I scarcely know where to begin.
A few weeks ago, after a 2.5 year cat embargo, Jake Weller said, “yes”. This, of course, accompanied my compliance with his impending six month Huntingdon vacation, but whatever. Jake will come back. A cat is forever (or about sixteen years). I could hardly believe it, and so didn’t want to gush about it here. I didn’t want to lead us both on. But I immediately, on the semi-down-low, began spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME on the New York ASPCA website, which is a lot like online dating for cats. Let me show you some of the runners up WHO ARE STILL AVAILABLE SO GO GET THEM.
Willimina, is described by the shelter as a Big Girl Who Will Take You On Her Own Terms. A whole lotta cat.
Ballarina. Okay, so she was never really in the running but OH MY GOD just look at her.
Here is Arlington, who Christina Gongaware championed. She wrote,
Arlington has such a presence! And those eyes! He’s just so regal — I feel like I should be bending the knee to him and offering him my loyalty and first born son. Take all my money for your royal coffers!
And let’s visit Scrappy, who Mike Shea once described as the model for a Disney villain, the cat with whom my mom fell into e-love. He is missing one eye, and is blind in the other. BUT HE’S ACTUALLY REALLY AWESOME. Not as scary in real life as I thought he’d be. Very aware and playful.
Claude came out of his cage to hang out with us, and was very sweet and cuddly and smart and looks a lot like Ryan Hamilton’s Holland and The Kneppsteps’ Claudia, minus the tuxedo. Big plus. The grey cat triumvirate!
Prudence kind of broke my heart, but she’s full of needs I cannot at this messy point in my life fulfill. For instance, she can only eat expensive food, she has a kidney condition, she doesn’t like to be touched, and she must be professionally groomed. But what a beauty!
And here’s Quintella— she was the second runner up, and we only didn’t choose her because she has the correct number of legs. (Spoiler alert!) Because I loved all of the cats equally, Jake picked his two favorite– Quintella, who nearly came home with us, kissed Jake on the nose and I proceded to tear up. So she was one of the two.
So yesterday, though we were both sick, we boarded a train bound for 86th Street and got off and walked north and east, toward the water, coming closer to the cats all the time. We stopped a bagel place on the way, and as we sat across from each other at that table by the river with the rain spitting outside, I tucked my mouth into my sweater and let myself be present in the moment, that last moment when we were people without responsibility for much besides jobs and plants. I sipped my ginger ale, Jake sipped his coffee, and then we walked outside into the wind and got ourselves a cat. Trust me. It was very dramatic.