I got adopted by a cat.

Now, I have a cat back home in Houston whom I love dearly, a calico named Twinkles. I had planned since I got an apartment to bring her up here at some point in time, but the longer time goes by the more I worry about it. She's going on 17, which is really old for a cat, she's an awful traveler and hates change more than I do. The more I think about it, the more I know I should let her stay in Houston. I've tried to deny this to myself over and over, but the universe itself seems to be telling me to leave her be. Getting her here, every time something comes up or does not work. But I kept holding out, telling myself I'd find some way and wouldn't just get another cat unless it was in a way I could not deny it was a cat I was supposed to have. Silly me, of course.

I went to petsmart Thursday to buy $5 worth of supplies for my betta and POSSIBLY a hamster so I'd have something alive and furry to greet me when I got home from classes. I went to play with the adoptable kitties, because that usually cures my cat fix for a while and I've never found one who screams out to me to take it home.

I was playing with a small tortiseshell female who was giving me a look of "who are you and what are you doing? go away!" and turned to leave when I felt something and looked down. A pair of paws had worked their way through the bars and wrapped around my knee. I opened the cage to play with him and instead of cowering in the corner or trying to hop out and run away like many shelter animals, he hopped right out into my lap (never hitting the floor), sat in my lap, looked me in the eyes, and purred. How in the world could I say "no"?

So after some hectic bit buying supplies and all, "Barnaby" came home with me. That was his shelter name, and certainly not the one he'll keep. He hasn't told me his real name yet. He's a little orange tabby with white hind paws, front legs and paws, stomach, chest, collar, and about half his face. Hands down the sweetest friendliest cat I've ever owned.

I found out a little more of his story today when the manager of the shelter called me to check up on him. Apparently a local woman with more of a big heart than common sense had been "fostering" in strays for a long time, thinking she was helping them. She had 22 cats when the animal cruelty prevention socety came to her place. 22 cats, none spayed or neutered, two litter boxes for all, the usual "cat collector" scenerio. They went to a local spay/neuter no-kill shelter where all but one--a highly pregnant female who died having her litter which did not survive--lived to be placed. "Barnaby" is the second to last of that bunch, the 22nd cat still is with the woman from the shelter recovering from hernia surgery. Most of the cats, which were at least second generation, were about a year and a half old, and they suspect my little guy is right about there as well. Oddly enough for such an overcrowded population, nearly all these cats turned out friendly and loveable with little socialization, instead of being territorial and hostile. This poor little fellow has a case of the sniffles but otherwise handled his time there just fine.

He's a sweet, quiet animal. He burbles, coos and chirrups more than he meows, and is curious to look at EVERYTHING. He's learned where my laptop power button is, I swear to you, because four times in a row this afternoon he waltzed right across the machine, hit the button, and did it again as soon as I'd rebooted.

Any typos are completely his fault, as his fuzzy little head is on my hand at the moment.

10-10-2002 He named himself today. He's now Sam. The lovely thing about that is it can stand for a good many things, and no one knows which one. Samson, Samuel, Samwise (the 'Sam' his name was suggested from, since he has such a sweet, loving manner), or even as a half-joke since it's October, Sam-Hain. The correct answer is all of them.