Saturday, October 27, 2012

I Should Never Have Opened That Text . . .

It actually started with a phone call from Ryan on Wednesday evening.  I have received such calls before – he is a sucker for stray animals . . . “Dad?  What do you think about a new kitten?”  Apparently, a stray cat had made it’s way into Emily’s neighborhood and had been begging in their area for a couple of weeks.

He already knew the answer.  I am never interested in a new kitten.  It has nothing to do with cats – we have two of them.  It has more to do with change.  A new animal requires adjustments – training for our Invisible Fence, trips to the vet, learning to get along with us, and especially learning to get along with our other three pets.  And a lot of it involves me, and my aversion to change.  I worry most about our 17½-year-old tomcat – Tom has reached the point in life where I’m not so sure he needs to teach “the ropes” to a new member of the family.

And then Ryan sent me a text . . .


. . . and I softened, as memories came flooding back.


This is (was) Patches, and in the days before Zoe, she was my baby – she had me wrapped around her paw.  She was the only cat I ever knew who would walk up to me and roll over on her back, begging for a scratch.  She would start the night sleeping with Ryan, and in the middle of the night I would feel movement as she came downstairs and snuggled up near my feet.  They don’t look that much the same when the pictures are together, but Patches died in 2004 and in my memory they were pretty close.

Yes, I let Ryan bring the new cat home – just for a look.  Yeah, right . . .


So the process began, getting her used to our pets.  Zoe was a wreck the whole first night – she was really excited about the idea of a new friend, but the cat wasn’t so sure so we kept them apart except for brief visits.  And Zoe cried all night.

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By the next day, Ryan had named her – Nala, from The Lion King – and she had picked out a favorite spot in our garage.  That’s about as big as her world can be for now, until we get her trained to our Invisible Fence.  Yesterday, I took her to the vet for a checkup (Ryan had to work, but this is going to be his cat and he is picking up the expenses) – and other than a couple of minor issues common to stray cats, she’s healthy.  And we discovered that she is going to be very small, because she isn’t a kitten – she is probably about a year old.  Next week, she will have a little surgery so that she won’t add to the pet population.

So at my house – the times, they are a-changin’ . . . and I guess I’m going to have to get used to it.


  1. Awww--you're such a good guy, Greg. It would appear Ryan inherited your big heart. Hope everything works out well with the adjustments.

  2. Aw, I knew you were just an old softie!