So Here’s How It Happened

I must apologize for my last post. It left people hanging. It’s my fault. I haven’t blogged in a couple of weeks, and the new editor from WordPress was a little harder to use than I expected. I refused to switch back to the “classic” (read: “for those too old to adapt to the changing times”) editor, the post went live prematurely, and some of the changes I thought I had made weren’t saved. The post was a little confusing and incomplete. Let me fill in the blanks.

Go back in time with me 19 years, when times were simpler. Gas cost a mere $1 a gallon***, and only rich people had cell phones. My husband of two months and I went out to Carter caves in eastern KY to spend some time together before I began my last semester of college. We were early for our tour, so we took of to explore the woods. We had wandered probably a mile down the trail when we heard screaming.  It took us a moment to realize it was a cat, and probably a small one. I dug through the underbrush to try to find the source of the sound. The volume of the cries were in keeping with those of an animal with a limb caught in a trap. I found the little critter, all giant belly and eyeballs. She was not injured in any way. Her calls were a terrified version of “Marco Polo,” and once she clapped those luminous eyes on us, she wasn’t about to let us go. She followed us out of the woods, crying the whole way, begging to be carried. It was when we turned and saw this tiny kitten braving a running stream to keep up that we relented and picked her up.

Eight months ago, we said goodbye to that waif, having shared lives and home for over eighteen years. Eighteen years sometimes just aren’t enough.

My old friend

My old friend

I never thought I’d have another kitten. They’re troublesome little creatures. I can’t count the number of times I had to leave the bathtub to pull Piper off the living room drapes, and if I had a quarter for every plant our cats knocked off/turned over/peed in, I’d be a rich woman indeed. And there are plenty of adult cats who need homes.

So imagine my surprise when I felt a sudden urge to look at kittens on Craigslist. Two clicks later, I found myself looking at the most arresting face. Within minutes, I fired off an email to the rescue group’s contact person. She responded almost immediately. I asked a few more questions, and my heart sank when I got the response. The kitten was slated to make an appearance at an adoption event the following day, during hours I had to work.

There are other kittens in the world, I said to myself. And besides, it’s not a decision for me alone. I emailed my husband and included a photo of the kitten. Piper’s death hit him just as hard as it hit me, and to bring home another tiny tuxedo without consent would be wrong. I hit “send” and waited. And waited. I saw him check his email. And he was quiet for a long time. Finally, he closed the computer and left to go run some errands. I had to go to bed early, and he was still asleep when I left for work.  We never got to talk about it. Oh, well. It was never my cat. Never mine.

I thought about the kitten at work all the next day. I couldn’t get her out of my mind. Not my cat. Not mine. Never was. I tried to put the whole notion out of my head. Not my cat.

I came home that evening. She was sitting on my bed like she owned the place. My husband had gone to the adoption event just about as soon as they opened to pick her up. She’s my cat now. Always will be. She’s mine. She’s my Pixel.

Pixel. Forever mine.

Pixel. Forever Mine.



*** I can’t vouch for the veracity of that statement. I just know that when old people tell me stories, they usually reference the price of gas somewhere.

48 thoughts on “So Here’s How It Happened

  1. My cat, Shadow, just turned 17 this month. Never thought she would be around this long. The “old girl” has been with me through thick and thin, always loving me unconditionally.

  2. Such a cute kitty! Your husband is awesome, just so you know. So sweet that he just went and got her.

    I think kitties are super special, and I’m glad you have another one in your life. 😀

  3. I think cats are just the yuckiest things–mostly–but I loved your post, your husband, and both your kitties while reading this. Much happiness with your new family member 🙂

    • I’m not a true cat person. I’m more of a dog person. I fell into cats completely by accident, and it’s not so bad. The kitten is pretty spectacular. She sits down each night while Squish reads to her.

        • I need to figure out how to make a video with my camera. It’s pretty sweet. The kid can’t WAIT to read to her, and she has happily obliged. When he’s done, I get her rope toy and get her to clap her paws. We’re saps over here.

          • Making Ameslan sign for “Enough” (like saying “no more” atop a full cup of tea), ’cause if you send any more “cute” my way, am going to implode in puff of fairy dust and hummingbird shimmerings.

  4. Heather, you just mad me cry… of course, as a menopausal woman, that seems to be a regular thing lately! She is ADORABLE! She looks so much like Piper… it seems like destiny. SO very sorry about Piper; it’s one of the hardest things in the world to say goodbye to our furry family members. Our 15 year old dog, Callie, died 4 years ago and I still miss her. It’s not fair, that they don’t live as long as us. What a beautiful story of how you found each other, and thanks for sharing it. I may be all weepy now, but it’s such a feel good weepy!

    • She DOES look like Piper. More than we expected her to. We love tuxedo cats for all kinds of reasons, so that’s what we looked for, but there are times I catch my breath when I see her. Her personality is so different, though, and that pleases me. I would never want to expect her to BE Piper. She’s her own cat.

      • No doubt, it’s extra special that she looks like Piper, but IS her own little personality. It brings a new dynamic and relationship. Again, sorry for your loss, Heather, but so happy you found such a sweet little girl to fill some of the hole Piper left. xo

  5. I’m allergic yet you still made me tear up. And your husband is a muffin. A friend had a gorgeous kitten dumped at their house and when you pick this grey black fluffball up her meow is SO tiny you have to strain to hear it. I’m allergic. It’s not fair!

    Sorry for the loss of your baby…

  6. I still miss my cat Rabbit and he died 15 years ago. It would help if I could have a new furbaby but we aren’t allowed cats where we live because they’ll murder all the wild birds. Who I also love. I have 2 actual children who are kind of surrogate pets… thankfully they tolerate mummy’s constant cuddling. But they are 7 and 5 now – eventually they’ll be all “get off, mum!” And we’ll need to move house.

  7. Pingback: Unlocking Bellatrix: A Rescue Story | Becoming Cliche

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