I would like to thank everyone who sent their best wishes for my journey to Holidayland. Everybody who wants tranquility and peace of mind is welcome in that marvelous country.
As the first blog-action of my holiday, I would like to take up a suggestion made by Patty Andrews, and seconded by Kari, that I describe the history of my cats. I thought I would concentrate principally upon their origins, and how they came to live with me, as their time since has been largely covered by my blog entries. I will start with my oldest cat, Josie, who has been with me longer than any other.
My Chubs, as I call her for what once was an obvious reason, had been rescued as a kitten, in 2004. She had been found by a man in the engine block of his truck, as happens now and then in autumn and winter when cats crave the warmth of a recently run motor. This man could not remove the future Josie from her place of refuge – though I don’t think he could have tried very hard – and actually drove, with her still clinging to the engine, some distance to a shelter of which he knew. Of course Josie was in grave danger the whole time, but she survived.
Josie stayed in foster-care for about four years. She was safe and cared for, but in a very crowded feline environment. I know that she was considered for adoption at least once but would not come out from under a table to meet her prospective adopter. Eventually, though she remained in the same foster-home, her care was transferred to the Lethbridge PAW Society, from which I had adopted my first cat, Tungsten.
After about a year and a half with me, I felt that Tungsten was lonely. Well, she may have been lonely, but it wasn’t for feline company. I didn’t know this and, from among the cats available, chose to meet Josie, with the aim of introducing her to the tiny terror. In a neutral environment, this new cat purred and purred, butted her head against everything and generally made me think she was the most amiable creature since Winnie-the-Pooh. This was, of course, false.
Once she came to live with me – on Christmas Eve, 2008, I believe - the Great White revealed herself to be more reserved. She was friendly and cheerful, but did not demonstrate it nearly as much as she had when we first met, which had probably been due simply to her excitement at being out and about. Tungsten was displeased with the addition to the household, and she and Josie fought. I had no experience with integrating cats, and thought I had made a terrible mistake. But I discovered what many have before and since: cats will very often reach an accommodation with each other. Never pals, the two girls nonetheless achieved a modus vivendi.
Josie was adopted about six months after her probationary period with me, retaining her pre-adoption name. I would have changed it, I suspect, if she had not already become accustomed to me calling her by it. I read recently an early blog entry of mine which stated that my Chubs was a very nervous cat, starting at every sound. She no longer does this. She has lost weight and, in poundage, is no longer a chubs. But her health, a subject of some scrutiny on my part, remains good, so far as I and her doctors are aware. She has become a warm-hearted middle-aged cat, about fourteen now, always ready for a face-rub, or a helping of her new food, Z/D. She is my tiny-headed, alien-faced friend, a long way from our beginnings together and, I hope, an even longer way from our end.