Two years ago, I spent several hours at the Animal Rescue League dithering and debating about adopting "Adirondack" a charming, gorgeous kitten who kept falling asleep in my lap. He was popular, since his photo had appeared on the ARL's Facebook page. A group of fraternity brothers were interested in him and I knew I wasn't going to let THAT happen to him. A woman with a strange ponytail right on top of her head (like in "I Dream of Jeannie") also wanted him. No way, I thought, but I still couldn't take the plunge.
I still I have no idea why I hesitated so long, and as a result I no longer trust myself to make sensible decisions. We both might still be there, hanging around that cage two years later, if my husband hadn't showed up and made the decision.
You may not hear as much about Toffee as the other cats on this blog but that isn't because he's not integral to our lives and essential to our happiness. He is. It's simply that he's settled down after his crazy kitten days and stopped jumping on hot stoves and eating string toys. We haven't made an emergency room visit because of him in a very long time. (The last really stupid thing he did was chew five bulbs off the Christmas lights last year, when they were lit. I'm still trying to figure out how to talk him out of doing that next month.)
Toffee is smart, sweet, and affectionate, but he's not as needy as Harris or as demanding as Lion and Possum can be. He's much more of a cat than the others, if you know what I mean. He's a prince. He hangs out and bides his time. He knows he's important enough that we'll pay attention to him without his having to knock things onto the floor or walk all over us when we're sleeping. But I have woken up with a strange, crushing feeling, to find him settled in meatloaf position on my chest, his little tiger face a few inches away. Just waiting. That's Toffee.
Here are a couple of kitten photos, taken about a month after he arrived. He's always been something of a contortionist:
As a kitten, he looked more like a tiny mature cat than a baby. Harris still looks like a baby. Toffee is way cooler than that. But his tiny white butterfly-shaped "milk mustache" adds a silly element to his wild markings, as do his big white sneakers. Toffee is magnificent and goofy-looking at the same time. A perfect combination for a cat.
All the other cats love him. He is a cat's cat. Possum adopted him at first sight. Harris found the perfect playmate; they still curl up together after they groom each other. Wendy tolerates his chasing her, and sometimes chases him back. And Toffee adopted Lion last winter, while everyone else turned up their little noses for weeks after he arrived. Toffee made Lion welcome and they are still best friends.
So Happy Gotcha Day, Toffee. It should have been November 27, not 28, but that's my silly fault, not yours. Thank you for showing me that my instincts and decision-making skills need major work and can't quite be trusted. Thank you for not eating the tree lights this year... okay???