So lately I’ve not only been busy with work, but trying to settle out what to do about this little creature.
Have I mentioned that I’m not a cat person? I’m not. I don’t actively dislike cats, but they’re not my animal and I’ve never had a really personal connection to one. The whole “Dogs have family, cats have staff,” thing always put me off even trying.
The Friday after Halloween, my best friend called me in some distress. She had just found a litter of kittens in her back yard shed, nearly frozen and tiny. Eyes open but still only crawling, they were not only tiny but weak and sadly thin. How they got there or where their mama went we never figured out, but it was soon apparent that without some care they wouldn’t survive. There were 3, and the middle-sized one, a gray striped little male, would at first only eat for me and seemed rather intent on climbing all over me.
After a couple hours of trying to feed them and warm them up, my friend said that we should name the kittens. I immediately said that was a bad idea, and absolutely not. You don’t name kittens that should be taken to the SPCA right away. As I said this, the gray male looked over at me.
But my name is Alfie.
And then he crawled onto my knee again. “You shouldn’t name them,” I said to my friend. “But if you do, that one has to be Alfie.”
She looked at me like I’d grown two heads. “Alfie? What kind of name is that?”
Let me tell you, having an animal tell you its name is a bit disturbing. Especially when you look it up, and it means elf, or magical counsel. “Alfie” is never, ever a name I would have picked out, or would even have thought of.
To make a really long story short, the last couple weeks have seen me doing a heap of reading on cats and cat care. After the kittens – one of which, very tragically, suddenly died when they had been with us for a few weeks – had been living with my friend for about a month, “Alfie” and I still had a very strong connection. Even though I didn’t see them every day, whenever I was there he would claim my knee as his special perch and snuggle up against my neck for naps.
I though long and hard about bringing him home to live with us. For one thing, I still miss Timmy terribly. Even visiting with other dogs brings tears to my eyes. When he passed, I was very sad that my “circle” of animal friends seemed to be broken. Until then, all the pets that had been in my life (not very many, but a few) had all known and liked each other. That seems a bit silly, I suppose, but it was like an unbroken circle to me…the memory of each one carrying something through to the next, and even if it’s only in my head it’s a comforting thought.
Timmy had a very unusual friendship with Morgana (better known to me as Cookie…for some reason). He would groom her – much to bestie’s disgust, when her cat would come to be petted all covered in dog slobber. And she would rub all over him, and attempt(!) to groom him. In his last few days, when he spent almost all his time snuggled on my bed, she visited him frequently.
After a few days of surveying the constantly-mewing kittens, Cookie adopted them, taking it on herself to play with, groom, and supervise them.
My circle isn’t broken.
Now this adorable little bobcat look-alike has taken over my heart and home, and I don’t know what will come next but for now…it’s a beautiful start.