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We were heartbroken at the passing of the lovely and maternal Skittles.   Right after she died I asked her to send us a cat we could love as much as her:  someone who needed us, a good match for our family, one who would fill us with joy.  A cat not unlike her.

No pressure.

Within days of Skittles’ death I was back online with the Humane Society.  Right away a cat stood out:  she was seven and came with a stuffed toy she’d had since she was a kitten.  It added a layer of pathos to the thing and so my 8-year-old and I trotted off to the pound.

We found her right away.  My child was the one to see, “Hey!  It’s the same cage!”  It was true.  She could have been in any one of 40-50 different places, but she was in Skittles’ cage.

This little cat had spent seven years with one family and clearly, she was horrified to be in this predicament.  There was no extricating her from her fleecy, enclosed, egg-shaped bed.  She was tightly curled in a ball, eyes wide open and staring.  When I reached in to pet her she hid her face. She could have bit me, she could have hissed.  Instead she hunkered down and endured the horror of my touch.

It was hard to tell what she looked like.  When she wasn’t hiding I could see a black face with a sandy-colored patch, yellow eyes and white whiskers.  She had the softest coat I’d ever felt.

The staff member peered into the egg.  He looked doubtful.  “Wow,” he said.  “Her eyes are really dilated.”  What did that mean?  Extreme stress, that’s what.  We stared at her.  Her pupils were enormous.

I crooned at the cat.  She buried her face.  “Some cats,” he continued, “they never really .  .  .  ” he trailed off.  Whoa, this was ominous.  Three weeks ago, I said ‘Skittles’ and the staff members turned all googly.  “Skittles?” they said, “Cool!” and “What a great cat!”  Cartoon hearts flew out of their eyes.  But this guy .  .  .  I got it, he didn’t want us to take her home and be disappointed.

The cat didn’t have a champion.

I pulled her paperwork out of its plastic sleeve and looked through it.  Her first mom had given thoughtful responses to the questions.  I learned that the cat liked kids.  That she loved to play with feathers and string, that she was good company.  The mom wrote that the cat’s toy was called “Baby”.   I looked into the egg.  The cat stared grimly at nothing.

My child had lost interest.  She was twittering away at two cute seniors across the aisle.  “Mom, look at this one!!!”   I waved at her and turned back to the the trauma patient.

Everything about this cat said, run away.  On the other hand we’d asked Skittles to help us find a cat, we’d found this one in her cage and dammit, it was just gonna have to work out.

Next Up:  Animal Communication Adopts Another Cat, Part II

 

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