17 Weeks

The past 17 weeks have been…….interesting.

I like animals.  I grew up with first a cat (a rescued tabby named, appropriately, Worthless) and then with a dog (my parents Pekingese), but since college I have not had a pet.  Not in my first period of singleness, not in the marriage, not in my current period.  I’ve gotten along well with the pets of others, both cats and dogs, and have shamelessly enjoyed them.  But I’ve never gotten one of my own, even in the 7 years I’ve been on my own.

That changed on April 1 (appropriate date?).  A friend needed help, and so I agreed to help and to house two cats.  Two.  Cats.  I was, quiet honestly, a bit concerned.  I knew I wanted to help, and that the offer of shelter for them was a godsend to them, but still.  Cats.  Hair.  Litter box.  Hair.  Sharpening of nails on furniture.  Hair.  Meowing and caterwauling.

Did I mention hair?

It has been an interesting, eye-opening, heart opening 17 weeks as I got to know the two of them well.

Butterscotch, the female tortoiseshell , is quite honestly a dog and a slut.  She loves everyone.  Her first meeting of me she walked up, fell over, and rolled over on her back with four paws splayed out, waiting for petting and tummy rubbings.butterscotch

Her tabby brother Lionel (a very hefty 17 pounder) on the other hand, had a reputation of being a bit standoffish and difficult to connect with.

Yeah………no.  He loved me. lionel

They both did.


I learned to feed them, to scoop the litter box, to play with the laser light or the rope.  After being gone all day and leaving them alone, I go into the room and read the newspaper, or listen to the radio or play Angry Birds,  just so they would have company.  Initially adamant about not having them all over the apartment and limiting them to just one room, they broke down that barrier.  Or rather I guess I did.  Eventually Lionel made his way out and I would let him take  soirees into the main room and my bedroom (Butterscotch didn’t seem so inclined, and stayed in her room even as she waited at the door for me to come in).  He was funny, so tentative as he made his way around.  I could tell he was nervous, because his tail fluffed out when he came out investigating the place.

It was always intended to be a temporary visit.  And 17 weeks after they arrived, they left to go to their new place.  Box and beds packed up, feeding bowls collected, toys gathered (well, a couple still being found this weekend) and …then departure.

I….. miss them.  I miss them on Sunday afternoon when Lionel would bat around the paper while I read, or I’d nap and Butterscotch would curl up with me.  I miss the vocalization as they demanded food in the mornings, or greeted me in the evening.  I don’t miss litter box duty at 5 am but …..it was a really very, very  small price to pay.

They surprised me.  Or maybe I surprised myself, that I still had warmth and compassion still in me after all these years.

What a 17 weeks it was


5 responses to this post.

  1. […] each other.  There’s always a new relationship energy; ours ran for months.  Dinners, cats (see “17 weeks”). Clingasaurus. Stories written to each other about each other.  IKEA, the store.  IKEA the […]


  2. […] I know I want it.  The last live-in was awesome.  Way too short but amazingly wonderful and loving and affirming.  Yes, I know, the next one won’t be the same, couldn’t be the same, and […]


  3. […] the very end of July last year, after a long couple of years of searching.  I had been spoiled by my girlfriends two cats when they were here.  They were, together, the most amazing cats I’ve known.  Both of them […]


  4. […] on end, even if the news turns out alright.  I was beat that day, physically and emotionally.  My friend with the cats had a key to my place at that time, and when I came home she had left a gift on my table.  She had […]


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