There is no easy way to say this, but once a much loved pet has gone onto Pet Heaven, you are left with all the belongings to deal with.
I called the local cat shelter and asked if they’d take donations. Gladly.
So I gathered up the bed BlackJack refused to use, and litter and food and dishes and carrier and catnip and brushes and toys and loaded them into the car, certain that I would never again have a pet.
My rationale goes along the lines of a new cat would probably outlive me, or, if I got a senior one, I’d be going through another death and I don’t think I could manage losing another animal.
So, off to Sammie’s Place, the local cat and dog shelter. I walked in and was immediately greeted by the lead volunteer, who wanted to first show me around and explain their program. Then, we could unload the car.
I probably should have bolted right then and there. But I didn’t.
They are short on Volunteer Cat Cuddlers and, in the neighboring building, Dog Walkers. The cats were now vying for my attention and cuddling. I needed at least two or three more arms.
I have to admit, the cats were very well behaved and no doubt wanted to be adopted.
Three or four rooms later of cute kitties, of all ages and colors, and I was getting sucked in. Then the volunteer dropped the other shoe.
It seems they also have a Foster Program…take a kitten to socialize, no thanks, past that stage of life, or a senior cat and provide loving home. They would cover all costs — food, vet, litter — and all the foster parent has to do is provide the home. They would even take fostered cat back for visits if the foster parent wanted to travel, had guests, needed a break or was done fostering.
Such a deal, as my dad used to say.
It was about that time that we walked into the last Kitty Room, the one with the more skittish and/or feral cats. And, there, in the middle of the room, sat Le Chat Noir. He was very skinny with unruly black fur and wild gold eyes.
He stared at me. I smiled at him. The volunteer said Be careful, no one can get near him. He’s really skittish and he fights.
The cat was now rubbing up against my legs and loudly purring. He wanted to be petted.
I reached down, petted him for a bit, purr, purr, purr.
Be careful, warned the volunteer.
Put, purr, pure, answered the cat.
I finally told Le Chat Noir Look it, I’m old. Bad back. If you want to be petted, I have to stand up and hold you.
Damn cat jumped into my arms. I stood up and cuddled him. Purr, purr, purr.
The volunteer just watched.
After a while, I said This cat needs brushing. The volunteer said something about no one being able to get near him, was I certain I wanted to try?
Hand me the brush. The cat loved getting groomed. He even tolerated me working through some of the matted fur. Purr, purr, purr.
Volunteer was sure she had closed the deal and Le Chat Noir had a new foster mom.
ah, not so fast. I said he is so skittish that I’d worry about him bolting outside with the friends and family who wander in and out of my home. And he was too old to survive outdoors.
So we settled on me returning to cuddle cat(s), maybe walk a dog or two, and not making any donations quite yet.
I drove back home and unpacked the car. Sigh.