Saturday, September 3, 2016

Four Furry Towels, Three Scratching Pads, Two Cat Beds, and a Toy Mouse in a Cat Tree

 Very sadly, we had to say goodbye to two of the greatest and most entertaining cats to walk this planet. Cookie and Moby’s hobbies including snuggling with each other, finding warm laps to sit on, and snarfing chicken. Cookie was clearly the smart one- discovering a way onto the roof of the next building via the tarp on our balcony and an open window, and saving Moby from being locked out of the apartment (by meowing by the front door until we finally opened it out of curiosity to find Moby sitting on the doormat in the hall). She was certainly the more outgoing of the two and had an unfailing sense of who was allergic to or who disliked cats. We would often find in her in these people’s laps being reluctantly petted.
Moby was a bit more selective. He would hide in a cupboard or under the blankets when strangers were in the house. We would time him and about 30 seconds later he’d show up after they left to loudly demand a lap. He was basically a large brown lug with a tendency to get himself into trouble (for more on his adventures).
All in all, we were incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to serve these cats. They were originally supposed to be loaners. We offered to take care of them for 6 months or a year for a guy from Jerusalem who needed to go back to England for medical treatment. Unfortunately, he never got the treatment and passed away a year or so later. That’s how we ended up with two 7 year old Tonkinese cats. We had the joy of living with them for 6 years until both got sick with cancer and had to be put to sleep within a month of each other.
As you can imagine, this was quite a blow. Being catless is an unnatural state for us, and we all knew that we’d probably never find cats as special as Cookie and Moby again. Nevertheless, we started feeling that itch. That itch you feel when the house is empty when you come home and there’s no one there to greet you. The itch you feel when it’s too quiet even though there’s chicken on the counter. The itch you feel when you’re alone on the couch with no sleeping furry bodies.
My father saw a post on Facebook about two young cat brothers that needed a home. However, they were only a few months old and we did not want the responsibility of kittens. We have no problem with being an old age home for cats. Older cats come as trained as they’re ever going to get, and with fully developed personalities. They’re not as wild as kittens, and there are fewer surprises in store. And as with adults vs. babies, you don’t have to worry about screwing them up too much, or coming home to find all of the toilet paper shredded all over the entire house.
I just so “happened” to be cruising the animals for adoption page of Yad2, and ran into a picture of two cats sitting next to each other on the back of a couch, one a tortoiseshell and the other gray and white. I thought, well isn’t that sweet, two cats hanging out together. I read the ad, which was for one 8 year old and one 7.5 year old cat that needed a home because their caretaker was moving out of the country and couldn’t take the cats.
I was sold. It doesn’t really take much to convince me past “cat needs a home.” Or even just “cat.” I showed my father the ad since he seemed to be in the market for two furry creatures, presumably so they’d entertain each other and maybe even keep each other out of trouble. He was amenable. Next step- convince my mother. She too was amenable to contacting the people to perhaps visit the cats.
I felt kind of stupid about replying to the Yad2 ad about cats as if they were a sofa- “Hi, are your middle aged cats still available? Or has someone else swooped in and claimed them in the 24 hours since this ad was posted?” Unsurprisingly, they were still available. We agreed to go meet the cats, who were living on Emek Refaim in Jerusalem. Somehow “meeting” them morphed into bringing cat carriers, just in case. Which morphed into the guy driving the cats to us in Ma’ale Adumim with a car load of their equipment.
I just moved to an apartment in Jerusalem, and I realize now that I have only marginally more “stuff” than these two cats came with. Most of which sat ignored in my mother’s office. Two cat beds, 3 scratching pads, a bucket full of toys, 4 towels, a litter box, a box for the litter box, organic cat food, cat litter, a bunch of cat treats, a cat “tree,” and a stuffed camel. The list of their equipment is starting to sound like a Christmas song- “Four Furry Towels, Three Scratching Pads, Two Cat Beds, and a Toy Mouse in a Cat Tree.”

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