Sometimes, if we’re lucky, love conks us over the head. Oftentimes it is elusive. And sometimes it sneaks up on us when we’re not looking.
Shadow came into my life for all the wrong reasons. I chose him sight unseen as a playmate for Kimmi (which of course didn’t work), and I adopted him with another, older male cat at the same time. (He was an orange tabby; how could I resist?) But the older cat actually tried to kill Kimmi (my vet said he was just being a cat, but it was much worse than a cat fight), so he had to be returned.
Even by himself, having Shadow was stressful. He didn’t like the littler box, preferring to make his messes in the bathtub. Since the box was right next to the tub, I tried filling the tub with water. That got him to use the box, but the tub leaked into my downstairs neighbor’s bathroom, and I had to pay to repair her ceiling. I would have returned Shadow, but I didn’t feel right doing so since I’d already returned the other guy.
Last night The night before last (I’m really horrible about posting in a timely manner!) I was still up late enough to watch @Midnight live. It’s a fairly new quiz-type show on Comedy Central hosted by Doctor Who mega-fan Chris Hardwick. He poses questions to three guest comedians based on some of social media’s wildest postings. The guests compete for “Points!” and the honor of “Wins the Internet for the next 24 hours.” Unless it’s Thursday, in which case the winner gets to claim for the entire (extended) weekend, until a new winner is declared the following Monday. Unlike SyFy’s now-defunct The Wil Wheaton Project, @Midnight is hilarious. (Incidentally, Wil and Chris were roommates at one time. Scifi nerds, unite!)
The show is so hipster-oriented, I often have no idea what they’re talking about,. Not so much because of the social media stuff, but because of the slang used. This ignorance of course, is a product of age, which is something the show loves to make fun of. To which I say, “Just you wait!” Heck, if you don’t grow old, something’s happened—and it’s not good.
Nonetheless, I’ve learned many things from watching this show. One of which is a “furry” is a person with a fetish for dressing up like a stuffed animal, and seeking like-minded individuals for various forms of “social” intercourse. Which means, of course, there are indeed furry-dating websites. [All this makes me think I ought to change my “Furries” category here, because that is not what it refers to.]
I’ve battled insomnia most of my life. Exceptions would be graduate school and the Navy. Nowadays, it’s more annoying than debilitating, since I don’t have to work. Once in a while, though, sleepless is rewarded with something special.
A couple nights ago, at around 3:00 a.m., I heard someone in the new “diggie-box” currently in my bathroom. Since Shadow was on the bed with me, I knew Romeo had come out of his hiding spot. When he came out of the bathroom, he looked around, saw the door to the bedroom was open, and decided to go exploring.
A short while later, I too got up for a mug of warm milk to stimulate some melatonin. When Romeo and I passed in the hallway, he didn’t bolt. He came into the living room and then ventured into the kitchen, where I could hear him licking out a can of Friskees. (Gigi loved to lick the can clean, and I got in the habit of putting the empty can on the floor for Kimmi and Shadow.)
Romeo then wandered around a bit, eventually leaving Shadow and me to watch tv (me) and snooze & snore (Shadow). When I went back to bed, Romeo was apparently still checking things out as he wasn’t under the bed.
Sadly, though, he was back under the bed in the morning and stayed there all day and the next. I’d really hoped we’d passed that milestone, but knew it would have to be on his terms, not mine.
Romeo has arrived! I couldn’t wait any longer to bring him home.
The first thing I asked as I walked into the shelter was if Romeo was still available. He was. When I said I wanted to adopt him, the gal at the desk gasped, “The 12-year-old?” I suppose they’re so used to people wanting kittens or young cats, someone actually requesting an older animal is a surprise—and a delight!
Someone had paid for his adoption, so he was free! I plan to “adopt it forward” and pay the adoption fee for another cat. I was going to do so as we left the shelter, but the gal at the desk computer had never done it before and it was taking longer than usual. Since Romeo was scared and nervous, and in a too-small carrier, I didn’t want to keep him in it longer than necessary. S0 I asked if I could do it later.
Yep, the carrier I brought with me turned out to be too small. Romeo’s bigger than I thought. In fact, he weighs more than Shadow, who is no thin mint. He was so good on the way home. Even though he was scared and the carrier confining (although he was able to turn around in it), he meowed only once. I think he meowed once more when we got home, but that’s it.
I put him in my bedroom, thinking it’d be a good place for him to get used to the smell of Shadow and me. It wasn’t my greatest idea. I should have put him in a spare room I don’t use so often. Because wherever I go, Shadow goes. (Closing the bedroom door when I’m in there doesn’t help, becase Shadow can open the door!) Since I don’t have anywhere else to sleep, Romeo has to share the space with us every night. I don’t think it helps his stress level. But he did come out some time last night to use his box.
