Day 5. Simply Irresistible

When I first met Bartlett I already had two cats:

Zazu, a female tabby with major attitude.  A true diva, she was a total slut.  The minute she heard a man’s voice, even if it was the cable guy, she came tearing down to the front door from wherever she was in the house and literally draped herself around his legs, refusing to leave him alone until he picked her up and gave her a hug.  And Sundance, a very handsome ginger male who looks sweet and shy, but isn’t happy unless he’s getting into trouble.  He’s my juvenile delinquent.

Both were rescued.  Zazu and two siblings were found on the porch of a chinese restaurant by a Vet.  A friend of mine, who knew I was longing for a cat to replace one I’d recently lost after 18 years, called to let me know that she’d taken one, and there were two left.  I actually wanted both, so I hightailed it to the Vet’s office, but someone had beaten me to it.  Just one was left — and I immediately fell in love with her.  When I arrived she was fast asleep, laying on top of a dog, who was, himself, dozing in the waiting room.  Three months after I had Zazu I got a phone call from a cat rescue I’d registered with.

They had a litter of ginger kittens and there was a male reserved for me.  Only days old at the time, I was told I’d have to wait two months until he was old enough to be weaned away from his mom — a feral cat who would be spayed before being allowed to roam free again.  She was too old and too set in her ways to ever live in captivity, but they made sure she was healthy and unable to get pregnant before releasing her.

It never occurred to me that Zazu would be upset about having a companion.  After all, she’d lived at a Vet’s for a month — and there she had everything from birds to fish to dogs and other cats for roomies.  It never dawned on me that she was thrilled to leave the menagerie behind her, and loved having me — and my 3-story Victorian semi to herself.  But I was about to find out.

The first thing Zazu did when she saw Sundance was hiss at him; and glare at me.  Little as he was, though, he showed tremendous bravery.  He hissed right back.  She backed off.  Then she circled the carrying case he was still in.  He stuck one of his paws through the wire door.  She stared at it for a minute and then jumped on top of the case and laid down, with her head facing the back  and her tail dangling down, in front.  Sundance gave her tail a swat.  Zazu turned around — still on top of the case — so this time her head was hanging over the front.  They stared at each other for a minute or two, neither one doing anything.

It was a standoff.  And it lasted about three minutes.

At which point Zazu jumped down, walked over, pressed her nose up against the wire door and waited for Sundance to do the same, on the inside.  At that point I figured it was safe to open the door, which I did.  I guess her maternal instincts started to kick in, because the next thing I knew, she was grooming him.  And that was that.  He was her new toy.

So let’s fast forward about three months.  It’s a Friday afternoon, about 2:00 p.m.  I’m at the office, when I get an email from the same friend who’d told me about Zazu.  It was short and to the point:  “Three kittens were found in a dumpster by a man who works at a furniture factory.  He can’t keep them.  You must help me find homes for them.”  End of email.  And she had attached a photo of one of the babies.  Do I need to tell you which one it was??

I didn’t think so.  Anyway, I didn’t want another cat.  I was happy with the two I had.  We were into a very nice routine.  And, to be honest, I was afraid of Zazu’s reaction.  While she had accepted Sundance with all the grace she was capable of, she never missed an opportunity to let me know I hadn’t done her any favours.  So I replied frankly to the email, but did say I’d try to help find some homes.

Immediately, I forwarded the email to everyone I knew.  But I couldn’t stop staring at the picture of this teensy little cat (he was only about 4 or 5 weeks old), with the HUGE ears (they were full-sized, I swear) and the interesting markings.  He was a character cat; who, because of his size versus the size of his ears, looked like a Disney version of a mouse!!

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was doomed.


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