Monday, July 18, 2016

Happy 7th, Wendy and Possum

The babies, sleeping on an old sheet during the ringworm plague (thanks, Wendy!) of 2009–10.

Wendelina Pantherina and Possumus P. Passamaqoddy had their 7th birthdays over the weekend. We celebrated quietly at their request — they specifically asked for no fireworks. (There was cake.)

Wendy wanted to be an only cat.

Since we don't know exactly when they were born, their birthdays are estimates. Wendy was born in a fast-food parking lot in Swansea, Massachusetts, or thereabouts. (It was not a Wendy's.) Two kind women operating a small private shelter rescued her and her brother; a few months later, they saved her mother, too.

Possum was trapped by rescuers in Shrewsbury, twice. He was TNR'ed the first time. When he went into the trap again, his rescuers figured he and his siblings might be adoptable, so they landed in a foster home.

"Of course we were adoptable," says Possum." We'd been beautifully brought up. We'd had dancing lessons."

They got along so well before Wendy joined the Tea Party.

If you've been reading here for a while, you will remember that Possum has told long, fluffy tales about being a Norwegian aristocrat. He says his father, allegedly a baron, was on the hit list of the Norwegian mafia over a fishy fishing deal, and his family sailed to America to enter a witness protection program.

He doesn't talk about it much these days. Like me, Possum is way behind on his New Yorker reading.

Every July, we have a variation of this little conversation with Wendy:

Me: Happy birthday, Wendy! You're 7 years old now! Don't you think it's time for you to relax and feel safe here?

Wendy: .

Husband: Yes, Wendy, don't you think it might be time to start settling in? 

Wendy: .

Husband: Will you please think about unpacking?

Wendy: .

Some things take time. Still, it's hard to meet a strange cat on the street and get more affection and trust from him in five minutes than I do in a year from Wendy. I try to be grateful for what I do get these days:

1. She sits about a foot from me on the dinner table and stares at me.

2. I am permitted to rotate her dish under her chin at supper time to help her get every morsel.

My husband is permitted to pet her (one hand only) if he's settled in the leather armchair. Wendy has recently discovered the joys of his armpit, whatever they are, and buries her nose there with great pleasure. This is the only time she voluntarily has touched either of us. Let's hear it for armpits!

And let's hear it for everyone who rescues, fosters, shelters, and cares for homeless cats. Where would we be without you? It's too sad to contemplate. Thank you!


  1. Happy 7th! :) I hope Wendy gets to the unpacking soon! this is getting silly

  2. Two of the cutest kitties! Happy 7th! Our two 'inside' cats Angel and Chuck (who turned 12 years old) are not lap cats, they don't like to be picked up, and The Hubby and I get really excited when Angel walks TOWARD us! Our 'outside' or friendly ferals are MUCH MORE demonstrative; Patty O'Malley and Sweetie rub ankles and headbunt, and Patty LOVES my armpits too! The toe-licking is weird too, and I'm very ticklish. Wendy will come around; she just has to decide that no one is going to eat her.

  3. Happy 7th birthday to Wendy & Possum!! What cuteness! :) Yes, I do think Wendy will come around too. It took our 11 year old rescued cat (who's also epileptic) about 9 1/2 years before she would even snuggle with us. Now we know Holly's posture & stare from across the room when she wants her ears and chin scratched. Such a breakthrough!! Our other rescue cat Sebastian had a foster mom and he is super cuddly & a lap cat. Funny how cats are so different!


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