The new boy

Way bigger than he looks here but just as sweet
He's somewhere between three and four years old. He weighs a solid 15 pounds. He's a grey tabby on top with pure white below. He has beautiful green eyes and a little goatee around his mouth. He can leap tall buildings in a single bound—or at least onto the kitchen counter, something we are working to discourage. He is fierce with his mouse toy. He talks a lot. And he is beautiful and cuddly and a perfect fit for our little home.

He's our new kitty, of course. His name is Hornby, not after the island or the street but rather the author Nick Hornby.

The grieving process for Marley, our previous kitty, had taken longer than we expected, but in hindsight that should not have been surprising. She was the first cat we had adopted together. She was with us for almost nine years. She was beautiful and loving and had the loudest purr in the universe. Letting her go was one of the hardest things we had ever done, but it was clearly time. And the memories were strong.

But by mid-March, we both felt that we were ready for a new resident. We had reached the point where we knew this would not be a rebound cat. So Sweetie began to search the site of the group she volunteers for, Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue (VOKRA). Not long after she started to search, she came upon the description of a kitty that sounded great for us. Alas, we were about to take off for New York, so it would not have made sense to start an adoption process. And not surprisingly, he was snapped up. There are a lot of kitties that need homes, so we knew we would find the right one eventually.

When we returned from our trip, we got a surprise: the adoption had not worked out! The woman who had wanted him already had another cat. Apparently this was fine with Hornby but not with the resident female, so back he went to the shelter. And we had our chance! I'm not a "things happen for a reason" kind of person, but maybe my goddess was doing a little manipulation here. Or maybe it was this squib of a witch.

We met him on Good Friday at the home of his foster mom. Immediately, he was up on the sofa cuddling with both of us. His size and strength were a bit alarming after our previous overweight (when she was healthy) but delicate-featured kitty, but he won us over. His foster mom was sorry to see him go, but she was glad he was going to a good home.

He settled in quickly. He watched TV with us that evening (Game of Thrones season two on DVD) and later slept between us on the bed. He figured out right away where his food and litter box were. He explored everywhere.

Sometimes he sleeps this way!
It's only just over two weeks since he's been with us, but it feels as though he has been with us for longer. That's how well he fits in! He got over his insecurity, although he still loves frequent attention. He has a lot of kitten in him, which can make him quite a handful. He wants to play with anything that dangles, including the shade pull on the back door and the belt of my dressing gown before I have done it up. He's a good learner, though, so little by little he is finding the limits. Right now, we're saying "no!" and clapping a lot.

Hornby was his shelter name, but we decided it fits him well. We also call him the Dude, because he's big and, well, a dude in a house with two women. And sometimes I will call him Beavis, because his vocalizations remind me of Beavis's mumbling, especially when he has too much capuccino and turns into the Great Cornholio.

At first I would still cry a little remembering our beloved Marley, especially when Hornby would do something that she would have done. In some ways, he is like her. But in most ways, he has his own distinct personality, and that's for the best. We are very happy that we can give him the good home that he deserves.


Anonymous said...

Hey, this is a cut cat and it's great that he is settling in so well but you should really consider getting a second cat because cats should not be alone. Cats are not solitary creatures and it sounds like your Hornby would not mind to have some cat company.

Véronique said...

Anonymous, we are considering getting a second cat. I work out of my house, so he's not alone very much, but he might still want a feline bud. Our previous cat was very solitary -- she hated other cats -- so not all cats are the same, but Hornby is certainly a sociable type.

Caitlin said...

Love that he mutters like overcaffeinated Beavis.

Mark McCausland said...

Glad you got a new friend. I'd like to but better half says no Allergies - mine).