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Posts Tagged ‘cat adoption’

“And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.”

Just for the record: while the melody is quite catchy, I do not agree with the sentiments expressed in the 1970 Stephen Stills hit.   EXCEPT when it comes to kitty love.

Since early June, I’ve traveled back East four times to help my sister and brother-in-law, Robin and Ze’ev, deal with our aging and ailing parents.  Of course I know that Roger is taking care of the kitties and all our nonhumans, but I do miss my furry lumps terribly when I’m gone.  However, I have found a new love:  my furry nephew, Avi.

Avi, Prince of Upland Road

Avi came into Robin and Ze’ev’s lives a little over a year ago as an abandoned young cat who adopted them one summer evening after a night of Israeli folk dancing.  As they approached their car, they spotted this youngster near their vehicle.  Robin called for him, and he came right up to them!  They had no choice but to oblige and take him home.  After much due diligence efforting to determine whether he had “on payroll” other human caretakers and ensuring optimum health, Avi officially adopted his new family.

Avi with Auntie Helen

Avi’s sweet temperament belies the fact that he’s quite impish and continually curious.  When he was not occasionally cuddling with his Auntie Helen on the couch, he was looking to play hide-and-go seek, chase balls or rile up his much older and irascible adopted feline sister, Tulip.  I’ve even introduced him to the joy of kitty curls—a benefit for both human and cat!—much to the chagrin of Papa Ze’ev:  with both arms evenly spaced, hold the underside of said kitty length-wise and curl up and down.  You know you’re doing well when you begin to feel the burn of your biceps and the kitty’s tail is up and a-waggin.  Good natured Avi did very well with the new addition to his exercise routine, with only an occasional mew of annoyance.

My unexpected love for my furry nephew has helped me to better cope with my trips back East.  It has also helped me realize that love has no bounds: it is not a finite resource or narrowly defined as romantic love.   Rather, it is a magic elixir, the gift of sharing yourself with others, with being in tune with all of God’s sentient creatures.  And it grows exponentially the more it is expressed and shared in this vexing yet magical experience called life.

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I know I shouldn’t.  Whenever I visit my local Petco, I am compelled to visit the cattery area, where they highlight several highly adoptable cats and kittens from local shelters.  My thought, my justification is that I go to give them love and send good adoption vibes their way.  But, inevitably, one or two catch my eye, and I ponder the possibility of adding to my brood.  Just this past week I met two lovely four-month-old striped tiger tabby ladies, just clawing and mewling for attention.  The first sister was quite the show-woman, out there in front purring and rubbing and wanting nothing but for me to have the cage opened… Her sister was a little more demure but still strongly signaled, through her eyes and friendly disposition, her desire for a forever home… 

And for a serious moment, I considered paying the $90 adoption fee for both girls and taking them home.  But then I came to my senses:  Did I really want to become the kitty caretaker well on her way to becoming a true cat lady?  Would it be fair to place these two fair damsels in a home with five males (albeit, all neutered), for them to claw their way into the cat kingdom hierarchy?  I made myself feel somewhat better with the logical thought that kittens get good homes pretty quickly—especially those highlighted at the Petco stores.   But, still, my heart was somewhat heavy as I left the store with my specialty cat food…

Yes, logically, I know I did the right thing.  A balanced and responsible decision.  Unless there is an extraordinary need (which was NOT the case here), my choosing to adopt two additional cats to be brought into a home with a brood of existing feline inhabitants would have been selfish on my part.  But I do know that both Roger and I love cats and — if you ask in a weak moment — we will say yes if another feline approaches us with a true need.  So there is always that tendency to expand…

This incident begs the larger life question of balance.  How do I truly know if I am making the right decisions in my life?  And…  how important is balance when it comes to living a creative life—a life not only replete with responsibility and obligation, but one that’s also painted with whimsy and magic?  

How do I balance my left-logical brain with my right-brained desires for expression and freedom?

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