Sunday, December 22, 2013

Life With Baba

Scout can never be replaced. He was quite simply the world's greatest cat and 19 years with him was just not enough.
A couple weeks after our cat Scout passed away James and I both admitted more than once we thought for a moment we'd seen him. James said he missed a cat around the house. Days went by.
"Maybe we should just go look," James said one afternoon. I could see his screen showing a search of kittens available for adoption. "We can just see what's there," he continued and I think he actually believed it. We stopped to make sure the cat carrier was in the car before we left. I knew.
At home James spied a kitten the humane society was calling Aiden. We walked in and the little gangly orange brown youngster was right up front. Minutes later we were in the "meeting room" with Aiden. A little orange blur dashed from side to side, jumped up to a high shelf and declared the cat tube the most fun he had ever had. James played and I watched. Maybe I wasn't ready. This cat wasn't my Scoutty. He was something different altogether and I didn't know how to feel. I looked at him and felt nothing while James fell more and more in love.
How would this cat -- barely more than a kitten, fit into our family of three dogs? James praised his confidence and independent streak. He was no scaredy cat. I veered and cuddled a pair of clingy tortoise colored kittens. They felt sympathetic and needy. James played with Aiden's tail and laughed happily.
"Can we take him home, Honey?" A variety of sensible reasons why he was the cat for us followed. It didn't matter. There was only one answer. I went off to do the paperwork and make a donation to the humane society while James got to know our dogs' new baby brother.
After about 3 days commandeering our small bathroom and making supervised strolls through the house Aiden was ready to run with the big dogs. We tried out names (Radley -- keeping up the To Kill A Mockingbird theme -- Winston, Buster, Henry and many more) while a little orange streak tested his boundaries.
We're back to having an orange cat in the bed. Not quite cuddled up to the dogs but inching ever closer. I was out of town and James declared our new kitten, "Riley." As in Life Of I thought -- appropriate. He started as Riley. I heard James call him O'Riley a couple times and then like the Who song almost everyone (including me) but James thinks is called teenage wasteland there was Baba. Baba O'Riley after a song named for Pete Townsend's musical influences is our new teenaged cat.
He is not Scoutty. He is young and energetic and everything is an exciting new experience to try out. He sits in our chairs, chases invisible mice and makes us laugh. It's different having a youngster in the house. Nothing is safe. Not even my heart.

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