Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Most Dangerous Habit

When we needed a cat two years ago, I discovered Petfinder.com, where more than 13,000 adoption groups nationwide are currently listing more than 360,000 animals looking for homes. We had just lost our ailing calico, Bunnelina, and I was a total wreck. But I found some comfort in the idea that there was a cat out there who needed us and would get along with our Persians. Since I hadn't been in the market for a cat for about a decade, I was amazed by Petfinder: a brilliant concept and a simply designed, easy-to-use site. I found that there were about 150,000 cats who needed me, a humbling discovery. I'm somewhat obsessive, so I spent a very long night checking out every calico cat on the site, from Maine to California; there were several thousand.

I wasn't looking for a Bunnelina duplicate; I just enjoy calico cats. I decided I wanted a "project," and settled on adopting a feral cat or kitten who needed to be calmed and socialized. To spare my husband from driving cross-country, I limited my real search to shelters within an hour or so's drive from Boston. We found Wendy at a small feral rescue in Swansea. A few weeks later, checking out "Maine Coon" kittens for a companion for her, I found Possum through a similar organization in Marlborough.

So I can't say enough about Petfinder. I've never been on a dating site, but anyone looking for love and a long-term commitment shouldn't ignore Petfinder. The descriptions of the animals are often brief, but the photos can often tell you —or me, at least — just about everything one needs to know. I believe you can learn a lot from a cat's expression. Wendy and Possum are exactly what I'd expected, judging from their faces when I met them in their foster homes.

The trouble is, it's hard for me to stay away from Petfinder now that we have our full quota of cats. I can't help wondering who else is out there. So, more often than I should, I look. It's a wonderful way to waste time, and I love wasting time, late at night. And once in a while, I fall in love with someone I can't have.

How could I help it with this little guy, Louis, from a shelter in Webster. Doesn't he look familiar?


Louis was adopted shortly after I discovered him, which spared me the difficulty of trying to talk my husband, four cats, and myself into adding another set of whiskers to the household. But Louis still haunts me. I can tell from his expression that he's as affectionate and interesting as Possum, and his story confirms that. It says he loves being held and petted and that he gives kisses.

While I'd love having two cats like that, I know Possum would be jealous, since he already requires a great deal of my attention. He needs me to shower him with love at all hours — and I do — if he's melancholy, lonesome, or bored. Then there's this insurmountable issue: Louis has two spectacularly large, tufted ears whereas Possum only has 1.5. 

But what if these two gorgeous tabby fellows had taken a liking to each other? I can just imagine the lively art historical discussions and political arguments they would have had. And poor Wendy, her head would spin, trying to make sense of it all.

I hope Louis is settling in happily, wherever he landed.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for telling your readers about Petfinder.com.

    It's a great resource not only for adopting pets but they also have a a library of well-researched, well-written information about training, health etc.

    ReplyDelete

I love getting comments and do my best to follow up if you have a question. I delete spam, attempts to market other websites, and anything nasty or unintelligible. The cats and I thank you for reading — and please do leave a comment that isn't spam, etc.