. And then, I was toast. His name was Sylvester and he was 11 1/2 years old. Who else would take this neurotic puddle of anxiety? He'd been raised with his brother (who had already been adopted away) and he was alone and scared. We had to have him. The note said "No Dogs. No other cats."


That can't be right. He was raised with a brother. Look how he's missing him. I went back to the calico's cage. She looked deliciously up at me and meowed. She was a baby. 9 months old. If we were getting Sylvester, then we were also getting this one. This little girl for Sylvester. We weren't sure how it would work. But we hoped. I gave up on the idea of a dog. For now. I'm easy. Did I mention that?

We signed the papers. The little girl needed to be fixed. We would have to wait a couple of days. So we took Sylvester home alone. And he promptly disappeared. We found him under couch skirts, in closets, hiding amongst the towels in the pantry--sucking his thumb! Oh, dear.

Finally, the calico came home. We named her Maisy. We separated them by a door. Maisy meowed. Sylvester miraculously appeared from his distant, unrevealed hiding place. Sniffed under the door. Talked back to her in cat. She answered him. We opened the door.

A love story was born!

Sylvester and Maisy.

Maisy and Sylvester.

Picture them (music over) running in slow motion across a field of flowers toward one another... fur blowing in the wind!

They make me laugh.

It all couldn't have worked out better. Sylvester sits on my lap while I write and (of course) sucks his thumb. The long walks? Well, I have to do those on my own.

PS. That little mutt got adopted that same day by someone who is less of a cat cream puff than me.

Be good to yourself, Barbara


clairedulalune said...

Barbara, that is so funny so sad, yet lovely as well! What great pictures!

Sarah Sullivan said...

Oh oh oh ....wonderful pictures, wonderful story!! I so love the way you write!! Sucks his thumb...giggle snort..who could resist that!! Nonni and Fox are enchanted and giggling too.
Just one last a cream puff?? Well..yeah I can see that. Wonderful post hon!!
Love, Sarah

Debra She Who Seeks said...

What beautiful cats!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

What a great story! I don't blame you one bit for being a cream puff when it comes to seeing an animal that you know you can make their life better...especially one that sucks his thumb! The pictures are terrific as well...glad BOTH of them have each other and the two of you...

Unknown said...

so glad you found them:) They are lucky to have you!

Barbara said...

Awww. Thanks. But really, they are the best cats I've ever had. And the first cats who adore each other that way. So cute.

Hybrid J said...

Love your adoption story! Welcome to blogland and thrill to meet a seasoned writer like yourself. I'm still working on my stories to get them published. :) I came here from Sara's blog and will sure visit you again. Cheers!

A Palmer said...

This was a great post. They are such sweet cats and I'm sure they are forever grateful that you rescued them from the pound. Bravo, sis. Big hugs from your animal loving sister. Anne