17 November 2005

The Pekoe Story, Part I

Here's how it all started. About 5 years ago - or maybe 6 - Debbie sent me the following e-mail because she finds Dave-the-cat-guy's (see all my previous whining about the name "David" elsewhere) writing style humourous and after she shared a few of his missives, I became a fan as well. So one day in March of 2000, I got this one, which, while not as humourous, gets the point across:

For those of you looking for a more permanent feline companion, may we present Mister Kitty? Mr. K is about 14 months old, a neutered male orange tabby, and is, simply, a love. He's one of the few cats I've ever met who actually enjoys being hugged. In fact, if he feels he's not getting enough attention, he will climb up onto a convenient table or countertop, wait for you to pass, and--basically--throw himself on you, purring and rubbing against your face. He's very good with other cats; in fact, he needs at least one other kitty for play and companionship. Mr. K really is one of the two or three most affectionate cats I've ever met (and y'all know that I've known one or two), and he's quite handsome to boot (photo available on request). Again, if you have any interest at all, please let me know.

So I forwarded it to Mollie. I suggested that we foster a cat and she suggested that I just go ahead and adopt "Mr. Kitty." So I wrote to Dave-the-cat-guy:

Hi David -

My name is Leta and I'm a friend of Debbie who forwards to me some of your e-mails about cat rescue [and your comments on "Tosca," which really helped me to understand the opera better when I saw it]. Until recently I was dating someone allergic to cats so I didn't think it would it send a positive message if I got a cat for the house, but he and I are now just Very Good Friends. So I would be very interested in getting more information from you about become a Cat Fosterer. Kind a kitty rental or try-before-you-buy.

Here is the situation at my house: I live in Silver Spring in a medium-sized house with a housemate [Mollie] and her dog [Max]. Max is 13 and doing the arthritic, grouchy-old-guy thing. Because of the arthritis he rarely leaves the first floor of the house, so any cats who wanted to avoid him could do so easily. He has lived with cats before and while he doesn't understand them he's willing to peacefully co-exist. For the next 6 months or so Mollie also provides day care in our house for three little children, two of whom are about 2 1/2 years old and one who will be 2 in June. The children are also pretty much restricted to the first floor but are themselves lively [very lively] and affectionate and used to pets.

I grew up with Siamese cats [still my favorite breed], so I'm well aware of what goes into maintaining cats in the style to which they can very easily become accustomed. I'm also aware that they are pretty useless when it comes time for household chores, unless you consider hissing at the vacuum cleaner and hiding under the sofa to be useful.

Mollie and I have discussed it and we thought that I should talk to you about adopting Mr. Kitty [who can resist the concept of assault friendliness? As Deb can tell you that's my basic M.O., anyway] and about me serving as fosterer for an additional cat. This way Mr. Kitty can have friends to play with - and new and different friends over time - but I don't have to permanently commit to two cats right away. If Mr. Kitty has already found new employment, then we should just talk about me becoming a fosterer.

I went to meet "Mr. Kitty." Dave-the-cat-guy warned me that Pekoe had developed an aversion to Kitty Fairs and might not be Mr. Personality if he suspected that this was another blind date dressed as a casual gathering of humans. But, ha ha!, I'm smarter than that, so I just ignored the cat and chatted with the people. And even though, oddly enough, this is a tactic I am completely unable to deploy around men I find attractive, it worked a treat with the cat. Before long he was climbing up the back of the sofa to get more up close and personal. Within an hour, he was in his cat carrier, his few belongings were packed, and he was on his way to a brand new life.

To be continued..... Stay tuned for exciting scenes from the next episode of "The Pekoe Story!"

Next time on "The Pekoe Story" -- Pekoe hates riding in the car!

No comments: