On this day, five years ago, I brought two orangey furry guys home with me. While we of course celebrate their birthdays each year, I also like to commemorate Kitty Anniversary Day.
If the preceding paragraph isn’t explanation enough, you should go into this blog post knowing that whatever kind of crazy cat person you think you are, or have met in the past, my crazy catness is well off those charts. I am happier in the company of my boys than I am in that of almost every other human I know. They are two bright spots in my existence. They’re family. If you’re scoffing already, get out now. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Five years ago I was looking for two boy kittens to bring home. One day, I visited the Buffalo Animal Shelter. It must have been fate because I took one step into the cat room and saw them there, the two best-looking cats in the world, brother kitties, waiting there for me.
I quickly found a volunteer and said I wanted to meet them, but I already knew we were meant to be together. This meeting was just a chance to spend time with them right away. They took me to the little room used for meet & greets and then brought the cats in. One of them (George) ran onto a kitty tower, looking a little afraid, distracted by newfound freedom and toys. The other sauntered toward me, confident and calm. He sniffed my finger then allowed me to pet him, and that was how I met Fred.
I went to finalize their adoption and learned that the shelter only accepted cash. The nearest ATM was a mile or so away. I left, begging them to keep those kitties for me until I came back — I was worried that someone else would swoop in at just that moment, see the two most wonderful cats in the world, and steal them away. Excited, I hurried back, and we signed all the forms, and they were mine. One last goodbye and they were whisked off for their snip-snip surgeries, and the next day they were ready to come home.
They were a little scared in the vet’s office, I remember, and cried a little in the carrier (back then, they both fit in — and preferred to be in — one). But I took them out to the car and the smooth noise of the engine and the last dregs of anesthesia calmed them down; first they were purring, and then fast asleep. It was snowing lightly all our ride home. We have been together since, and I love their company. They were there through long lonely times between visits with Dave, two surgeries and then a scary big move to Long Island. They’ve done wonderfully adjusting to their new home and I hope we make them happy here.
Some things have changed over time: they used to cuddle with each other, always, like two peas in a pod. Now, they will only occasionally sit near each other, and there is sometimes a skirmish of swiping and chasing, like two bickering teenagers, instead. They’re bigger, of course, and very different from each other. But still each perfect.
Georgie is a sweet, sweet boy, the prettiest cat I’ve ever seen (I’m biased, I know), and full of affection. He spends most days on my lap and sometimes will cuddle between us in bed at night — though he’s often too restless for that. He purrs and kneads and cries little kittenish cries for attention. He’s never grown up and remains a baby, and I know he thinks I’m his mother. He can be incredibly cute and loving, and he can also be a bad bad kitty, knocking things over just for attention, eating everything in sight, and generally wreaking havoc. He never learned his own name and doesn’t understand a thing I say to him, whether whispered or yelled — I actually came to the conclusion that he likes when I yell (“mommy making the shouty noise yay!”) and stopped bothering. He thinks squirt guns are a fun at-home water park activity and he’s climbed in the shower with me on more than one occasion. He’s a big doofus but he’s clever; he loves playing with Dave more than anything, and I love him in spite of, or maybe sometimes because of, his badness.
Fred is a more serious cat. He hates to be picked up and never sits on my lap, but he’ll climb onto me or Dave while we’re laying down, hunkering down on your chest with his face an inch from yours. And he climbs into bed with me every night, sometimes for hours at a time, his head on my pillow, purring, wrapped up in my arms. He comes when I call him and he understands what I say to him. Sometimes he purrs just when I look at him. His love is unrelenting, steadfast, and uncompromising. He takes care of me when I need him and I protect him from all his fears: grocery bags, strange neighborhood kitties, and the world outside his four walls. We have a special bond. No one in the world loves me like Freddie does, and no one but Freddie ever could.
So happy anniversary, Fred and George, of the day you came into my life. Thank you for choosing me. Belly rubs of celebration tonight.