I had two visits from my late cat Puck recently. The first time was last month. I was resting on top of my bed, facing the wall, when I felt the distinct sensation of a cat paw touch my leg. I turned, fully expecting to see Luna looking at me from the edge of the bed, but nope. She was sleeping near the foot of the bed, on the opposite side. Smiling, I said, “Hello, Puck.” Then I was inspired to write this blog post.
Then yesterday, while I was sitting at my computer desk, I distinctly felt a paw bat my elbow. Again, I looked down expecting to see Luna, who was nowhere in sight. I think Puck was reminding me that I still hadn’t edited and posted this.
His first recent visit got me to thinking about cats, breeds of cats, and how I’ve come to have the cats that I have now.
The first really special cat that came into my life was Clive, a hard-of-hearing flame point Siamese. We were brought together via another cat in my life, a domestic gray and white shorthair named Jay. It was Jay who became friends with Clive, and I would see them playing together in the backyard of the triplex I lived in with my mother. Eventually, I became friends with Clive. He was eccentric and highly intelligent—he understood the concept of doorknobs, for instance, but could not quite get enough of a grip on the thing with his two paws to actually open the door.
Sadly, I only had him for a few years. I came home from work one day to find him dead on the bedroom floor. I had him autopsied (and kudos to the wonderful vet and vet tech who stayed late to perform the procedure, and never even charged me–yup–they did it for free) and the culprit was heart failure. I missed my eccentric blue-eyed boy for a long time.
Flash forward a few years and Anne and I are living together for the first time. We are sharing a crappily built mother-in-law unit in Queen Anne. We have our first Schipperke (the scary territorial Lucy) and I realized I needed to have a cat again. However, Anne at the time was severely allergic. So, after some research, I narrowed my possible choices down to either a Sphynx or a Devon Rex.
Not too long afterwards, a Devon Rex kitten was posted in the classified ads of the local paper (this was before I had a personal computer or internet access at home). As fate would have it, the breeder was a customer of the company I worked for at the time. He brought baby Puck into the office.
Baby Puck was not at all what I had visualized my future cat looking like. I’d hoped for either a black or a white cat, and he was sort of a pointed champagne color, and very skinny looking because his adult fur had not grown in yet. But the moment I held him, I was in love. I asked a co-worker who was also a cat lover if she would like to hold him, but when I went to hand him to her, Puck leaned back into me as though he did not want to leave my arms. That moment sealed the deal–he was mine.
Moving forward a few years, and Anne and I were living in separate apartments in the same building. I was at a different job, and took the bus up north to Bothell. On the way home, my bus traveled right by a small pet store and, lo and behold, in the window—flamepoint Siamese kittens! I still missed my Clive and so made it a point to stop there the next day.
And that’s how I found Snowman. I think he may have been a kitten mill cat, as he developed health problems early on. Personality-wise, he was not much like Clive. While he shared Clive’s high intelligence and talkative nature, he was not particularly goofy. Snowman was loving but also very no-nonsense and stoic. After some initial bickering, he and Puck became the brothers they were meant to be. It was with these two cats that I realized how much I loved these two particular breeds.
Flash forward again to 2008. I lost Puck to cancer, and it was heartbreaking. Perhaps I should have waited longer, but I decided to begin searching for another Rex after learning from my animal communicator that my next cat would be a female. I find Luna, and although her personality is not as outgoing and in your face as Puck’s, she and I gradually developed a bond that is just as deep and intense (I think of her as Puck’s little sister now). Luna and Snowman developed a love/hate relationship–I think they did care about each other but Luna was a young goofball which irritated the no-nonsense older Snowman. Then, in 2013 I lost Snowman to cancer. I resolved that, because I am not a man of great financial means, I would stick to just one cat.
But then in late 2013, I got a message from Tracy, my animal communicator, asking if it was me who had said I was looking for a Siamese. I told her no, it wasn’t. And then she shows me a photo of Casper. Casper is built like Snowman but something about his eyes reminds me of Clive.
I was sorely tempted to say yes but decided to wait, telling Tracy to see if others were interested in him. When no one came forward, Tracy generously offered to drive Casper from Gig Harbor to my home. He was very bold and immediately stepped out of his crate, looking around our condo like he owned the place. There was a lot of friction and some all-out scary fighting between him and Luna at first, but they are gradually getting more used to each other.
The interesting thing to me is that, in spite of my plans to stay with one cat, Casper found his way to me. And now I once again have a Devon Rex and a flamepont Siamese. I think of them as my alien and my mini white lion. And we have a Schipperke again too, the much nicer Stella. And so the pattern repeats itself.