I picked up all the bedding and loaded it into the washing machine, then added bleach to the load and pressed the small grey buttons to change the setting to “hot water.” I closed the door and the machine hummed to life making odd clicks and whirring sounds.
I grabbed the broom and started to sweep the floor, getting lost in the ritual that is so familiar to me now. When one cat leaves, I prepare the space so the next cat can arrive. It can take an hour or a few hours depending on how sick the previous tenant was or how messy they were in the litter pan.
Although I like to put things right and enjoy seeing bright surfaces shine, I can't help but reflect, missing the cat who is no longer with me.
Even though I didn't know him that well, in a short time I came to love him and perhaps moreso, admire him. He might feel afraid, but he'd work past it. I was always able to pet him even if he was scared. He never once nipped me or clawed me. He didn't care if I rubbed his paws or his belly. He talked to me some times when he was fearful by uttering a mournful, deep meow. I'd comfort him right away because I wanted to gain his trust-which he freely gave me. He'd settle down and go back to mooching another ear-scritch from me in moments.
What a special cat.
A few months ago I got an email from a woman named Judith. She was inquiring, only, not ready to even consider filling out an adoption application, for one of my foster cats. I admit I'm a person who sees, or perhaps tries to find, the interconnectedness in all things. When I saw her name, something clicked. Her name was my Mother's-Judith and my Mother's maiden name was King.
Coincidence? Sure. A human searching for the pattern in things. Sure. But there was more than that and my heart recognized it, even if a scientist couldn't have run a test to prove it.
Judy explained that she read Covered in Cat Hair and saw King's story. She was so moved by his struggles that she had to reach out to me to see if anyone had come forward to offer to adopt him. Sadly, in four months (six months as of this post), no one had. Judy has two other cats; Sassy a fearful calico who was hoping to find a kitty-buddy to play with and Yasmin, the boss, the long haired tuxedo beauty who might not take kindly to a stranger. Judy wasn't sure if her home was right for King, but she did offer that she had wall to wall (in her words “ugly”) carpeting which was one thing King required to be able to move around.
I let Judy know that we guarantee our adoptions for life and if it didn't work out I would take King back. She had to think about it but shortly after our email exchange, she filled out the Pre-Adoption Application. On paper she looked good, but there was a catch-Judy lives in New Hampshire. I insist on doing home visits. It was 200 miles to her house. This could be a problem.
I called Judy's Vet (who I found out later is a single guy and very cute which is only important to know if you live in New Hampshire and prefer your Vet to to be a hottie). His Vet Tech gave me a glowing review and said he wished Judy would adopt HIM she was so great. Judy had pushed back on her Vet when Yasmin became diabetic. It was Judy who demanded to change Yasmin's diet to a grain free canned diet, going against the recommendation to feed her grained D/M dry food. Judy's research ended up putting Yasmin into remission from Diabetes. This is someone I'd want to adopt one of my foster cats! If only she would say YES!