Warning: The following content is not appropriate for those who are not fond of cats. (OMG, a double negative!).
For some inexplicable reason, I was absolutely convinced that my black cat, Velvet, would find a good home. Circumstances related to timing as well as the smell of kitty litter and cat food in a confined space precluded me from bringing him along on my Big Adventure. I consistently assured my friends that the Universe would provide a satisfactory solution. I helped the Universe along by making my vet, neighbors and Craigslist aware that a sweet, fixed, male cat in his prime was available free to a good home.
“Sweet” is code for “demands your absolute attention on his timetable” and “in his prime” means if it moves and is smaller than him, he’ll stalk and kill it.” The combination of “sweet and in his prime” translates to “he’ll bring home lizards, mice, birds, grasshoppers and other seasonal reptiles, mammals, birds and insects for your admiration and praise.” BTW, they aren’t necessarily completely dead. Yet.
On the Tuesday night before the Friday my house was scheduled to close, I looked up to the heavens and informed the Universe that I considered the timing cutting it pretty close. The email arrived early Wednesday morning.
A home with two cats and three dogs was looking for a black male cat. Was mine comfortable with other animals? (Yes.) All the animals, however, were kept indoors. Would my cat be OK remaining inside? (Never.)
Honesty fought with desperation. Honesty won. I answered the email explaining that Velvet would drive them crazy expressing his insistence (translation: ceaseless piercing meows) to be let out. I referenced the theme from “Born Free.” Velet would fit into their household only if he was allowed to continue as an indoor/outdoor cat.
I figured that was that.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I received a call that afternoon from the household’s daughter asking for more information about Velvet. I reiterated the requirement that he be allowed outdoors. She explained that one cat was old, with no interest in leaving the house. The other cat was younger and followed the older cat’s example. Velvet would be permitted outdoor access as long as he returned at night. Feed him and he will come, I said.
So the mother and daughter visited that evening. It turns out the daughter had her heart set on a black cat because she learned they were always the last to be adopted. The mother and daughter had been going to animal shelters to see black cats who were always shy and skittish. The animal shelter people cautioned against bringing home a fearful cat because it would not do well in a household with other animals. Was Velvet friendly?
A few words about Velvet’s personality. I considered him a social detriment when my Ladies’ Poker Group was over because he approached each and every woman to clearly demonstrate that he never, ever received any attention or affection from me. His actions proved that I never petted him, I never rubbed his tummy, I never picked him up, I never held him. He was starved for affection because his owner didn’t love him. In other words, he cried wolf.
When daughter and mother arrived, Velvet went into his usual routine. Within minutes he was in the cat carrier and headed out the door.
I assured him there was a whole new world out there, a world beyond living with an old lady. I also thought to ask about their circumstances. Turns out they lived on several acres with avocado and orange trees. Did I think Velvet would be able to catch some rats?
The Universe provides.