By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
I call it “kitty porn.” That is when you search online for potential cats to adopt, and when your spouse shows up, you immediately switch to another screen. I got the term from a friend who was looking online for adoptable dogs. In her case, she called it “doggy porn.”
We lived with a cat for 20 years until he passed away a few months ago. I knew that eventually we would get another cat. A few weeks ago, I started looking online at nearby shelters and at Petfinder.com.
I thought about getting an older cat, but my 11-year old son, who arrived after our cat, wanted a kitten. He said he was worried that an older cat would not live a long time, and he was fearful of going through another death. I didn’t realize how attached he was to Earl Gray, our 20-year old cat.
My husband wasn’t ready either. Earl had been an integral part of our lives. He was family. No cat would replace Earl Gray. No cat could. This newcomer would be different, and I was getting ready. After all, I when I met my husband, I lived with two cats. I told him that I come with cats.
Full disclosure: even though I write about the importance of adoption, I was timid about going to a shelter. The truth is I have never adopted a pet at a shelter. All of my pets found me. The first was a Siamese chocolate point kitten who entered my copy editing class in college. Later, four kittens were born under a production table at my first newspaper job. I took two kittens, and the two others and mom all got good homes. And 20 years ago, a week to the day that my last newspaper cat died, Earl Gray showed up on my front porch.
So, I was waiting for someone furry to enter our lives. Since no one showed up, I started looking at kitty porn.
On December 1, we went to the pound in West Orange, NJ. Volunteers from the West Orange Animal League were on hand to help us pick out two kittens. We thought two were better than one, and that if we were to go out for a few hours at a time, they could entertain each other.
I went in thinking I would maybe get an orange cat this time. However, when it came time to look—after filling out the paperwork—I couldn’t decide. How could I?
The volunteers were quite sharp, and picked out two 14-week old sisters for us. The black and tan tortoiseshell, which we named Chai, was outgoing and friendly. Her sister, Karma, was hiding in the back of the cage. She is all black, and I have a fondness for black cats. In some cultures they are good luck.
I was excited about our two new kittens, and felt sad at the same time as I thought about the ones left behind. The volunteers kept on thanking us because we emptied a cage.
Once we got them home, Chai immediately endeared herself to all of us. Karma took a bit longer. After all, she has been in a cage for most of her life. Within three days, she was been purring, romping, and cuddling.
My son, like most kids his age, loves watching television and playing with an iPad. That is until, the kittens arrived. Watching these two tiny balls of energy charge at each other from opposite ends of his bedroom, my son turned to me and said, “Mom, kittens are much more fun than playing with dad’s iPad or watching TV.”
So, I want all of you to meet Chai and Karma. I will be taking some time off, and will be back after the New Year. I wish all of you a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2013. Thank you so much for reading, and if you are so inclined and have not subscribed yet, I hope you will!