Ahhhhh, that awful empty space in my heart is filling with warm, furry bliss..........a cat who will cuddle, play with my toes through the blanket, rub her chin against my hand,let me pet her incessantly and even purr a little.......what a difference a cat makes.
I went to meet Pauline The Cat as nervous as I used to be when going out on a blind date. Go ahead, you can laugh at me.....I don't care, that is how I am.......I am not a hugely needy person, but God knows, I have learned that I need a cat.
Actually the excursion was a double pleasure because Laurel, my friend and Vet, had brought Winnie in to show off her new slimmer figure and I got to hug her and murmur sweet nothings in her ear. It was sort of bittersweet because Winnie hardly remembered me and preferred the safety of Laurel's arms to mine, but that was OK.....I was happy that she had bonded so well with Laurel.
Next Laurel reappeared clutching a precious tabby.....a true Kliban cat, black and grey stripes and an utterly beautiful face with white hightlights. No messing around, plunk, right into my lap where Paulie settled and proceeded to alternate between peering up at me and hiding her face in the crook of my elbow.......totally like a cat. Love at first sight for me...but would it be unrequited??? I would have to wait and see.
Home we went whereupon I let her into my bedroom (equipped with food, water and kitty box, kitty bed and a safe place to hide behind the bed, and, of course, that is where she headed and remained for the rest of the day, and, being a wise old cat lady, that is where I left her undisturbed. I went to bed about 11 and was lying there trying to get drowsy when, wonder of wonders, I felt something (?) jump up on the bed near my feet. There ensued about 15 minutes of having her play with my toes (one of my talents is wiggling my toes enticingly under the quilt) and then she bravely ventured withing head petting, tickling, neck scratching distance and we spent about an hour or two at this wonderful pastime of cuddling on top of and under the covers.
Some of you may think I am a fickle wretch to be so willing and able to love a new critter so soon after losing my precious Gussie, but I think Gus would approve.........I can no longer do anything for Gussie, this is a cat who needs me and, heaven knows, I need her, so it is all a good thing.
We are now into day 2 and she ate a bit this morning.......I am concerned about her eating because she had been starving herself to death when Laurel rescued her and saved her by putting in a feeding tube. She is now a big solid almost chubby fur ball, but, being a typical Jewish mother, all I can do is shriek, plead and murmur, "Eat, Eat, meinkindt." (much hand wringing accompanies this scene). I am forbidden to offer her tuna, chicken, grilled liver or baked ham and must suffer to sticking with the special kibble Laurel sent home with me, but I am hoping that some day that may change. Meanwhile we will schlepp along as is and hope for the best.
Right now Paulie is exploring the entire house......I have opened the bedroom door and am letting her have the run of the place and, oy, so much sniffing and creeping around with nose to the ground, sly opening of every cupboard door, a bit ofjumping up here and there to check out the coziness of the couch and a great deal of rubbing against Ann's ankles which pleases me because it tells me she is already feeling safe and unthreatened. Sigh. I am so grateful that this seems to be working out for both our sakes.
Needless to say.......there will be more on this subject, but for now, this little update will have to do.
Thank you all for your sweet sympathy and good wishes.....it meant a lot to me to know you were with me in spirit. I promise to take some photos soon.
The Cat Lady of Califa St.
The New Yorker covers: August 18, 1975
8 hours ago