Sunday morning, a sweet little calico cat showed up in my driveway. She is thin as a rail and sweeter than syrup. I fed her (it’s what I do- feed animals), and now she’s decided to live on my porch. Adicus and Scooter have tried to run her off twice now (although I didn’t see Scooter yesterday, and it probably just means that a barn cat next door is in heat, but I’m gun-shy at this point), to no avail. She is nothing if not determined.
Yesterday I got home from work and she was sunning herself in my chair. Adicus, having figured out how to sneak out of my bedroom window (with a dresser in front of it, ya’ll!) like an oppressed teenager, came onto the porch with me. He walked up to the new cat, sniffed her as she hissed, and then licked her gently but thoroughly. She sat there, annoyed but accepting.
Damn. The dog’s on her side now.
Ivan and Lewis are still not sure they’re putting up with this coup, and she’s not set foot in the house, despite my leaving the front door open when I’m home, because one of the two of them sits sentry on the couch. What they would do if she crossed the threshold, I’m not sure, but she’s not decided to find out yet.
Where do I stand? She’s a sweet, sweet cat. No cat will ever replace Gizzy, and he and I shared a special bond that isn’t quite there with the others, as much as I love them. She has the potential for that bond, maybe.
But I’m not ready.
Sure, I like getting to know her better. Letting her sit in my lap, rubbing the back of her head. I don’t mind feeding her and letting her sleep on the porch. As far as anything else, it just seems too soon. Too easy. Like using new love to heal the wounds of lost love. I don’t trust her. I don’t trust her to stick around, not to get sick and die, not to leave me. I’m not sure it’s what’s best for the other animals, who are already dealing with a lot of confusing change and can’t drink vodka and whine to their friends about it like I can.
In the practical sense, I have a male cat that is overdue to be neutered, shots and flea medicine needed all around, and a sizeable bill for Gizzy’s hospital stay (though I will be talking to the vet this week about the shitty ROI on that one). It feels irresponsible to take on another animal when the ones I have are not being cared for to the standard I’ve set for responsible pet ownership. Also, I worry about the other cats judging me for loving another too soon, or hurting their feelings, because maybe they think they’re not enough for me. (Yes, I realize that I’ve gone off the deep end with that last one!)
How, though, do I resist fate? She came to me, she wants to be here. I like her. I could love her, if I let myself. So, last night I named her Angel and I promised her that by the time that sleeping on the porch is no longer a pleasant prospect, I would be ready to bring her in the house. Maybe by then, I’ll also be ready to bring her into my heart.