Bringing home a new cat for mom

Published 10:45 am Friday, June 1, 2012

Well, of course we had to get her a new cat.
My mother, I mean.
Having lost the love of her life, Chloe, a 12 year old tabby, on Mother’s Day, my mother stoutly proclaimed that, at 90, she was too old to have another cat.
“It wouldn’t be fair to the cat,” she explained over the phone. “What if it became very attached to me and then I died?”
“Paul and I would take it,” I replied. “It’s not like we don’t have room on the farm.”
“Well, that’s a thought…” she mused.
My brother suggested giving her a kitten but that, I feared, was a bit too much. Kittens, I can tell you from experience, are far more interested in batting the end of your nose with a paw at two in the morning, rather than sleeping, and any movement beneath the sheets is interpreted as the scampering of mice which must be attacked, repeatedly. No, a nice, older, cat that would like to apply for position of chief lap-sitter was far more appropriate.
After a routine doctor’s visit, we swung by the local shelter in Columbus, where my mother entered a small room with a concrete floor, an enormous window, and chock full of cats. Easing herself tentatively into the sole, plastic, chair, Mom became an object of immediate interest to the 15 cats that had been hitherto sleeping, grooming or wrestling with each other.
“It’s like a feline version of ‘The Birds,’” I said under my breath, watching them descend upon her, chewing on the tassel of her loafers, leaping into her lap, arching beneath her stroking fingers and winding around her legs.
“This one seems to like me,” she said, motioning to a glossy black wise guy, lying on his back and attacking her pocketbook. “Oh, but this one just meowed at me!” she added, scratching the chin of a blonger-haired tuxedo.

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