Things have been happening in the household and we’ve had some big changes lately. My orange one, Tungsten, died last month. When I hear things that sound like noises she made, I still look to her cat-bed, and for the briefest instant, wonder where she is, because the bed is empty. Kola left me, too, but to go to a new home. I haven’t had a first-hand report on the Floof King’s adventures but from what I have been told, he is doing well and…he is going to be adopted.
And now, Cammie.
My Siamese princess has been adopted. The process hasn’t been finalised yet, but there is no going back. This little animal will at last have a home from which she will never be parted. I consider it a good home for her; it’s not ideal, as there are other cats present, and Cammie would do best as an only-cat, the sole object of her human’s attention. But I believe that she will be content, and her transition will be smooth.
She will be staying with me.
I had decided some time ago that Cammie would not be going anywhere. If someone expressed a serious desire to adopt her, I would pre-empt the effort and keep her. I feel that this would be best for her. My reasoning is thus (and I elucidate it here as much to persuade myself that I’m not crazy for adopting her as to justify the action in general).
Cammie is very sensitive and very defensive. She is not what some would term a ‘difficult’ cat; I don’t believe there are such things. But neither is she an ‘easy’ cat. She does not come ‘companionship-ready’. When one adopts a cat, one does so to have a friend, a playmate, a companion. One doesn’t want to wait six months just to be able to touch one’s pet, a year to be able to have her on one’s lap. I can understand that. I was fortunate in that she spent the last two years with me as a foster-cat, rather than as ‘my’ cat. I had the time to, well, ignore her, if that’s what it took to gain her trust. I could let her be herself and evolve a relationship with her over time.
That relationship is, I believe, quite strong. She trusts me. I can pick her up. I can hold her. I can’t boast that she likes it, but she allows it. She still hisses at me when I displease her (which, honestly, seems to be more often than with any other cat, but that’s Cammie); it is just her way. Tungsten would cry out in protest, Cammie hisses. Even when she is in a bad mood (which is usually in the mornings, some afternoons, now and then in the evenings, and at night), she will tolerate my intrusion into her grumpiness.
But she can purr. She can purr loudly and lustily. She kneads. She plays. She races around after the red dot of a laser-pointer as if chasing the last mouse in a world of starving cats. She rolls and twists and somersaults to fight with a string-toy. She has her spots about the house, her safe zones and her comfort areas. She knows her world. And it’s taken her two years to get there.
I’m not vain enough to believe that my home is the only one for her. I think that there are many people sympathetic and patient enough to make this creature happy. But unless they were extraordinary, it would take another year, perhaps two, for Cammie to achieve the familiarity and comfort that she has here. And during that period, she would be the frightened tenant in a house of strangers, bewildered by another change in her world, bereft of everything she knew. And that would be over a large portion of the life remaining to a ten year old cat.
Besides, I like her.
I told her some time ago that if something happened to one of the perma-cats, I would be financially able to adopt her. She does not replace Tungsten. No one can replace that tiny beast. And Cammie has been a roommate of mine on her own merits for a couple of years. But now I can afford her. It’s too bad that we need to take economics into account when considering cats and dogs, but those are the realities of life, and not to consider them would be a disservice to the animal. Four is, I think, my limit.
In any case, I think Tungsten would be grimly amused by the fact that I could adopt Cammie only over her dead body. The orange one had a good sense of humour.
And so the Siamese princess comes into her own little kingdom. It’s just in time, as Faber’s advent has upset Cammie a bit, though it may be only the temporary loss of her favourite room that is causing her displeasure. I will be giving her extra attention while my new foster-cat is introduced to the household. And after that, she will have a lifetime with me, safe and warm, with good food and fresh water, plenty of play and affection - and, I hope, happiness.