Meet Lakota and JoJo, who are currently sleeping in my bathroom.
Stories of cats in need run past me all day long, every day. After I lost Kelly last year I decided I was going to take a break in fostering, and vowed to stay with Mimi and the kids until I felt ready to rescue, foster or adopt again. And I’ve been happy with that, living with only five cats for the first time in decades with no health or behavior issues, and just tried to do my best to help others who are rescuing.
But I heard about two cats, 19 and 20 years old, who needed a new home, and for all the other cats and kittens and fosters and hard luck cases that run by me every single day I couldn’t see a 20-year-old and a 19-year-old being shuffled around in cages. I’ve lived with far too many geriatric cats, I remember the delicate thinness of their skin, how their bones felt fragile underneath it, sometimes feeling only bones where muscle used to be, how I sensed they were compensating in so many little ways every day just to keep life seeming normal that I did not want to see these two older cats in this situation. I could not to imagine, for instance, Cookie and Kelly in this situation, or Stanley and Moses. I did see Peaches and Cream in a situation like this, and that wasn’t terribly good, and they were younger.
So I said I’d take them in. At their age most shelters would consider them unadoptable and either turn them away, or warn that they’d be put to sleep. Their fur is a little sloppy and their claws need a little trim, but they had a good meal and some exploration, and now they need to rest, no vigorous grooming or mani-pedi tonight.
Lakota is a 20-year-old Siamese mix with a decidedly Siamese voice. He was most unhappy when I met their person to pick them up, sounding off in that characteristic Siamese howling, and growling and hissing when I first had them in the bathroom, but he calmed down soon enough and had a nap.
The fun part was carrying them into the house. They were in a big dog cage and I left them in it on the way home, but there was no way I could carry that thing up my stairs, or even easily in the door. I don’t like to open cat containment items outside of the house, but decided I’d take the chance knowing carrying each in individually would be far more comfortable for them. So with Lakota yowling I actually scruffed him and wrapped an arm around him and upstairs we went. I dropped him off and went for Jojo.
Jojo is a 19-year-old semi-longhaired black kitty with lovely bright green eyes. She’s a little timid, but warmed up quickly after a little solo exploration. We had a great time in the tub with scritches and a little playtime, along with ankle rubs.
“Can I have some privacy?” Jojo asks. “No,” I say, “you’re in my house now. It’s part of the deal.”
My bathroom is 6′ x 6′, and the two are not cuddling in one bed. There is a bed by the toilet and one in the tub. This is going to be kind of confusing for me, but I think we’ll be okay.
Technically, at the moment, they are fosters, but at their ages fosters generally become permanent. We’ll see what happens.
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