When I was about twelve years old, Sugar came into my family’s life. We adopted her from a shelter. She had been abandoned on the side of a highway. Her beautiful, snow white coat sported one black spot, a black tail, and black on her head and ears with a white line down the middle. The line made it look like she had a part.
Sugar was loving, adventuresome and playful. She liked to play with the katydids that entered our basement by pulling their legs off one by one and then, when the katydids were immobile, eating them. (Uhhh, maybe that wasn’t playing.)
My brother, sister and I loved Sugar even if my parents only tolerated the presence of an animal in our house. (The story of what happened when she died is fodder for another post. I was away at college, and the story includes my brother, a shallow grave, a rainstorm and a distraught younger sister.)
But, the memory of our beloved kitty remains. Like most American Shorthairs, she was smart (she would jump up on the bathroom counter and turn the doorknob to get out of the bathroom), willful (try “rescuing” her from a tree when she didn’t want to come down) and loving (who can resist a purr machine?).
Fast forward to about a month ago and, hon, we come to Kitty Karma.
Another abandoned kitty came to my attention. This cat, a youngish male, had been abandoned in an apartment building in a rough area of New Jersey. He found a temporary home in another apartment, but the mother who took him had too many mouths to feed and not enough resources. I am friendly with the woman who does play therapy with one of that mother’s children. When I saw his picture, Sugar came to mind. When I showed his picture to my sister she said, “It’s Sugar reincarnated!”
The mother who housed this kitty was going to put him out on the street. The woman I’m friendly with begged her to wait. Maybe she could find him a home. If not, she’d bring him to a no-kill shelter. About a day or so after I saw his picture, my sister mentioned wanting to adopt a cat! Kitty karma!
Our house was the halfway house for Oliver. He got vaccinated, neutered, micro-chipped, bathed, fed and loved. He was so hungry for the first few days that he made guttural, happy noises when he ate. He followed me around the house, jumped into my lap for cuddling, shed all over my clothes, baited our puppy, Lucy, annoyed our old-lady cat, Kimba and explored every inch of our house. He was testing his wings, testing the limits and figuring out if he could trust us. We found him funny and smart but, between the overload of dander in the house (hubby’s allergic) and nightly warring dog/cat factions, it was time for Oliver to move south.
I stayed overnight at my sister’s the first night Oliver spent in his new home. He padded back and forth between my sister and me, from one lap to another, purring his head off. Two mommies for the moment!
Now he has three little girls to play with, but I hear he’s still testing limits and figuring out the rules. He has a lot to learn but, as I told him on the ride to Maryland, this is the start of his new life. He looked at me with his bright, yellow eyes and answered, “Meow!”