This post originally appeared on our Tumblr, where we frequently answer reader questions and sometimes post random unrelated things. This is one of those random posts, but it got quite a lot of positive feedback—so we’re posting it in full again here on the blog.
I just got a cat.
When New Cat is named and fully acclimated, she will def join the dogs, guinea pigs, and chickens as a Tumblr/Instagram regular.
But I have… mixed feelings.
My last cat died six months ago. We didn’t get another cat to replace her—c’est impossible, she was irreplaceable. Rather, we did it because we know two things:
- A house that’s had a cat in it will always feel empty without a cat in it.
- We have money and space and time and patience and love, and shelters are full of cats who don’t got none of those things.
Still, I’ve been thinking about my last cat Clementine a lot. And I think it would be healing to me to share a few photos of her.
A slow start
This was Clementine. We adopted her when she was 14 years old. That’s old. If she were human, she would’ve been in her early seventies. Her previous owner had moved into a nursing home. She was lucky to land in one of the few no-kill shelters with enough resources to accept a cat of her age. Many don’t.
Clementine was terribly stressed out being in the shelter after so many years in one person’s home. Her fur started to fall out, and she refused to eat. She hid all the time and hissed if approached. No one applied for her.
We saw a lot of great cats at the shelter. For some reason, she was the one my partner and I both couldn’t stop thinking about. We talked about it, and decided we had the patience, emotional maturity, and financial stability needed to address the realities of adopting a shy geriatric cat. So we took her home and released her under the bed.
“We might never see this cat,” I told my partner. “We might just know she’s here by periodic dips in the level of the food bowl.”
“I’d be okay with that,” he said.
“I would too.”