Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our Special Day

My cat Russell's death left me fairly bereft, but three months later I was ready to look for another cat. I was living in the East Village at the time, and NYC's animal control shelter up in Harlem felt like too depressing an option. Vet offices pretty universally had cats for adoption, though; plenty of crappy pet owners were too lazy to take their animals to Harlem to abandon them and instead left them on the vets' doorsteps overnight.

Russell had been a light orange and white longhair, and I knew I needed to get a cat who physically differed so he could have his own identity. I knew I wanted a male. I spent several weeks looking, but no cat seemed just right. Then a friend called. Her vet had an abandoned cat he was trying to place. She had met the cat, and thought he was incredibly sweet and that I might like him. So I went over to Brooklyn, walked down to the basement of the vet office where they kept boarders, the assistant opened the door to a cage that contained a big, black guy, and the cat meowed and lept onto my lap and began purring. "I'll take him," I said.

When he got to my apartment, Rufus lept out of the carrier, took a look at his bowls and litter box, and then immediately settled around my neck, purring. He knew he'd arrived home. That was nine years ago today, December 9, 1999. Since then he's moved with me twice, always arriving at his new space to leap out of the carrier, sit on me, and purr. He's a good guy. He pretty much loves everyone. In the picture above he's trying to get onto Jason's lap. Jason is my sister's husband; the photo is from several years ago, from the first time Jason came to visit with my sister. In other words, Jason was at that point a stranger to Rufus, but that didn't stop him from wanting to sit on his lap, purring.

I don't know when Rufus was born. The vet thought he was around a year old when I adopted him, but the only paper he came with was the copy of the NY Times at the bottom of the cardboard box in which he was abandoned. So we celebrate our anniversary every year in lieu of his birthday. I get him whitefish salad. He gives me some purrs, then has diarrhea. Gross, I know, but it's a tradition.

So, happy anniversary, Boo-Boo (yes, I have pet names for my pets, and yes, I know how queer that is)!


Sexy Witch said...

Your not weird for giving nicknames to your pets. I have 2 cats; Roxie (Roo) and April (Puddy). :)

Sandy said...

I have two cats, too. Gris-Gris (he doesn't deserve a nickname because he's so grouchy), and Hobie (Hobert, Bert, Bart). My GOOD pets get nicknames.I still remember Buttons, aka Buppy, Bupples, Bup-Bup, may she R.I.P.

a fury said...

Happy Anniversary Rufus! You're still looking might fine.