The babies, sleeping on an old sheet during the ringworm plague (thanks, Wendy!) of 2009–10.
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.
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?
Husband: Yes, Wendy, don't you think it might be time to start settling in?
Husband: Will you please think about unpacking?
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!