I've spent a good deal of time around shelter cats, and I've always worked under a strong, guiding principle when it comes to homeless felines. You could say I upheld a Cat Commandment:
Thou shall not adopt a cat that anyone else would want.
This guiding principle led me to Alpha, a cat who had been living in a cage for two years. She was homely and skinny, but she was so grateful to be let out of that cage that she was a magnificent companion for 13 years. May she have found the Summerlands.
This guiding principle led me to give a home to Beta, a cat who was tamed by The Spare after birthing a litter of kittens in our back yard. I took the kittens to the no-kill (have you paid those surrender fees?) and kept Beta, because she didn't have a knockout personality and was one of the plainest cats I'd ever seen in my life.
I fostered over 70 kittens over a course of six or seven years. I never adopted a single one.
Therefore, you would think I could volunteer at Petco and not throw all good cat sense to the wind in a matter of two weeks.
I caved. I totally caved. The only thing I can say about my seducer is that he's not a kitten.
He's a giant orange longhair with a magnificent plume for a tail, huge and expressive yellow eyes, and a "yes, I'll flop and be petted" attitude about life. In short, the kind of cat that spends a week or less in the shelter, which he has been there a week, because I was there when he came in.
Beta is 11 years old and a cancer survivor. I swore I would not get another cat as long as Beta was alive. Who needs more than one cat? Besides, Beta doesn't play well with others.
But never mind! I have lived long, I have labored in the cat trenches, and by golly, this time I'm going for the good-looking Tybalt of strays who would turn the eye of anyone who ever expressed even a minimal interest in felines! Give me that handsome cat! It's my turn to have the gorgeous one!
And so, having abandoned all of my vows regarding homeless cats, I will be bringing home, on Labor Day, a stupendously handsome cat. His name is Blue.
Freya, you who so love the feline species, please help Beta to adjust to having a new cat in the house. Blue is twice her size, but today he winced when a kitten sniffed him.
Cat Commandment broken. I suppose I will some day go to a Hades where there are only dogs.