A cat tale

You might have noticed I haven’t been writing much lately. But I have reasons, or excuses, depending on how you feel about cats.

Mousse, my beloved kitty for 16 years, died in early April. And as you might imagine, I took it pretty hard. Even my dog Annie seemed upset and was off her feed for several weeks.

This is Rowdy.

It was about a month before the lack of a cat in the house really began to get to me. I’ve always had at least one cat, and often more. I love Annie and she’s a great dog. But a cat is different, and there was a big void, a silence of sorts, where a cat ought to have been.

So I started watching the websites of the various rescue organizations in the area. They post pictures of their adoptable pets. But I was indecisive about whether someone my age (76) should adopt a kitten or an older cat, what kind I wanted or didn’t want, etc. I finally started making inquiries about some cats, but was always too late to adopt them; someone else had already taken them. It took a while to learn to play the game, which is, quite simply, get there first. And with kittens, first means getting to the shelter the morning of the day they show up online.

Long story short, when two fuzzy littermates showed up one morning on the county shelter site, I was there by 10 am and one of the two, the black one, was already spoken for. But I got the one I wanted.

They move kittens as fast as possible here. In this case, the kitten was just eight weeks old but already neutered, weaned, microchipped, fully tested and vaccinated (as much as his age would allow).

And he certainly keeps me busy. Four-a-day feedings, long naps (in my lap or on my chest), wild playtimes. Fast as a bullet but often completely silent, so I really have to watch my step. I figure it’s good for me. It keeps me moving more than I have been and gives me a big new interest to pursue.

One of his favorite places to sit and sleep is my nice, warm keyboard. Which makes posting very difficult. My writing gets interspersed with annotations like “la98te86qiw53dsy=66yio97lk[p;;;;;;;;………..j[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[j[[[[n[[j]9’m8n70m 7320=====4675475757575775 4444r ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]fotrlld44======” Furthermore he activates functions I didn’t even know existed and then I have to figure out how to turn them off. And he’s eerily accurate when it comes to hitting the power key.

Did I mention he’s very small? 2.2 lbs a week ago.

Maybe adopting him was selfish. He will very likely outlive me, but I’ve already arranged with my son to take him if/when that happens (son offered; couldn’t imagine me without a cat). And selfish because Annie will be 11 this summer, and I certainly expect to outlive her. I just couldn’t imagine being left with no pet at all. And if I end up in a home somewhere, a cat would keep me sane.

Anyway, here he is. Took me four days to finally name him Rowdy, but I had dozens of other names just as good. Rowdy is Rowdy Yates, of tv’s “Rawhide,” Clint Eastwood’s big break on television.

24 comments

  1. Sweet! I worry about losing my beloved 11 year old pup. It’s pretty difficult to think of starting out with a new one at 75. (We’re a mere year apart!) Lucky you to have a son willing to care for Rowdy if you don’t outlast him. I’ve always loved ginger cats, but my allergies prevent having a cat. Fortunately the pup is a hypoallergenic poodle.

    1. It would be very hard to start with a new pup at our age. They need so much training to begin with. But if it comes to that, you might be able to adopt an older dog that’s already housebroken and knows some manners. I hope your doggo is with you for many more years.

  2. Welcome to a great new life, Rowdy! Cool choice in names — leaving a window should you feel like expanding your feline family, too… Paladin, Festus, Chester, Matt, or even… Miss Kitty! 🙂 Congratulations to you and Annie!

    1. I hadn’t even thought about those names. I was working backwards from Eastwood and other actors I like. I’m not sure Rowdy is my favorite, but I had to settle on something, and Rowdy sounded good in2 the moqment6.——-a
      (Now he’s helping with comments!)

    1. He’s hardly big enough to be rowdy, yet. (His meow sounds more like a strangled mouse.) I just hope he doesn’t decide to live up to that name when he’s a 10-pounder

  3. Lovely 😀 Well done Susan 🙂
    I’m happy for you and Rowdy; that’s a great name for a boy cat, I must admit I’ve fancied having a cat for a while now.
    He certainly looks a pretty cat who’s made himself completely at home and in charge. I suppose we will soon start addressing you as “Staff”
    My Coco is a handful even at 12 years he keeps me hopping, nothing can replace him, but a cat ‘s calmness would be quite welcome at times.

    1. Annie has calmed way down and I expect Rowdy will too, in a few years. I look forward to having a critter whose favorite thing in life is to cuddle and purr in my lap. At 70 lbs, Annie can’t do that. But she does have her place on the couch next to me.

      Good on Coco for keeping you moving. It’s good for you, as Rowdy is for me.

  4. I’m so glad you got another cat. When I lost my best friend, “Mama”, unexpectedly in 2014 (a dog), it left such a hole in me. I still had her son (his name is “Dork”) but wasn’t the same with her gone. And I’ve had a LOT of dogs thru the years – Mama was something very special. I did get another dog a year later but it just wasn’t the same. Never really bonded with her. Then Cassidy came along. She was born here (a Portuguese Water Dog). She was sold to a couple in Colorado but when she got there, she got Parvo. She survived but it somehow affected her back legs — she couldn’t walk for very long and had to lay down. Well, they wanted a dog to take hiking so they sent her back here. While Lyn (my roommate and the actual owner of the litter) was searching for a new home for her, my heart melted and promised to take care of her for the rest of her life. Lyn came home and said she found a home for Cassidy and I told her, “yes, with me.” That was three years ago and she never leaves my side. Right next to my feet as I type this. She will never replace Mama, but she has filled the hole left behind.

    1. I’d really planned to get a cat as different as possible from any I’ve ever had in the past. But that was nearly impossible because I’ve had so many. And all kittens are adorable. So here I am with Rowdy. No expectation that he will be anything like Mousse, nor would I want him to be. He’s like Rowdy, and that’s perfect.

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