Friday, October 16, 2009

Introducing.... What's-His-Name

It's before 4 am as I'm beginning to write this; I spent the last several hours trying to sleep on the cold floor of our tiny office, to keep our new(est) kitten from wailing his heart out. He has a very plaintive, sustained meow. If we leave him alone, he performs heartbreaking arias from the 19th-century feline oeuvre. He doesn't have his new name yet, but Opera Man is a possibility.

When we picked him up at his foster home last night, he was cuddled up on a chair with his sister, who is a lovely, purring, friendly little girl. Our guy, called Passamaquoddy by the shelter, is more reserved and there were several tough minutes where we wondered if we'd selected the wrong cat. And it was painful to separate them since they are such loving friends. At least this shelter never allows anyone to adopt just one kitten: they have to be adopted in pairs, or go to a home with another kitten or young cat for companionship. But they are so perfect together....

Driving home, Passy gave us a few bars of his favorite feline tunes. He immediately made himself at home in the office, where we closed the door. He was excited to share our burritos, eating chicken from our hands, in our laps. He purrs, climbs around on us, and loves to be petted. He's much more trusting and people-friendly than Wendy. In less than an hour, he explored every corner the office, ate, used the litter box, and started asking to see the rest of the apartment. We let Wendy in to meet him and she hissed and growled her head off for the first time. What a disaster. I keep wishing we had taken his sister, Abenaki, too. But five cats? That's just crazy in a one-litter-box apartment. It's a big, built-in, custom litter box, but still.

I didn't want him to be lonely and crying all night, so I put a few cushions on the floor and tried to sleep with him. I found him curled up by my legs in the middle of the night. This morning he ate in the kitchen with the rest of his new cat family, including a growling, furious Wendy, who still runs off to hide from the world, under the bed, every chance she gets. Our two older cats deserve a Peace Prize of their own for their tolerance (or denial — whatever it is, it's great!).

We have three days to stay home together and watch the fun. I hope it's fun.... If only Wendy would learn to like her new brother.

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