Thursday, January 07, 2010

Never Were There Such Devoted Sisters

Finally! Quinn the slacker rouses from her hibernation and places paws on keyboard. If guilt were writing, I’d have done this blog days ago. Then again, if guilt were writing, I’d create the works of the major Russian writers on a daily basis.

To answer the inevitable question: no, Lu the cat hasn’t come back. I can only hope someone sees her tag or scans her for a chip and she comes home but I’m keeping my expectations pretty realistic. Oddly enough, we haven’t seen Victor/Victoria since Lu went missing. Daughter suggested they ran off to get married. Consort suggested Lu and Victor/Victoria have bought an RV and moved to Branson, Missouri, where they could live unnoticed because many people were shaped like them. I doubt this. Lu doesn't strike me as an Oak Ridge Boys fan. The fact remains, she’s gone to her next adventure and wherever she is, we love her and we hope she’s raising hell.

Luckily for me -- the parent not looking forward to a grieving child pining for her fur-football-with-halitosis sister -- there were the foster kittens to distract her. For the past four years we’ve fostered kittens. Every year, someone would see us enjoying the endless kitteny silliness and announce “You’re keeping this one” and I’d always explain that no, kittens are great fun but our job was to keep them safe and happy and get them ready for their family. Anne and Diana were just another couple of cogs in the feline wheel.

But no one told them that.

After the first week, we started letting them out beyond the laundry room, mostly because we didn’t have any choice what with them adhering to any mammal who passed through. Two weeks after that, we knew Diana wouldn’t sleep anywhere but nestled in the kid’s armpit, kneading the sleeve of her pajama top. Anne favored me, mostly when I was trying to work. Sensing my unspoken need, she’d spring neatly into my lap and commence to reducing the thread count of my pants. Both girls woke up for an evening’s workout just about the time I go to bed, which is five minutes before Consort starts his evening television ritual. One afternoon, during those few hours a day Consort and I are equally lucid, he told me the previous night, he’d stumbled across some Harrison Ford movie about...something. You know, average man, armed only with superior intellect, some FBI training and a thrilling score, does mano-a-mano battle with sadistic, evil guy who is usually kind of British.

Against his will, Consort got drawn in, even though it was on basic cable and a commercial popped up every five minutes. Fully awake, the kittens galloped through the room, bent on mayhem. Hours later, the movie finally reached the dénouement; Bad Sort-Of British Guy and Harrison faced off, a couple of more commercial breaks happened, and then the big fight scene starte-

The screen went black. The kittens had run behind the TV and unplugged it.

By the time he got the TV back on, there was another commercial. Then, Harrison, blood-flecked and triumphant, reunited with his family. Consort never got his guy-payoff. The kittens had ruined it. And he didn’t strangle them. In fact, he was laughing. We loved these critters. They were going to make someone great pets. They were great cats.

But apparently not on weekends. And especially not when they were being be shown to potential adoptive families. At the rescue place, they would huddle together at the back of the cage, glaring and hissing at people, making noises as if they had been found living behind Chernobyl. I came to pick them up one Sunday night and the woman who runs the place was crawling around under a bookcase. It seems Anne had sprung herself from the cage, raced under there and was batting at anyone who got near her. The rescue leader, usually an unflappable presence when it comes to cats, was flapped. This cat would not come out.

I leaned over and said, “Anne, pumpkin, I’m here. Let’s go home.” Anne shot out from under the bookshelf as if by slingshot, landing somewhere on my abdomen and leeching on. The rescue-group leader said, “We need to get them out of your house. They’re already so devoted to each other they have to be adopted together. And now they’re getting that attached to you.”

I agreed. In theory. I also begged for one more week with them because...I don’t know, they’d get less devoted to us after spending more time with us? That week passed, and then another, during which Lu left. By this point, we couldn’t possibly send them back during the week and it didn’t make much sense to send them for the weekend showings because they made such a dreadful impression. And then, late one night, I went in to check on the kid and straighten her quilts. I found Anne sleeping sprawled around the kid’s feet and Diana under the covers, nursing on the duvet. That's when I realized, Sometimes the family you get them ready for is your own.

Consort still has allergies. I Swiffer a lot more now. I bathe them in Allerpet. They don’t go outside, nor will they, which should keep the allergens slightly less horrifying. The air purifier runs 24/7. Consort is a saint and I’m very grateful for him. I’m also grateful for the insistent little orange presence currently purring in my lap as I write, reminding me again that in this life the unexpected can be pretty horrible, but it can also be pretty wonderful.

Here are the girls. Please forgive the background; their bed is next to the dryer, which is unsightly terrain but warm and purrish.


Anonymous Judy S said...

I'm so sorry that Lu has opted for a new adventure, but I'm ecstatic that Anne and Diana are your new feline daughters!!!

I just wish I could see them! The link goes to a page to sign in to a blogger blog via your google doesn't go to a picture :-(

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Judy S said...

Yeah....the link is working!!!

The ladies are too cute!!! They really make me want to get Scarpetto a couple kittens to keep him entertained :-)

Thanks for fixing the link Quinn -- I know how distracting a purring furball keeping a lap warm can be!

8:07 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Melting. Oh the cuteness just makes me want to go right out and get another one. Except the kitten we now have has a terrible personality right now, as he sprints into his first birthday and needs to show us who is boss.

