Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Woman's Best Friends

I know. A dog is supposed to be man's best friend. But, this gal's pals are cats. I love 'em, and I especially love the two that I have now.

Last spring, after much consideration, I decided I wanted to adopt a cat from a local shelter. (The decision was between a chinchilla and a cat, and the feline won out.) So, in March, I started researching on www.petfinder.com, and immediately, I fell in love with an orange, long-haired kitty named "Penelope" at the Granite City APA. After my first visit, I hoped she'd be mine, and after several visits, I put down a check to make it official. Mom and I set out to shop for all of the cat necessities in between the Toastmasters district events in Rockford in April. And, that next week, it would finally be time to complete the "adoption".

Because her orange coat was a pretty coppery color, her named was adjusted to Penny. The transition to my house was a rough one, as Penny would often cry out throughout the night. She had been rescued from a farm full of cats and she had plenty of play mates at the shelter, so my friends and I thought, maybe she's just lonely.

In the meantime, one of my co-workers was going through a tough personal situation and had to move to a new apartment that wouldn't allow pets. Bryan didn't want to give up his cat, but he was limited in options. So, knowing about Penny, Bryan begged me to please take his grey-blue cat, Simon - since Bryan felt I would provide a good home for him. I saw a "head shot" of Simon, and after careful consideration, I agreed to take him - as I hoped the gesture would be both a help to Bryan and to Penny.

That next weekend, I was happy to see Bryan pull up in my driveway and was anxious to see Penny's reaction to her new friend. But, you would not believe MY REACTION when Bryan stepped out of the car..... carrying a huge, 23 pound cat. (It seems he failed to mention how enormous Simon's body was. Small detail, I guess.)

In the end, Penny continued crying out - not because of loneliness - but because the medical records at the vet's office were incorrect. Penny had never been fixed as originally believed. No wonder she was having trouble! And, Penny and Simon had a rough "adjustment period" of getting used to each other.

Today, however, Penny and Simon live in a peaceful co-existence. Their names make me think they're just like an old English couple. Simon, with his big roly-poly body, lumbers around and eagerly awaits his next meal. Penny darts from room to room, attending to all of her toys and rearranges the house just as she wants it to be. Penny and Simon groom each other, curl up to each other, and look out for each other. Most of all, they look out for me, and they seem to know exactly when I need a little extra attention and encouragement.

For those who fear I am well on my way to "Old Maid-dom", I assure you this is not the first two steps toward hoarding an eventual 80 cats in my house. But, I am thankful for the two I do have.

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