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written Sunday, 2/25/2007
Just over 16 months ago, I said goodbye to my sweet little rattie, Macy. Life was too uncertain out here for me to even consider getting another pet.
Lately though, I’ve come to realize that life will never feel completely stable out here, or perhaps anywhere for that matter. I miss coming home to loving little creatures that are unconditionally happy to seem me. As much as I loved the various ratties I’ve cared for over the years, I always felt some guilt over the proportion of their lives spent confined in cages. I began to consider the option of adopting the kind of pet that kept me company through most of my childhood: a cat.
When Sandi moved in to the other half of my double-shotgun apartment at the beginning of the year, she brought her cats Louie and Punk with her. Poor Punk was old though, and passed away within days of moving in. Wanting a companion for Louie, she hoped to adopt a kitten from the owners of the frame shop where she works.
Marsha and Vicki have a menagerie of pets at their home in Algiers Point, on the other side of the river. They care for about a dozen rabbits, another dozen or so cats, a few dogs, and an iguana. Among the critters, they had found four newborn kittens on the side of a road in October of last year. They nursed the kittens to health, bottle-feeding and all. Marsha and Vicki grew a particular attachment to Scout, who reminded them of a previous pet. However, they wanted to adopt out the other three to loving homes.
Hoping not to split up the siblings any more than necessary, Sandi proposed that she would take the orange male Redford, and I ought to take in the two sisters, Estelle and Kong. I was initially still hesitant to accept the responsibilities of kitty fatherhood, but I did like the idea that the sisters could keep each other company when I’m not home.
After a few more weeks of hedging, I finally agreed to go see the kitties. I was a little worried that kittens separated from their mother at such a young age might be maladjusted, but that concern was alleviated as soon as I played and cuddled with the babies. These were some of the most affectionate, “normal” kittens I’ve ever seen!
Last night, Marsha and Vicki brought them over, and they immediately settled in to their new homes. Seeming not at all distraught by their new environment and their separation from their previous family, Estelle and Kong have been nonstop “purr machines.” They nuzzled up next to me throughout the night, reminding me how much pleasure companion pets bring to one’s life. I’m sure kitty fatherhood will present some challenges, but I’m so glad to have these adorable little sweeties in my life.