I'd been to adoption centers; the cats there are friendly but manipulative. I've been to the ASPCA which was just scary. It was a particularly hard search for myself because I really get along with most cats, but embarking what will hopefully be a 15 — 20 year relationship I needed to be careful; there was no point in taking home a cat with whom I would be at odds with for that time. Yesterday I made a brief post to the effect that my search for a cat may have come to an end. It is now looking like that is indeed the case. And after all of the searching hither and tither for the right cat for me, she was just up the street the whole time.
There is a veterinarian on Bell Boulevard, only a few blocks up from the LIRR station; I saw the address online. I walked in on a whim and asked if they had any adoptable cats and was shown to the back where there were five perfectly healthy and very friendly cats.¹ One of them was mine; I can describe what I like about her, but the connection itself it was one of those undefinable things that sometimes pet owners talk about. She matched me, that's the best that I can explain it.
Her known history: she was found with three younger cats in a refrigerator. Apparently somebody thought it would be sporting to herd a couple of neighborhood cats in there, but somebody else heard movement in the fridge and brought the cats that were trapped inside to the vet. My cat was pregnant, and she gave birth at the vet's office to two kittens who were adopted rather quickly. I don't know much more than that, but she seems to at ease with both people and dogs for her not to have had some positive experience with both in the past; I don't know the circumstances that left her on the street and knocked up, but she's healthy, about a year and a half old, and very, very sweet.
She's laid-back but alert and communicative (she lets you know how she likes to be pet) and comes to me when I call. She's primarily grey with white feet, a white belly and white splotches here and there. She has amber eyes and a deep, rumbling purr. She's up to date on her vaccinations and has been sent to the animal hospital in Valley Stream to be spayed, they will keep her at the vet's for five days and I pick her up Tuesday afternoon.
Oddly, the search, the visit to the vet's office and meeting my cat were all undertaken with a certain lightness. Today, when I got the confirmation that she will be coming home with me on Tuesday, the full reality of this undertaking has swept over me and I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now. I've grown up with cats, yes, but this is one is definitely my cat, the first one that I will be fully responsible for. She's my charge. I ordered a book on cat nutrition and will be revisiting my Desmond Morris.
What should be apparent by now, however, is that she is currently nameless. A the vet's office they referred to her as "Momma," but that was obviously never meant to be a permanent name, and while I may be okay with having a Lord of the Rings mix that is untitled,² I am not going to have a cat named Cat. I need to figure out a name. I was playing around with some Quenya (high Elvish) words and came up with some nice ones, but the truth is that most of them are a little difficult to pronounce properly and the really cool ones are too close to established names. Most of the female character names that spring to mind are a bit too confrontational for this cat, I think; "Valeria" wouldn't be appropriate. She exudes an aura of quiet wisdom, however. It must be thought on further.
So there it is then. I am getting a cat at long last, and it's not just any cat but this cat. I'm so happy, I can't even believe I'm typing those words.
¹ — There are three younger ones (two females and one male) who are feisty and cute as all get-out, and another female about the same age as my cat who is probably the mother of two of the younger cats and is a sweetheart as well. I was confounded as to how none of these cats had already been adopted, but the veterinary assistant who was my chaperone explained to me that the only people who really know that they're there are the people bringing in patients; people who already have cats.
² — Uh, yeah. I had given up on trying to sum up the mix with a title, especially knowing that it will just end up being called "my Lord of the Rings mix." I have what I consider to be a striking textless cover, and I will be leaving it at that. I was thinking that it might be pretentious to make an untitled mix, but all of my prospective titles were probably even more so.