Some time ago, Stefano and I decided that we wouldn’t adopt kittens anymore, not because we don’t like kittens, on the contrary, who can resist a KITTEN?, but because there are so many adult cats who need good homes. Getting adopted is much harder for adult cats, especially if they have any kind of physical disability or if they are elderly or…whatnot. And so we made up our minds: no more kittens!!! Our rule became: if we come across an adult kitty that nobody else wants to adopt, we’ll adopt it.
SInce then, I’ve learned a lesson: never make any rules where cats are concerned…
About two months ago, after the end of the coronavirus lockdown in Italy, a close friend of mine lost her beloved cat of 17 years. She was absolutely devastated. Since I have experienced that kind of grief, too many times!, she and I spent a long time together in that first period in particular. She’d come to visit me, and we’d both wear masks. Very odd, that! But, necessary, of course.
Her partner, also devastated, wanted to adopt another kitty, even though he knew, of course, that you can’t replace one cat with another. He thought, however, that it would lessen their grief a bit as well as help their 4-year-old kitty, who was clearly confused and sad, having been extremely attached to the cat they had lost. She was still wandering around their apartment, looking for him, eating very little. Cats mourn, too…That has been proven in studies, but I have seen it myself, with my own cats…
But my friend, whom I’m going to call Ale from now on, wasn’t ready. She said no, no more cats. Typical reaction. I’ve had it, too…
Well, soon after her “no more cats” pronouncement, Ale got a call from her cousin, who had recently become a Maine Coon breeder. On May 4, her female cat had given birth to a litter of gorgeous kittens.
And that is how Fate intervened.
Ale and her partner went to see the kittens and picked one: a male, all black with a white bib and a splash of white on his toes. Adorable! Of course, there was a waiting period before he could be separated from his mother…
While waiting for her kitten to reach the age of 2.5 months, Ale took many photos of all the kittens and their pedigree parents. Wow, I thought they were the most gorgeous creatures I’d ever set eyes on. I knew about Maine Coons but had never even seen one in the flesh. I was curious. I went online and discovered that they are great family cats, very sweet, good-natured, friendly, playful, loyal, affectionate…the list of excellent qualities goes on. I began being very curious to meet that Maine Coon family…
And then Ale told me that all the kittens had been chosen…except for one of the males.
Stefano and I began talking about adopting him. It was a joke at first, it really was!, but then we began talking about it seriously. We were bothered, however, by the fact that we’ve never paid any money for a cat, well, except for adoption expenses such as taxes. We just couldn’t wrap our heads around the thought that we would be BUYING a kitten, with a pedigree!, when there so many needy (ADULT!!!) cats in the world…Besides, what about our rule???!!!
So I came up with an idea. I figured the cousin would say “NO, no way.” In a nutshell, I told Ale that IF her cousin couldn’t find a home for the remaining kitten, we’d be happy to adopt him…at a discount, though! I told her to wait until just before the kittens were ready to go to their new homes, but Ale was so excited that she told her cousin immediately. And, to our complete surprise, the cousin agreed to give the kitten to us. And yes, at a discount! We were not expecting that!
We later found out that Ale’s cousin had turned down many full-price offers for this kitten. She hadn’t become a Maine Coon breeder for the money, since she and her husband have their own businesses and are doing well. They both simply love Maine Coons, so she wanted to make sure that the remaining kitten would find a loving family where he’d be well taken care of. When Ale told her about us, about how fabulous we are 😎 , the cousin knew we’d be right for the kitten and decided to give him to us. First, though, Ale took me to her cousin’s house to meet all of them, humans and felines. Her cousin and I really hit it off…and then I took one look at the kitten, and my heart melted. We finalized the agreement.
Incidentally, many odd circumstances surrounded this adoption. One was that all the kittens were ready to be taken to their new homes on Saturday, July 18, which is my birthDAY! (Yes, I turned 59 on July 18…And to think that when I was diagnosed with SMM in 2005, after six years of living with MGUS, I thought I’d be dead within ten years at the most, probably less. Yet here I am, 15 years later, very much alive…and now, I have a Maine Coon cat, a cat with a PEDIGREE, which I also considered an impossibility! Very amusing, I must say.). And there were other coincidences…but I will spare you the long stories.
Point is: we went to pick up our new kitten-with-a-pedigree on my birthday. The best birthday present EVER!
We named him (Harry) Potter.
Potter, for short. Of course! 😉
It turns out that we picked the right name for him. When we introduced Potter to our adult cats, there were mixed reactions. Pandora simply disappeared whenever he entered a room. Poof! Like magic. Harry Potter magic. 🙂
Pinga ignored him (“if I don’t look at him, he doesn’t exist”). Pavarotta hissed and growled at him whenever he got too close to her. Same for Prezzemolo, who kept his distance…still does a bit, actually. Peekaboo began by hissing at him and looking very cross, but he kept on running/hopping over to her and putting his nose up against hers, which startled her so much that she stopped hissing. I’m sure they will get used to him. Pixie is the bravest…She’s more curious than afraid of the little ball of fluff. So the introduction has gone and is going VERY WELL. As for Potter, he goes about his business, playing, eating like a T. Rex, without a care in the world. If he gets hissed at, occasionally, he stops in his tracks only for a nanosecond, then keeps on going…
What else can I say about Potter? He is the most adorable kitten in the world, of course! He’s funny, smart (he’s already figured out how to play all the cat games we have, and he loves cat videos, too!), loving, and, of course, devastatingly handsome.
This little furball (soon to turn into a huge cat, at the rate he’s eating!) has brought such joy, such happiness into our lives, NOT that we were unhappy before, mind you, but he’s certainly a shining star…our shining star…
So, welcome, welcome to our family, Potter!
Dear Potter: Welcome to your new home and in some way to our world who share you with Margaret. It will be a delight to follow your growing up in your new home. Happy Birthday to you and your new mother from Beatrice
Potter, you are one lucky cat!
Actually, John, we are the lucky ones! 😉