Thursday, March 19, 2020

Like Houseguests in a Russian Novel

I was reading some of my original entries regarding Raleigh, and how he came to be in the Cosy Apartment. Early on, I wrote about preparing Peachy for adoption, but somewhere along the way, the idea was discarded. He just sort of ended up staying, like the family guest in a Russian novel. By the time it was obvious that he would remain, it had also became obvious that for him to go to another home, unless it was necessary, would be a bad thing. He is so very timid, and distrusting, that it would take a very long time for him to grow accustomed to his new environment. It was a year or more before he started coming to me for petting, and even now he is quite jumpy. Add to that year the possible effect of being moved and a good portion of the remainder of his life could be spent in merely getting used to new surroundings.

Raleigh’s case illustrates how some cats end up staying in their foster-homes. Most, I imagine, are conscious decisions. Of my current beasts, Josie was an straightforward adoption, after a trial period, but Renn and Tucker were foster-cats I simply decided to keep. I liked them, and they seemed to like living with me, so the decision was an easy one. But each of these three would adapt in a reasonable amount of time to a new home. My Chubs and my big boy would, I think, suffer little from the transition, and Tucker, after a respectable mourning period, would reconcile himself to a different human, I’m sure.

Such a shift in the world would be much more difficult for Cammie. It is not just her blindness. She took an extraordinarily long time to trust me; her sightlessness has, of course, accentuated this characteristic. Hers is a third type of foster-failure: in addition to the ‘evolutionary’ adoption, such as Raleigh’s, and the decision based on mutual affection, as was the case with my others, I made a determination that Cammie would stay, not entirely based on affection but on what I considered was best for her. To be honest, I was more than a little apprehensive at keeping her, and having to deal with a cat who seemed ready to claw and bite at any sign of coercion (such as going to a veterinary or taking medicine.) But we have overcome that (really, I don’t think she was ever much of a danger), and like many arranged relationships, I would now make the decision based on my feelings toward her.

Though there may be a limited number of ways a cat comes to be a part of a family, the details are as varied as cats are themselves. Each one comes to a home for a different reason, and it may not be the reason why the cat is still in the home years later. But then, that is the nature of relationships: they change and evolve. The only thing that doesn’t change, for those of us who are cat-people, is our basic affection for our feline families.


  1. I may have to write a book where I interview people on the topic, "How I Got My Cat." I'm sure I'd get some epic responses.

    We got our Eddie when one day, a two-year-old kid--a complete stranger to us--wearing only a diaper brought him to our front door. A roofer/bank robber also figured into the whole business.

    It's a long story.

    1. I'd like to hear that story some time; Eddie must have had some adventure. And roofer/bank robber sounds an interesting occupation...

    2. We'd all like to hear that story!!!

  2. Just like their purrsonalities, every story is a bit different yet similarly special.

  3. Ahh John, I could have told you from the beginning that you'd be keeping Raleigh. On second thought, maybe I did!! :-) I always had the utmost respect for foster parents because I couldn't do it. I'd be a "foster failure" and keep every cat I fostered.

  4. One thing that makes me happy, is to sit down,
    with a mug of lemon tea and read pussy cat posts,
    l don't follow many Blogs, goodness l dare'nt..
    l'd be reading them all day, and yes, like other
    pussy~cat people, l've shed a few tears, but also
    for the happy stories to..l must confess..l do get
    quite involved with the pussy cats l follow..Their
    ALL lovely..all unique in there own ways..! :).
    Love'em ALL to bits..God bless'em..! =(^..^)=

  5. I echo Roberta. That I have the utmost respect for foster parents. It has to be hard to nurture them and have to give them up.

  6. Didn't we all know that Raleigh would stay with you? :-)

    I have the least interesting stories, since I deliberately adopted my four. Seems so long ago now that Chum, and then Annie, came home with me.

    Anyway, all your fur crew are lucky that they came to you, regardless of the means.

    BTW, I saw your comment on Julie's blog about not getting paid if you don't work. That's the situation that the federal government's emergency funding is supposed to address, though how that will play out, and how long it will take is another matter. I think of all the admin people and clerks who have to do the nitty gritty work and I feel for them, it's a time of a certain type of madness.

    Please do stay well and be safe, okay? My thoughts are with you all.

  7. They all look so content and that's a good thing! I would be such a failure at fostering. Your cats all landed in the right home-your cosy apt.
    Have a great weekend, John, stay safe.

  8. wavez two ewe all frum de land oh trout; a friend oh de food gurlz onze toll her; God always put us exactly where we are SUPPOSED to be....we think Him does sew for uz catz two ~~~ ☺☺♥♥

  9. Of course Raleigh stayed. That was always going to happen. I think your readers new that from the beginning, and maybe deep down you did too.

  10. Such a beautiful bunch of cats! They are so fortunate to have found their way to you.

  11. We are so glad you have opened your home and heart to these needy cats. Of our clowder only Timmy, Toby and Rumpy were adopted by choice. Buddy Budd (8 years at adoption) I tried for 4 months to find a home and finally took him in on New Years Eve. Fosters Mr Buttons (FIV) and Miss Fitz (social isolation) were in my foster room for 6 months when I decided to bring them into our home proper. Einstein was from a call from a workmate "I think I have a dead kitten!" who brought him to me to assess after his feral mother brought him to this persons doorstep. (Mother and 2 kittens were trapped and adopted.) Our crew needs a lot of work to keep the peace and 2 need daily medication but even though they came by happenstance I would not have it any other way. Thanks for your post