After Carlos I thought I never wanted another cat, for the pain of signing him over to a vet tech who could give Carlos meds all day and monitor what we thought then was kitty diabetes. Which was way better than Plan A to put Carlos to sleep. Turns out, it must have been a pancreatic infection, because Carlos came back to the bloom of health.
Two years later, I was negotiating buying a neglected downtown bungalow, happily before it listed to avoid the all-cash buyers who were bailing out of the stock market. When I walked the neighborhood to see what the block was like in the evening, the cow kitty came to check me out, in a friendly way. On the house showing and another walk-through, the black and white creature was in every photo, noticing what I was doing.
When we put the offer in, we, my wonderful realtor and I, were distracted by the ineptitude of a mortgage manager at B of A, and the news that 200 guns had mysteriously disappeared from a local store (the seller was an undocumented gun dealer) so, while I wanted to ask if he would leave the cat with the house, I did not.
However, I had chirped to family and friends, apparently in the hearing of the seller’s sister, Kelley, that you don’t go find a cat. Cats come to you. They choose you.
Several months after my move in, after the clatter of re-roofing, the clutter of repainting, the erasure of refinishing floors, and scouring of nicotine and grease accumulations indoors, Kelley called on me, asking over the driveway fence, “So, do you still want a cat?” Her brother’s heart and kidney failed and he could not keep Mickey.
That is how Mickey arrived home from Reno, hating every second of the ride. His paws cautiously stretched out of the carrier on the clean oak floor of the dining room. The place just didn’t smell right. When he saw the big, brick-clad house next door, where he was born and raised by Granny, he drew himself up by front paws on the window sill visibly amazed.
After a quick check of features like the kitchen, the basement and the dog door, Mickey was relieved to realize he was home. In weeks he bonded completely.
So why this little narrative? And why the glazed look of cat craziness in Mickey’s portrait? Ideas choose us. I really believe that the best writing I have done came when I was just home taking care of business and heard an Idea come to the back fence asking, “So, I hear you want to write?” And when it was something worth it, wanting to be written, I found it tricky to get close to it; to not get scratched and back off.
The best way to get a fine cat is to let a cat choose you. Ideas choose us.