Before I was a Pug person, I was a cat person. But I’ve not owned a cat since I was living at home with my parents, when I had a lovely gray tabby that I’d found in the Pizza Hut parking lot. Her name was Lucy Frances. Double name befitting a sophisticated southern lady. Great cat.
Granted, I acted impulsively when I agreed to take this thin, balding, pitiful creature into my care. I took him from some dear friends who’d grown weary of tolerating his catness.
Don’t judge. They took fine care of him. He just wasn’t a dog.
And if I’m being honest here, I must admit I took him more out of interest in a new project than love in my heart for a cat. At least to begin with…
That may be why it took me over a month to decide on a proper name for this feline.
His previous owners called him Buster.
Really, guys? So pedestrian.
He is a silky black long-haired cat with bright green eyes.
‘Buster’ didn’t seem to fit him. It lacked the degree of refinement necessary to comfortably cohabit with a Pearl and a Truman. Nevertheless, due to my lingering indecision, he came dangerously close to being called ‘Cat’ for the rest of his life (which is also a bit pedestrian- no offense, Mr. Capote).
It’s been an arduous task choosing an appropriate moniker for the newest member of our family.
What I learned in this process is that I should avoid the opinions of other adults who approached it more from a ‘Do this; Don’t do that” perspective. (Adults can be
assholes delightfully unyielding). I should instead turn to children when matters of this level of importance are at stake.
My nieces and nephew participated in a brainstorming session over the weekend. Although ‘Coconut’ and ‘Domino’ were respectable considerations, we ultimately decided that ‘Chester’ was sufficiently distinguished, different from Buster, but similar enough to it to perhaps be familiar sounding to the cat.
Chester it is. And he seems to like it.
Deciding on a name–the right name–immediately changed the tenor of our relationship, as naming something often does.
Now, he’s MY cat. Not just a cat I took from my friends as a health-improvement project. Not merely the source of tremendous consternation for Pearl. (She’s like, First Truman. Now this?! The hell, mama? What’d I ever do to you?!). He’s no longer here on a trial basis. I’ve named him. We’ve shuffled past No Return.
I want to feed him a raw diet, but he is FIN-IC-KY!
Cats are obligate carnivores, so providing balanced nutrition for him will require a different approach than the diet I provide my dogs. And anyway, it took about 3 weeks to find anything–ANYTHING– premium, specialty
expensive as hell, dry or canned food that he would dane to eat.
He’s quite boney, and has several bald spots. He pukes up hairballs in inconvenient places, sheds worse than the Pugs (which is saying something), and I’m having to adjust to life with a litter box. Ick. Picking up dog poo in a baggie has no effect on me, but scooping litter-coated nuggets and “clumped” puddles requires an intestinal fortitude I’m having to muster.
For now, my focus has been to just get him settled, get him to eat quality food, let the dogs have time to adjust, and then we’ll launch into Phase 2 of Cat Restoration Project. All while practicing law, taking a course in companion animal health care, and launching a private canine nutritional consulting business.
I’ve got scads of time these days…
Wish us luck!
pugs & kisses,