However, elder kitten (18 months now) is turning sweet and snuggly now that she has turned into a loaf of whole wheat bread. She has put on a few pounds this winter.

I love those furballs,.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous RobinRaven said...

What a fun read.

With such perfect names (and seeing the pic, the names fit them perfectly), they are so adorable. I'm sure Daughter is thrilled by this.

I'll continue to pray that Lu comes home soon.

So glad you're giving the kittens a permanent home.

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Riin said...

Oh, such cuteness. Every once in a while I toy with the idea of getting a kitten (ok, every time someone talks about kittens...). But then I remember that one of my rabbits would probably kick its ass and the other one would probably go into hiding, never to be seen again.

5:02 AM  
Anonymous jane, candid said...

I have been a silently-lurking reader for some time, enjoying your humor and view of life.

I am so sorry to hear about Lu, and my heart feels it double because my cat went the same kind of missing, back in September. Ironically I had just been at the shelter to find a new kitten pal for the family. I did not find the "right" cat that first visit, but after Kitty disappeared, I soon had two little kittens permanently attached to me as I write. It was at that point, right before NaNoWriMo, that I decided to invent a Kitty Kjorn so that I could type with two hands.

This year's Christmas tree was decorated with a dozen unbreakable ornaments, no lights, and two kittens. The star fell off. But those little fuzz balls have (partially) filled the hole in my heart as I look out the back windows at the snowy woods and wonder where Kitty is now.

Thanks for your stories -- you always brighten my day.

5:44 AM  
Anonymous MidLifeMama said...

The tortoise shell one, probably Diana, reminds me of my Griffin who I had for 16 years until she went and had a stroke or something. I am glad you are keeping them.

My favorite bit was the shelter lady was flapped. It does seem that if one can be unflappable, one must also be able to be flapped.

6:04 AM  
Blogger kate sweeten said...

They are really cute! My parents just adopted two brother kittens who were about 3 months old after our family cat died (at the ripe old age of 19). However, my parents were used to a old, lazy and very snuggly cat...and now they have two energetic, curious, hell-raising terrors. My dad has renamed them "Ass" and "Hole" ;)

7:20 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love the new additions, just precious. Glad to have you back too!

7:39 AM  
Anonymous --Deb said...

I do so love a happy ending, even if it means Lu left... Welcome to the family, Anne and Diana! (Love the Green Gables-ness of the names, too.)

9:58 AM  
Blogger I'm PeyPey! said...

I am generally not a cat person and I have hellish allergies.(Poor Consort! I feel his pain!) But reading your charming feline stories is warming me to the posibility of adopting a kitty. Maybe I can find one like armpits get terribly cold at night. :)

10:03 AM  
Blogger Cheryl, Judy and Jill said...

I'm so glad you kept the kittens, but I refuse to look at the picture! That's how I ended up with 3 cats, and 2 dogs, and some gerbils....
Happy new year, from one sucker to another:-))
See you soon!?!

10:49 AM  
Blogger Char said...

oh dear...but i'm glad they picked the very best family for them.

my last cat was a rescue cat that put her paws through the cage and patted my face with a sweet mew. my heart melted and we instantly bonded.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Quirky said...

Yeah...been there, done that, and now I'm a proud cat-mom of five. Luckily, the latest (and last! I mean it this time!) has just passed her first birthday, so everyone is officially out of kittenhood and the resulting TV unplugging that goes with it. Anyway, love the picture of your two. Keep tossing back those Allergras, Consort!

5:26 PM  
Anonymous RobinRaven said...

Went to sleep after reading this and had dreams all night that I rescued and adopted a fluorescent blue cat and did all kinds of things with her. I thought to myself in my dream, "I must have been inspired by the blog." haha I was kind of disappointed to wake up kitten-less.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Debbie St.Amand said...

Okay, so clearly Anne and Diana were meant to be yours. Consort as a saint doesn't begin to cover it. He is all kinds of awesome!

Still sending good thoughts to Lu, wherever she may be, of course, but I'm so happy to know you have Anne and Diana to take care of you!

Debbie in Florida

6:15 AM  
Blogger Mama K said...

(LOL at RobinRaven)

...Maybe Lu had to enter the witness protection program?

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh goody! Glad they ended up with you. I kinda knew they would :-)

I'm fostering Lulu and Sara right now...

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

I'm allergic, but can't resist an ear scratch when I come across a cat. Luckily for me, one of our dogs has been nicknamed 'the cat of the dog world'. Roxie has the personality you'd expect of a cat, but the fates played a cruel trick and put it in the body of a small dog.

Bless you & your family for fostering and now adopting. There are so many dogs & cats out there that deserve loving families.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

I, too, have lurked and enjoyed your blog for a long time. Animal stories will always bring me out of hiding. The situation with Lu and the kittens feels so familiar...I picked up a stray dog on my way home after a tornado forced us to leave work early. He was sweet Lab mix with tuxedo markings with whom I instantly felt at home but refused to name because "he's not staying."

I'd found homes for strays many times, but nothing ever worked out for Mr Peabody (okay, I had to name him). We spent a few months trying in vain to send him home with someone. One night, I came home to find our older dog had died during the day (heart attack). Mr Peabody and our younger dog had sat vigil with her all afternoon and their bond was undeniable. So he stayed. We had him for 14 years.

2:42 PM  

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