Six years ago, we adopted "Passamaquoddy" from a rescue organization in Marlborough, Massachusetts, and he sang in his carrier all the way home. (My phone calendar said it his Gotcha Day was today, but I just checked my 2009 blog posts, and I see it was actually the 15th. I'll get it right next year.)
In early October, I'd fallen in love with photos of him and his two siblings on Petfinder.com. Here he is with his sister Abenaki and his brother Ossippee, who looks a bit like Toffee.
As a tiny feral kitten, he'd been trapped, neutered, ear-tipped (I assume it was a brand-new vet student since he or she lopped off HALF of it), and released back onto the streets of Shrewsbury. Then he got himself trapped again, and the rescuers decided he was friendly, and so they caught his siblings, too, and put everyone up for adoption.
The rescue people thought he was a girl, and my husband had been insisting that we only adopt females for unsound reasons of his own. (I prefer males, and they get along better in groups.) So we settled on "Passy" together, although my husband had reservations about that poor little ear, which I vociferously overrode.
When his foster mother took our kitten for the pre-adoption vet visit, she learned he was a male. When I got the news in a late-night email, I remember shouting gleefully to my sleeping husband, "He's a little boy! We're getting a little boy!"
We had a couple of weeks of pure enjoyment of our two kittens and accommodating older cats — well, not quite "pure." The kittens had parasites and digestive troubles, and we had also learned that my husband's salary at his previous school was about to be cut in half. And I was unemployed and seemingly unemployable at my age. We were also in an anxious period of waiting, since my husband was one of two candidates for a senior, tenured teaching position at his alma mater. It took them a couple of years to complete and international search, narrow down the candidates, and settle on two, and fall 2009 was the home stretch.
Anyway, we had fun for a couple of weeks. We never expected that by the end of that October we'd be hit with both ringworm and raging calici virus, requiring many hours of daily cat nursing, worry, and extreme housecleaning through the winter. As I look at my blog posts from that time, it all comes back to me and it seems surreal. We are in a bad time now that's nothing like that bad time, and it's good to remember we did what we had to do and got through it.
Everyone made a full recovery. My husband got the job. Joy returned. The apartment went back to being normal and messy again. I found some freelance work. Not enough, but something. We'll probably make it through our current bad time, too, although I doubt I'll ever want to revisit these blog posts with nostalgia....
Here's Possum, in 2009 before the big ugly ringworm spot appeared on his nose:
Possum, this past week.
Here are two more of his baby photos. After the ringworm spot appeared, the photos I took of him seemed too sad, so I cherish these:
Thank you, Possum. When I rescued you, you rescued me.