Meet Pickles! Modified to Captain Pickles after I realized she could sail around the room, jumping four feet from bookcase to dining room table without twitching a whisker.
I did not want a cat. I wanted a dog. COVID house arrest had me applying to various shelters and rescue groups. I had a dog for 13 years. Petie was my constant companion. I know the joys and comforts of owning a dog. They are loyal, they are forever by your side... forever able to take in whatever kind of day you are having. Perfect for my grumpiness over being stuck at home!
I applied to three different shelters. I got the same answer from all: There is a waitlist. Apparently, everyone else had the same great idea that I had. Evidence was popping up all around me. On my daily walks, I noticed WAY more hound dogs in the neighborhood. Apparently, the hound dog rescue group has been busy.
I put the dog search on the back burner. A week later, a friend I hadn't heard from in a while texted me and said a woman she knew had a cat she was trying to rehome.. and was I interested?
Hmmm.. a cat? In my mind, they are second class citizens to dogs. Aloof, independent, only cuddly when they want to be... What would I do with a cat, I thought?
But I contacted the woman anyway. She sent me a photo of the cat: black, with a white tipped tail. She called him Tippy. I contemplated. I mused. I tuned in to my intuition. I passed. I just wasn't sure about the cat thing. I knew dogs were THE BEST COMPANIONS EVER. And a cat... well...
A few more months passed. Each time I went for a walk, I longingly looked at the dogs and their human companions.
My neighbor Mario found a dog left at the local dog park and brought it home. I offered to take the dog until the owner could be found. For two hours, I doted over this dog. I made plans with this dog. Then, the owner showed up. I was slightly crushed.
Where was my animal companion?
A few weeks later on my local community listserv a neighbor announced: A friend of mine found two kittens in the woods. She'd like to find a home for them. Contact me, if interested.
Something nudged me. I talked to the woman who had found them. She had one kitten remaining. She sent me a photo. Something about THIS cat made me say yes, immediately. I just knew I had to take this one and it would be o.k.
She delivered the kitten to my door, complete with a makeshift litter box from a shoe box.
The first day, the kitten sniffed my toes and then retreated to her corner. But over the next few weeks, she started coming out of her shell.
And as she did, I was glad I followed my intuition to take THIS cat.
Captain Pickles has been nothing but a constant surprise to me.
She's more like a dog... following me around the house from room to room, hanging out in the kitchen with me while I am cooking (not even my dog did that!). She's cuddly, constantly purring and mewing and seeking attention and touch.
She likes her belly rubbed.
She greets me every morning when I wake up. She runs down the stairs ahead of me as I slowly stumble down to get my coffee.
She talks to me a lot. I talk back. She causes chaos. My house now looks like a kitten playground. There are toys everywhere.
I'm in kitten love. And I’m glad I said yes, to THIS cat.
Looking at the world from above the fray. Houkje writes about following her intuition, observerations on the magic of the natural world, and navigating creativity and chaos in an uncertain world.