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02-29-04 - 9:30 p.m.

How could I not love him when He called me tonight with "new parent anxiety", asking "Do you think she misses the shelter, where she had so many friends to play with?" I reassured him that she would rather have someone who loves her and plays with her all day long, human or not, and that he was saving the life of the cat who would take her place. He mentioned his father’s comment that getting a cat would "tie him down". I reasoned that the only really commitment he’d be making would be to have her company for the rest of her life – something we both knew he could do.

I was crying when we drove to the shelter on Saturday. I’d planned an exciting day of contemporary art and cat hunting, and he as soon as I got to his apartment he told me he had to go on a two-hour errand without me. This errand turned out to be retrieving symphony tickets from his parents which "shouldn’t go to waste" and giving them to a friend. The past few days were full of family stess – Dicey kicking Mom in the back, Mom pulling her hair in response, and similar antics – and I didn’t seem in a good place to handle disappointment. But when I entered a room with twenty or thirty cats in it, I questioned how I could have ever thought I was "not a cat person" even if my own cats have not always been especially close to me.

I'd found the shelter online by searching on petfinder.org and become taken by the image of an eight week old grey and white kitten named Nick. When we arrived there I couldn’t find Nick or any "teeny baby" kittens. Bat was attracted to a little black and white kitten, the first pretty face that looked at him, but it ran from me like a ghost and I asked him to reconsider. He bawked, "What if no one ever adopted cats like that because they don't just jump all over you?" Flimsy argument in my book, as some of that cats were literally jumping all over me. In retrospect I figure he thinks that way because HE'S a scaredy cat -- shy, not much of a show-er.

Today when we went, however, he decided to reconsider his ageist policies and we were both won over by a two-year old tortoiseshell with the given name "Celeste". I pet her and she turned her head and rubbed it against me, and I squealed like a little girl. After filling out a five page adoption form, we had the kitty in ten minutes or so after making the decision. They barely seemed to pay any attention to the answers! I held her on the way home. I loved watching Bat and her interact and I feel I myself will love her. Perhaps my "cat problem" has been a lack of patience. I know this is spoiled of me, but what I needed to find was a cat that awards friendship as easily as I do. I think we will be great friends, although I know I’ll have to compete with her for his affections. He is the new “little lady” in his life and I am almost a little jealous!

The rest of the time I spent with him was good as well. I ditched a potential party at Lawrence’s – partially because I was afraid of the temptation to be too flirtatious. We drank screwdrivers but got not too drunk. He went down on me spontaneously which I grievously needed. I whupped his ass at Scrabble. I won six dollars on a bet over whether the words "churches" and "gravy" appeared in The Holy Grail. ("I’ve seen it three times," he protested, not knowing what he was up against – fool!) We had a time that was fun, carefree, and sexual, and I pored over Finnegan’s Wake pronouncing it a work of pure genius. However, the capstone of the the time we spent together was most definitely Celeste (who he plans to rename): I feel as if she is our little baby. We we had to clean for over an hour in order to prepare for her arrival this morning -- and I am no longer allowed to smoke in the apartment.

 

 

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