Possum is unhappy that he's not getting a kitten or a bicycle rickshaw under the tree this Christmas. I decided to break the news to him early, so he wouldn't get himself all worked up over the next couple of weeks. I'd caught him talking to Harris and Toffee about the rickshaw, saying they'd soon be having good times cruising around the South End, with me at the wheel, and their chief destination would be the dumpster at Hammersley's, for the remains of their famous roast chickens. So I had to nip that fantasy in the bud.
As you can see, he was brooding as we tried to shoot a jolly cover photo for the Christmas card.
I pointed out to him that he has a wonderful life. He has good food, friends, shelter, adoring people, lots of toys, and windows, and cozy sleeping spots. I reminded him that there are many cats and kittens in far worse situations, living as strays outside, being abused or neglected, or waiting on death row in "shelters" that don't deserve that name.
"That's true, and very important to remember," he replied. "And since I'm 'only' a cat, there's nothing I can do to help them. But what's your excuse? We have plenty here to share. We're loaded, as you just said. We'd love to save a life and make a new friend. Go and bring home somebody that really needs us, and we boys will take care of all the rest. Including Wendy. Please."
"But, Possum," I said (although I was very moved), "Everyone tells me that four cats is our limit in this little apartment. They warn me that you'll all start behaving badly... fighting, and not using the litter box, and so on. Everybody says five is one too many, and that Wendy will become more nervous than ever."
Possum did not reply. He just gave me a disgusted look and stalked off, as if I had insulted his honor and his family. And I suppose I had.
Whom to believe? My vet, my instincts, and all of my cat-expert friends — or the cat who talks to me?