NextCat: the prequel
It has been nearly the year of freedom which I promised the Man. He has graciously given me early release for insane behavior. Time to pick up the harness and leash and tie myself down to a cat once more. NextCat(tm): we’ve been talking about NextCat for ages. I’m hoping for someone affectionate, dainty, clever. The Man says s/he will be antisocial, clumsy, and stoopid. And I will love NextCat because of and despite everything s/he is. A neighbor knows of several piles of gattini. It doesn’t have quite the same ominous ring, but wise ones know to beware the dangers: “Thar be kittens.”
Before s/he is real and here and getting into everything and shattering my illusions (along with stemware and stuff you’d never think of), I have a few fantasies. NextCat is going to make the passeggiata with me in her own special cat pram. We will scandalize the grandmothers, desperate for bambini in a country with one of the lowest birthrates in Europe. NextCat will ride on my shoulder, travel by train, and stay in hotels. NextCat will learn to use toilets.
The Man will be endlessly amused as I attempt, and fail, to teach NextCat any and all of these things. He will be amused right up to the point where a big, fat, uncoordinated tail clears his desk of all delicate electronics. I am sanguine with the fact that when she is entertaining and sweet, she may be our cat, but when she is the other thing, she most definitely will be my cat.
I still miss my Two Cats. We were together for so long, their whole long lives, and through so much. What little troopers they were. My one-woman cat, cantankerous Mango, and my sweet little man, Wordsworth. No one could replace them, and I’d never want to try. But there are always the poor homeless, needing what I can provide. So, it is time to start it all over again, to give my heart to a little ball of fluff and pointy bits. Weak as I am for marmalade tabbies, I’ve had my femmina rossa. So even though there is one of those rare beauties available, I’m drawn towards someone different, someone who won’t make me see ghosts, maybe a nice black cat just in time for Halloween.
In one week, I will accompany Federica to meet some of the kittens she knows. Right now, she knows at least a baker’s dozen looking for their forever homes. I would love to have a gamboling flock, but now isn’t the time. I’ve prayed so fervently to find NextCat and to know, without doubt, that this is the right cat. It is my intention to sit down amongst those mewlers and have one, just one, crawl up into my lap, and find love at first sight. Knowing that there are always more homeless cats and hoping to bond especially well with NextCat, it is my intention to walk out of that house next Wednesday with only one. We’ll see. Once she is settled, in a year or so, perhaps she’ll like to train up CatAfterThat. . .