I was able to stand being petless for, ohhh, eight days.
I had started checking Petfinder.com after three days. Looking at dogs until none of them seemed like a comfortable fit. And to adopt a dog when mud season is at hand is to invite misery into one's life.
On the eighth day a cat face brought me up short, made me gasp, made me sigh: Ohhh.
I phoned the shelter seven minutes after they had closed for the day, left my name and phone number and the name of my vet's clinic. The next morning a young lady phoned from the shelter to tell me she had already checked with Casey at my vet's office, and all I would need to do would be to come by with my $70 adoption fee and a completed adoption application and I would "be able to take her home this afternoon."
Oh! All through the rest of the morning, excited as a six-year-old on Christmas Eve! I was in love and I hadn't even met her yet. I was barely able to concentrate at work, and left early. A dash into the supermarket for kitty litter and kibble and on to the animal shelter. I leapt from the vehicle as its last vibrations settled, grabbed the cat carrier in one hand, and ran, unburdened arm outflung, toward the building's door. And waited, dancing foot to foot, behind a couple who wanted to browse for a kitten. I had to run out to the car to retrieve the completed application, left behind in the headlong rush. At last! At last! The shelter keeper moved to a large crate behind her and asked my girl if she was ready to go home, and I had my first in-person view of my beauty. First impression: tail in extra long, nearly prehensile. As I took her from the keeper, like a monkey she wrapped that tail around my arm. She rubbed her face into my hand, let her head be tucked under my chin for a cuddle. It was hard to let her go long enough to get her into the carrier. On the way out the door, the kitten-searching couple held the door for me, peeked through the grille in the carrier.
"Isn't she beautiful?" I breathed. I had owned her for two minutes and I was already showing off her charms.
The minute she was into the house and out of the carrier, she was up and down, tiptiptiptiptiptiptip up the stairway and pumpumpumpumpumpumpum down again, into every corner, under everything that could be gotten under, examining the bookshelves for toeholds, winding that tail around lamps, happily submitting to interruptions for cuddles and then heading back out on her tour. That was last Thursday afternoon. She has been in residence for two full days only, and parts of Thursday and today. She is now able, for periods of sixty or fewer seconds, to be still enough for photographs.
I have taken care of old infirm pets for so long that I delight in her eating and drinking, her capable use of the litter box, her ability to transport herself from place to place without my help. She makes tiny noises only . . . a hardly audible prt as she runs (always, runs) to me, her face bright with greeting.
I have a furry to love and to love me again.
I have a small four-footed creature who will care if I come home at the end of the workday.
She has healed my heart.