So far Shadow hasn’t hissed, and shows signs of curiosity rather than aggression. He knows something’s under the bed, but hasn’t pursued it much. So that’s encouraging.
I’m not going to rush Romeo to come out from under the bed. But damn, I want to play and snuggle with him!
(A riff on Van Morrison—if your old enough to remember him, that is.)
The kitty search saga hit another snag; another adoption attempt has failed. And I was this ->||<- close. The way these rescue groups act, you’d think I beat and starve my cats.
A couple weeks ago, I met Domino, an older kitty with a thyroid problem. Fortunately, I’ve had experience with thyroid problems. Gigi had one, which we treated for two years. Domino and I got along famously. He let me hold him, he purred, and he even licked my finger. And his foster mom was simply thrilled I wanted an older cat. (She and I seemed to get along, too.)
But, I failed the vet check. It’s a long story that I’m sure no one is interested in. Suffice it to say the rescue group thought I’d been untruthful in my application, and were concerned that Shadow hadn’t been to the vet in a very long time.
Mildly frustrated with my experiences at the Arlington and Alexandria animal shelters (emphasis on mildly), I did a Google search for cat rescue organizations in the area. It came back with Fancy Cats and King Street Cats, two organizations I’ve heard of. A friend had adopted two adorable cats from Fancy Cats a while back. A neighbor has volunteered with King Street Cats, located just down the road from me. (There’s also Tails High, which I found from a pet rescue website; and FOHA, Friends of Homeless Animals, which someone recently mentioned.)
I looked through Fancy Cats and found a few cats I might be interested in. When I emailed them asking about seeing some cats, they replied that I should fill out their online application form. So I did. I then received an email asking to elaborate on a few of my responses, mainly having to do with why I’d surrender a cat, but also how my current cat would respond. I replied once again, only to get a damn phone from them this afternoon, expressing even more reservations. These had to do with Shadow and his litter habits. They decided (sight unseen) that Shadow didn’t like to share his litter box and that a new cat would smell his outside-the-box mess and mess there, too.
Yesterday was a good day for Shadow; not so good for me.
I visited the Alexandria Animal Shelter in the afternoon to meet Roger and Ivory, a 12-year-old brother and sister pair of cats I’ve had my eye on. They’re said to be two of the sweetest cats ever. Sadly, Ivory hissed at me. It was so unlike her, the staff volunteer was shocked. She may have smelled Shadow on me, which means it probably wouldn’t have boded well to bring her home.
Update (I wrote the bulk of the post yesterday [Sat]): It looks like Roger and Ivory were adopted! The shelter posted that 14 animals had found “forever homes” yesterday, along with 15 on July 3rd!
This is my current pedicure. I’d been thinking about getting something American flag-esque for years, and while this isn’t exactly what I had in mind, the intention is clear. (This is the first time I’ve had nail art done, and it’s a bit distracting. I’ll probably never do it again.)
Q: Do they have a 4th of July in Great Britain?
A: Yes they do. They also have a 5th and a 6th and a….
My dad told that joke way back in… well, Mom was still alive, so it was over a quarter of a century ago. 😮
I think I’m finally ready to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. Apparently I’ve missed the IMAX version, but it’s still being shown in 3-D. I’m sure it will still be a beautiful experience. I’ll need to remember to restock my portable tissue supply. I’ll probably be a mess when it’s over.
On a related note, the Arlington animal shelter had a trio of two-month-old kittens for adoption named Astrid, Hiccup & Toothless. Toothless was an all black male, Hiccup was a black-and-white female, and Astrid was a cream-colored cutie. Astrid was spoken for when I visited, and Hiccup & Toothless were adopted shortly thereafter (hopefully together). Then Astrid returned. As of now, she’s still shown as being available. I will likely visit the shelter tomorrow. Encouraged by Suzanne’s success with Fizzie and Tig, I may have to bring her home.
Last year my neighbor lost her two dogs within three months of each other. I know how difficult the loss of a pet is, I could not imagine the loss of two. Now I know.
Kimmi, my longish-haired calico died yesterday. The most difficult part for me is that I didn’t get to say goodbye. She died at the vet’s while being prepped for surgery. She was 13 years old, and her death comes on the heels of Gigi’s death just before Christmas.
Kimmi wasn’t particularly affectionate, but then calicos and long-hairs generally aren’t. Most of the time, she’d spend the day sleeping on my bed. Our “special time” occurred when I’d come to bed and read before going to sleep. The initial moments were spent with me rubbing her neck and head. (When I’d momentarily stop, she’d paw at my hand to continue.) Then she’d curl up on my lap for awhile. (She didn’t spend the night with me because my male cat usurped the bed. But Kimmi had her own plush and cozy bed in a corner of the bedroom which she regularly used.)