My secret is out: I am a cat lady. I love cats of all sizes, appearances and temperaments. In fact, on my daily walks around my neighborhood, it’s not unusual for them to peek out of driveways and bushes, to come rub against my ankles, purr and meow.
No surprise that one of my favorite books as a kid was 27 Cats Next Door by Anita Fleagles, about a crazy old cat lady. And yes, there are those who predict this to be my future!
In any case, this past fall has been particularly heartfelt for me for in addition to my 3 year-old Balinese, Rascal (named after the cocky football player in Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress), the long-haired feral cat I call Ivy who shows up for meals, and the 2 year-old half-Bengal next door who comes in my cat door to play, snack and nap at will, we have a new cat: 4 month-old Ruby.
My friend and I found Ruby and her brother, Ranger, as tiny motherless kittens, immediately after the Station Fire which raged along the perimeter of our neighborhood, and took them in. We cared for them together, doing everything we could to bring them to the pictures of health.
When they were about three months old, with the blessing of our vet, we did a trial separation--Ruby with us, Ranger with them--agreeing if either kitten “freaked out,” we’d bring them back together permanently. But we were amazed by how quickly and how well they both adjusted to their new lives and families.
The true surprise, however, was how Rascal took to Ruby. He adores her, acts like an uncle, showing her how to climb trees and break into the cat food cabinet, playing with her, cleaning her, cuddling her, sleeping beside her...it’s astonishing, considering for the first three years of his life, he was a very spoiled “only child.” How was I to know, while saving her life, I was enriching his?
So in celebration of my love for cats on this Our Favorite Things Week, I am going to give away a truly wonderful young adult novel that I recently read by Wendy Mass that featured a kitten, Mango, as one of its main characters: A Mango Shaped Space.
All you need to do to enter is put the name of your pet in a comment. Or, if you don’t have a pet, you can use a friend’s pet’s name. Of course, more detailed comments about your own pets are always welcome, too! Enter as often as you’d like. The winner’s name will be chosen randomly and announced in my blog next Monday (when we talk about our new Bee)...
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