There is no doubt about my
obsession devotion to Ella, as is evidenced here, here, here and every single moment of my existence since she melted in my arms that fateful day in 2003. But, you may not all know there’s been another kitty in my life for the last 3 1/2 years. I’ve mentioned him from time to time, and he even makes an appearance on my About page as one of the “neighborhood cats.” That’s right, Boomer.
Eric and I are total softies and make it a habit to feed any and all cats that grace our doorstep. You may call us suckers. You would be correct. But at least we are self-aware suckers. Anyway, Boomer is a fixture in our neighborhood. People several blocks in each direction know and feed him. However, he seems to have taken a particular liking to Eric and I – probably because we don’t just feed him, but give him catnip, a kitty bed, and just generally hang out with him.
Boomer’s a cool cat. The best way I can describe him is as your typical “dude.” He’s laid back and pretty much just wants to hang out by your side. Nothing seems to phase him, not even an earthquake.
He’s the alpha cat in the ‘hood but uses his powers for good, teaching the little ones the ways of the streets. When Gray Kitty showed up, it was with Boomer, and the two seemed inseparable for years. Until recently. A few months ago, we started noticing Boomer moving a little differently and wanting to come in from the cold more often (as in, daily). He’s starting to show his age, and seems ready to “settle down” while his younger counterparts continue on their adventures.
Little dude just wants a home.
So, like the suckers we are, we started letting him in for “just a few hours.” This quickly escalated to every evening, then every morning, lunchtime, evening, weekend – pretty much whenever we were home (and awake). If we don’t open the door right away, he’ll meow, throw his body against it, even reach up and jiggle the handle. Seriously. And once in, he greets (or admonishes) us with a stream of meows, jumps onto the couch and sprawls out across us, promptly falling asleep and purring louder than a jet engine.
It’s pretty adorable.
But … Ella. Ella is a delicate little flower who runs the world and hates all other animals. I mean hates. She is and always has been an only child. I don’t know if her social prejudices are due to her time in the shelter or just because homegirl don’t need no friends.
Whatever the reason, Ella will hiss until she hyperventilates at the sight of another cat. Well, almost any other cat. Now, I’m not saying she loves Boomer, or even really likes him, but for the most part she does ignore him, which is pretty much a miracle.
Which brings us to … halp us what should we do????????? On the one hand, Ella is mah baby and I would never in a million billion years do anything that would make her unhappy, scared, sad, or uncomfortable. I anguish over the idea that she may feel replaced or displaced or misplaced by bringing another cat into the house. She is my number one priority in this situation, and I don’t care how cute Boomer is, Ella takes top billing ever time. Not to mention she is an expensive and time-consuming pet with her allergies and asthma and general vet-going-ness. And she’s (gulp) old-ish. Can a 10 year old cat handle such a change? Do we really want to take on the responsibility of another animal, even if Ella would accept him? What about when we go out of town. I know my Aunt Karen reads this blog, and right now she is saying, “don’t you dare adopt another cat, one cat to sit on while you take trips is quite enough, young lady!”
One the other hand, Boomer is such a sweet old guy who just wants to be loved and dammit he breaks my heart! He’s been a part of our daily lives for almost four years, and feels very much like our cat already. Plus, maybe Ella would actually like having the company during our long work hours? It’s pretty amazing she’s taken to ignoring him and not completely losing her shit whenever he’s around. I think if we were to ever introduce another feline to the mix it would have to be Boomer, who is older and male and chill and can balance her diva-ness. So, maybe? It could work?
I wish I could just ask Ella how she feels about the whole thing. Unfortunately, she doesn’t want to discuss it.
Although she is keeping her eye on things.
Regardless, we need to figure it out soon because we are due for a major cold snap and pretty soon those big gold eyes are going to torture us. Of course, it may not be totally in our control. We recently found out that our neighbor is moving at the end of the month and is also thinking about adopting Boomer. Could this be the perfect answer? Or would we lose our chance to have a second cat because no way in hell is Ella
accepting ignoring another cat.
PS: since we haven’t taken him in for testing and vaccinations, we are very careful not to let him and Ella touch and to wash our hands after we touch him. IF we were to adopt him, we would do all of the necessary blood work and shots first!
PPS: also, I realize there are “real” problems in this world to agonize over. In fact, I myself have some actual problems more serious than this to worry about. But, those things don’t make a good blog post, and also I’m a cat freak if you can’t tell so WHATEVER HELP ME DECIDE WHAT TO DO!