I don’t subscribe to the notion that when a pet dies, you should get another pet immediately. When Prem died and the wife said she wanted to get a kitten, I cringed. I know she’d wanted a kitten for some time and I knew Prem was getting older, but I had decided not to replace Prem with another pet when she passed. I don’t want to lose another pet to whom I am close and the thought of that is heart wrenching.
We went to the Grand Cane Louisiana animal control where someone had brought in a box of 21 kittens that had been dumped in a wet box on a woman’s lawn. On the way there, we discussed names for the prospective kitten. He was supposed to be black so the wife was talking about “black cat names”. Initially she wanted to name him Crowley after a character in the novel Good Omens. The character Crowley was an angel who “…did not so much fall as vaguely saunter downwards…” and who liked the Earth and humanity so much he wanted to help the angel Azyriphale avert the apocalypse despite working for the other team. As we discussed names for our little “house demon”, several literary creatures’ names were evoked and our GPS lead us right to the middle of the woods where, had it been night, I am sure we would have met our untimely end. We turned around and found the highway and agreed a more reasonable and name less “tinged with eternal darkness” was in order.
When we arrived, all but one of the kittens had been adopted out and that one was tiny, under nourished, and scraggly. Billed as a “black” cat, this little ball of fluff was not, in fact, black. He is a smoke or ghost tabby. That is to say, he has a gray undercoat and black longer coat so when he grows up, he’s going to shimmer as he moves. Adult smoke tabby cats have the appearance of smoke hence the name. He down right begged, nay, demanded to be taken home. After a shot for worms and a chip implant during which he made not a peep, we were on the way to the vet for a preliminary check up.
While at the vet, he played. He ran around the counter, typed on their computer, and ate a snack. His check up went well, he got a flea treatment, and he got his first two toys, a pair of mice with feather tails. Aside from a touch of a digestive ailment he’d been exposed to in his gigantic mix-and-match litter for which he received medication, he was given a clean-ish bill of health. He was too young to treat for his tapeworm.
At home we introduced him to the dogs. The plan was for Poe to fill a political void left by Prem. Prem was the diplomat who brought the two halves of the cat community together, the library dwelling Maurice and the the Kitchen cat Louise. Both of them hate the dogs and avoid interaction with them. Prem bridged that gap and gave both of them companionship as she was not afraid of the dogs and traveled freely back and forth. Poe’s job, will be to do the same thing…. to travel unfazed between cat local while the dogs present him no obstacle. Well, the plan is working like gangbusters. Our younger lab, Lucy, has adopted Poe as her puppy.
We are still hopping Poe will connect with the other two cats. He’s met them and seems indifferent but as he grows, gets stronger, and becomes more independent, we are sure he will bring the house together as Prem did. She can never be replaced, but Poe is a worthy successor.