Oh there's no place like home for the holidays
I had exhausted all my alternatives. None of the leads I was pursuing were working out, and the cat was still firmly ensconced in my bathroom. What's more, the little bastard had clawed his way into my heart, and I was starting to get attached.
Starting? Make that "allowing him to fall asleep on my chest while I rationalized ways to keep him." He had to go. Fortunately, some room had just opened up at one of the local no-kills, and I was taking him to his foster home tonight.
Well, actually, I was taking him to his foster owner. I was meeting her at Petsmart.
Look, the organization has a good reputation. There is no doubt in my mind that had I taken him to Petsmart tonight, he would have lived out a happy, healthy life in a good home somewhere. But... this cat showed up on my doorstep. I took him in, got him vet care, fed him, housed him... and, well, loved him for the past month. And I wasn't even going to get to see where he was going. What if the other cats bullied him? What if he got outside? He's not equipped to survive out there, that's why he came to me in the first place! These thoughts were all weighing on my mind as I walked to the car with his crate and all of the toys and scratching pads I'd bought him when he first came in. Even the dog, who I think might have gotten a little attached to Howie himself, was howling in protest, as though I was doing something insanely wrong.
'Cause no matter how far away you roam
In retrospect, the organization WAS responsible for getting him placed, as was my flaky friend who misplaced the paperwork for his shots, and my nutso work schedule. If I had left a minute earlier, or a minute later, I wouldn't have run into my neighbors in the parking lot. I'm not BFFs with them- but they're always nice to my dog and me when I see them on walks, and the Singing Lawyer always has a kind word for me. I do like them, and I seriously owe them a solid after this one.
They didn't realize I had a cat. I told them I kind of didn't, and explained the whole sad situation. SL, in the meantime, was peering into Howie's crate, her eyes growing wider. She looked up at me and said "Let me make some phone calls."
We spent the next hour in my apartment, getting the cat resituated and calling everyone local she knew. At the very last minute, she got a call back from her father-in-law. One of his co-workers neighbors was a black cat fan, and she had recently lost hers. After a series of relayed phone calls... well, long story short, Howie would have a home after the holidays.
If you want to be happy in a million ways
The second SL hung up the phone, she asked me to give her a few minutes to get her bathroom ready for the cat- she'd take it for Christmas, and then get him where he needed to go, simple as that.
And so, with a much lighter heart, I packed Howie into his crate again, and carried him over. The couple had two cats already, and their apartment was absolutely full of cat toys and accouterment, but neat and clean. SL had set up their guest bathroom with Howie's litterbox, food, toys, and bedding. He even had a little cupboard to hide in! I brought over the rest, and the last I saw them, she was happily playing with him next to the bathtub.
A good thing happened tonight. I'm not sure who or what is driving the bus in my life- things like this happen to me, all the time. Sometimes I feel like the butt of prank after prank, a giant cosmic joke. But occasionally, it does work out. Tonight, it worked out for Howie- and for me.
For the holidays, you can't beat home sweet home!
- The Angry Geologist is Home for the Holidays