Remember the song “Goin’ to the Chapel and I’m Gonna Get Married”? Well…
♪ Went to the shelter and I got me a kitty♫ ♪
♪ Went to the shelter and I got me a kitty♫ ♪.
♪ Gee, I really love him and he’s my new kitty …♪
♫ Went to the shelter of love…♪ ♫
For weeks I had been lonely. For weeks I waffled about getting a new kitty. For weeks I felt disloyal for even thinking about getting another kitty. But I was so terribly lonely! And it turned out that everyone on Ravelry was right. They said I would know when it was the right time and I did. I had a list of about six kitties that I wanted to see at the shelter across the river, Southwest Washington Humane Society. When I drove up, I was really impressed; the shelter was almost brand new and absolutely beautiful.
When I walked in, I told the very nice wahine at the front desk that I wanted to see the kitties, and she said I could just walk into the room to my left and take a look at everyone who was there. The calico that I wanted to see first was in a quarantine area, so the staff lady had told me to check out the others on my list first while they got the calico ready, so that’s what I did.I checked my list; Mr Mustache Kitty was on it first and there were several others, including the gorgeous dilute calico girl I showed you last time. For some reason, I wanted to see Stash (that was his shelter name) first, which is interesting, considering that I really wanted a calico.
I don’t even know why I was drawn to him. There was just something about his face. I wasn’t looking for a male or black and white cat, yet seeing him online I just kind of knew. But still wasn’t sure. I passed by Aurora’s kennel (the kitty I showed you last time); she was very long haired and I planned to have some get acquainted time with her, too, but I saw Stash first. (You know, “Stash” for “mustache”, yet to a knitter, stash means yarn! And fiber!
I told the nice volunteer that I wanted to go into the get acquainted room with Stash, and she told me that only certain volunteers were allowed to get cats out of their kennels (she was still really new there), so she took me back out front where they paged another volunteer. When he came out to take me back to get Stash, I saw an adorable calico-y kitten in a kennel, and asked the volunteer, “Who’s that?” He told me her name was Cinnamon and she’d just gotten there that day. She wasn’t even on the website yet.
We continued on to Stash’s kennel, and then we went into the get acquainted room. He let me hold him, and was very cuddly. And it was crazy! I knew I wanted him. He was a year and a half old, and though I still couldn’t figure out why I knew he was mine, I decided to bring him home that day.
So the volunteer took Stash’s (I knew I’d change his name) tag from the kennel and we headed up to the front. Then I told him I wanted to see Cinnamon, too. So back we headed into the kitty area, and he brought her to me. She was a love, with a fairly loud purr, though not nearly as loud as ʻUkulele’s.
But something caught my eye and I absolutely knew that I had to take her too. (Keep in mind that I went there to get ONE kitty. 1. Uno. ʻEkahi. ONE. ONE. ONE!!!!) So why did I need this one too? Because on her back leg, exactly like ʻUkie had, Cinnamon had a big black spot in exactly the same place. And she was really cuddly. There was no question. I had to have her.
Back when I was doing wildlife (birds) rescue volunteer work, a good friend of mine told me, after I’d lost a kitty very dear to me, that when we lose somebody special like that, the next one we’re supposed to have will have something that’s exactly like the one we just lost. And she was so right! When we lost our first Australian Shepherd, the next one we chose crossed her front legs exactly as Bonnie had done, for instance.)
But the problem was that I suspected that Cinnamon had Feline Respiratory Disease. She was sneezing a bit, and I also couldn’t bring her home till she got spayed, which would be the following Tuesday. So I had to leave her there.
I never got to see the other kitties on my list! I never got acquainted with Aurora, never did see the calico on quarantine, never looked at any other kitties! I ended up just leaving with Stash, who came home with me. He was incredibly mellow, quiet all the way home, not a single plaintive meow out of him. He just stared out with those ginormous eyes of his.
When we got home, I let him out into the bedroom, and he immediately hid under the bed, which I kind of expected him too. I figured he’d be under there for several days, maybe sneaking out to get his food and water and use the litter box. But after an hour, he came right out and never went back to hide again.
It just felt right, and it seemed like ‘Ukulele was telling me was good to get him. Like, I didn’t have to have a kitty that was a calico like her, and maybe it’d be better not to for now.
Anyway, here is the boy on his first day home, lying down next to one of my knitting patterns. Look at that face!
I was still grieving ‘Ukulele, I still missed her and still cried over losing her. But I thought this boy would help. It still felt bittersweet. He was a year and a half old, microchipped, and got a free vet check.
Stash was mine. He was healthy, quiet, calm, and seemed to be happy to be home. The volunteer told me that one of the reasons Stash didn’t get adopted right away was because up in his high kennel, most people could only see the black on him, and sadly, black cats are really hard to adopt. Lucky for me, yeah?
This is the face that greeted me the next morning:
Now all I had to do was to come up with a name for him.