The new cat

We adopted another cat from our local humane society just over a month ago. We lost our beloved family cat, Mojo, last Father’s Day. He was getting old, had diabetes, and was having episodes where he didn’t know where he was. So we knew it was coming, but it was still hard.

My oldest son took it the hardest. He loved that cat. In fact, Mojo used to sleep in his crib with him until I, as a frantic and emotional new mom, would run in and drag him out and then immediately look up crib covers. I never did get one of those covers, but they were intriguing.

When my husband, Joe, and I got married almost 11 years ago now, he brought along his cat he creatively named Kitty. Now as cute and cuddly as this cat may look, she is basically the devil. OK, OK, that is a bit much. She is just extremely temperamental. One minute she is lovingly rubbing her face against your feet and the next she is biting and hissing at those same feet. She growls and hisses and sometimes corners one of the kids who then cries for me to, “Come get Kitty!” My oldest, who was 3 when Joe and I got married, was trying so hard to become friends with Kitty when he was little, but it often ended in a yelling/hissing match. “I hate you Kitty!” he would scream down the hallway. Ahhh memories. But, seriously, see why the word devil came to my mind right away?

She used to despise Mojo, or at least that is the act she put on. I believe she secretly loved him like an annoying brother. When he was gone you could tell she missed him. She got extra clingy, especially to Joe, but even to me and the kids. For months I told my husband that Kitty needed a friend. So on Mother’s Day weekend I surprised the kids and took them to pick out a friend for Kitty.

I’ll be honest, I did not find an instant connection with any cat there. They were cute and all, but we needed a cat that would put up with a cranky older cat and 3 crazy loud boys. ‘Our home is a circus’ I think was how the pet adoption application put it. Our options were limited.

The humane society worker was helpful in showing us a few cats that might fit our ‘circus’ requirements. One cat did not have a tail, which made him extra cute, but he was a long hair cat and we already had one of those at home. Too much fur was already floating around our house. Plus, he kept running and hiding from the kids.

Another cat was super cute, but just sort of sat there and didn’t seem to care that we were trying to pet her. She looked as if she’d rather we leave. So we did, and we came to a cat named Heidi. She was all black, too skinny, and kept sneezing everywhere. I was beginning to think maybe we would not be adopting a new fur friend after all.

But the kids just kept asking to go look at the snotty cat again again. She climbed all over them and was purring away in between sneezes. The humane society workers assured me she had been treated for her kitty cold and that it should clear up soon.

“Are you sure this is the cat you want?” I asked the kids. “Yes! We love her!” the chimed in unison. It probably didn’t happen exactly like this, but that is how I remember it.

That night she curled up on my husband’s pillow and snored away. Because of her loud breathing from her congestion, we renamed her Vader.

Within the last month we have gone to the vet 3 times. She has been on 4 medications as well as eye drops. She was sedated to get a closer look into her nasal cavity to see what was going on since this ‘kitty cold’ was not clearing up. She was finally diagnosed with chronic rhinitis.

We chose a cat that is chronically congested, breathes loudly, and snores louder than me most nights. Oh, and because of her congestion her eyes are goopy too. We have a salve to put on her eyes for maybe forever. Her name fits her perfectly.

Even though we may have chosen a cat with issues, she has brought joy to the house. She snuggles and sleeps on the kids beds, which they adore. She plays like crazy with her fish taco toys and the laser pointer. She randomly starts running around the house in search of some invisible thing that must be chased, and she tries to climb onto any surface that looks somewhat clear. Kitty hisses at her when she walks by too closely, but the other day they were sleeping on the same couch cushion, so I’m pretty sure she secretly loves her new friend.

She may have a snotty nose and goopy eyes, but that just means she fits right into our circus-like family.

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