I don't know if I have the luck of the Irish or what, but today was a very good day. There were a couple of other days that led up to The Major Event, but it was the culmination of several people working together with the power of the internet and a bit of divine intervention thrown in. Let me give you some background information.
Four years ago, in May, we had to have our Mimi put to sleep. She lived with us for 16 years and Kara and Jenna couldn't remember when we didn't have her. But she had multiple problems (arthritis, cataracts, deafness, and eventually, incontinence) and the time came where we had to make that decision you hope you never have to make. It was a sad day here, and though we've had many cats enter our lives since that time, we all would still say that Mimi was the best cat we've ever had.
After her passing, we laid her to rest in our (then) herb garden, under the catnip. We have a beautiful stone marker that came from Coer d'Alene, Idaho and we're reminded of her whenever we look at it.
We discussed whether we wanted to get another inside cat or not, and decided against it for the time being. And besides, we had Jinx outside, who provided us with our kitty fix. But it only took three weeks before we decided we wanted another cat to share our lives in the house. I had just recently become aware of Bengal cats and was smitten right from the start. Their spotted fur was beautiful and I wanted one. There was just one problem. It cost about $500 for even a pet quality Bengal. Try as I might, there was no way I could justify spending that much, even on such a special cat.
Jenna told me that her friend and cousin Katy had some new kittens that were just adorable. And of course, they were free. I made a visit to see the adorable kittens and they were so darn cute, I could have taken all of them, but I knew Romie would not be happy with me if I did. There were three that looked almost identical, except for one, which had a white smudge on his nose. She came home with me and we became the proud parents of Phoebe.
Phoebe had to make the requisite trip to see our veterinarian, Dr. Kleman, and Chris, his technician, took her from me when we got there. "What's this cat's name?" she said, as she filled out the chart. "Phoebe. P-h-o-e-b-e." Chris looked at me, and snickered. "And what other name did you have picked out for HIM?"
OMG. Phoebe was a him. How could I have made such a mistake? He was small, but I really thought I was better at discerning male from female than that! Chris explained the 'dot/dash' method for determining the sex of a kitten, and I vowed to never make that mistake again. So Phoebe became Simon and I hope he isn't psychologically scarred for life. I mean, just look what happened to A Boy Named Sue.
In the years since that time, various cats have shared our home, courtesy of other people that decided they no longer wanted them. They didn't ask us if we wanted them either, but we couldn't help but give these abandoned furbabies food and shelter.
That brings us to Thursday of this week. I received an e-mail from one of our patients at work, telling of a Bengal cat that needed a home. Abby was five years old and shared a home with several other cats, two of which were male Bengals. These males recently began making life difficult for Abby and she retreated daily to the top of the kitchen cupboards. While that gives a cat a distinct vantage point, it's nowhere to live, in fear of bullying by its housemates. E-mails were exchanged and a phone call made, and this morning Romie and I traveled to Roanoke, Indiana (about an hour away) to meet Abby.
We were excited about it, but Abby clearly was not. She retreated back behind the couches and a table in the corner and there she stayed. We visited with her owners, Reed and Joyce, and admired the other members of their kitty family. There were several Persians, a Sphinx, and the two male Bengals. All gorgeous. Eventually, the time came for Abby to be retrieved so she could go home with us. She was put into the carrier, goodbyes were said, and we were on our way back home.
Abby doesn't mind riding in the car, and I let her out of the carrier. She explored the van, then settled into my lap for the rest of the ride home. We had decided we would keep her in the dining room for awhile and let her get used to her surroundings before introducing her to Simon and Baby. She's doing very well so far.
We've discovered she can darn near leap tall buildings in a single bound. And she loves to lay on my lap, which I also love, of course, and that's where she is right now. I wish you could feel her fur. It's so soft, it's almost like feeling nothing at all when you touch it. And the variation in coloring is astounding. She's got some dark golden hair that looks like spun copper, especially when the sun hits it.
I can't hardly believe that I finally got my Bengal. Oh, and did I mention she was free? Actually, she's priceless.
It's true -- good things come to those who wait.