Meet Our New Cat

Her name, as of now, is Baby.  That’s what she was called when she was brought to the shelter a few days ago, anyway.  She’s six, and looks a bit like a Russian Blue, so we wanted to give her a Russian name.  We toyed with the idea of Katia for a while, but then I remembered that a friend had a cat he called Irina.  Katherine vs. Irene, basically.

The last three cats we adopted from this shelter had silly names that led me to believe some child named them.  Baby could be something an elderly woman would name a cat, but it could just as easily have been chosen by a four year old.  We’ve pretty much decided to go with Irina as a tribute to the friend’s now deceased cat.  Well, that’s the way I’ll put it down on the record at our vet, but we may call her Rini for short.  I suppose we could name her Val, because we adopted her on Valentine’s Day, but I really do want to go with a Russian name, given her coloring.

Poor girl is still in hiding in a spare bedroom in the annex, which is normal for the first few days in a new home, unless the cat demands to come out and explore before that time’s up (which happens as often as not).  It would be too much stress in a new environment, anyway, to let our dog and other cats meet her before she’s ready to emerge.  She’ll be wary of the dog until the other cats show her that despite his size, he’s harmless.  Cats do learn from each other.

She’s very sweet, but also quite shy.  The nifty thing is that she’s a “cover diver,” that likes to crawl in under the bedspread.  When she finally gets up her courage, and feels comfortable with our other pets instead of just us, she may even share bed space with us at night, the way the other cats do.

Here’s her mugshot, swiped from the animal shelter’s website, before they removed her listing:

She looks a little forlorn.  It’s probably because she was still wondering why she’d been brought to the shelter a mere four days earlier.  At least she wasn’t there for months before we adopted her.

The woman who was “manning” the cattery yesterday was quite a pistol.  I’m not even sure she came up to my armpits, and I was wearing ballet flats with 1/8″ heels at the time.  Despite her tiny size, that woman’s “large, and in charge,” as the saying goes.  Didn’t recognize her as regular staff, so she’s probably a volunteer.  Peppered us with questions about our home environment, current roster of pets, and our pet ownership history, before directing us away from another cat that caught my eye, saying “That one is better off being an only pet.”  When I then spent time fussing over “Baby,” she told us “She’s lived with another cat before, so it won’t be unusual for her.”

Of course there was adoption application paperwork to fill out, and the staff had to evaluate us before agreeing to let us adopt, not that I ever thought there would be a problem with it.  Some questions were:

  • Do you currently have pets?
  • If so, how many?
  • Names, ages, and breeds
  • Have you owned a pet that has died within the past five years?
  • If so, name, age, and cause of death
  • Is your residence an apartment, townhouse, house, farm (circle one)?
  • Own, or rent (circle one)?
  • Name and phone number of your veterinarian

That adoption took longer than expected, and longer than it has in the past, because their computer system was giving them trouble.  It was our last errand of the day before going out for a Valentine’s Day dinner at our favorite pub.

Before that, I stopped in at a local jeweler to get links removed from two of my watches, and put a new battery in a third one.  That jeweler doesn’t sell TAG Heuers, or Seikos, but it will do repairs on any watch brand.  The main thing is that I don’t want my watch bands so loose that they slide halfway up to my elbow, and/or flip around so that the crystal and bezel get scuffed up, instead of the clasp.  My name was already in their computer system from a watch repair job I had them do a couple of years ago on another TAG Heuer.  That sped up checkout, but it did nothing to speed up the repairs themselves.  The whole bill for all three watches came to $30, which is why damn near everyone in this area goes there (and raves about them), instead of to the other local jeweler, which gets negative reviews from just about everyone who has gone there, including me.

Boy was that place busy yesterday afternoon, with a bunch of guys looking for presents for their wives or girlfriends.  Two of them asked my opinion about their selection, which I thought was hilarious, but I was the only woman in the shop at the time who didn’t work there.  My watches could have waited, but the reason I decided to stop in yesterday was because I needed to hit the ATM, and my bank is in the same shopping center.  It was more a matter of planning ahead, “Since we’re going to be there, anyway …” than one of urgency.

My present to myself was the cat.  My other half’s present to me was dinner out, which was just as delicious as always.  We’ve been going there for many years, on average, once or twice a month, but they do have a special three course prix fixe menu for Valentine’s that includes a glass of “champagne,” although it’s probably some California domestic “Méthode Champenoise” version, judging by the taste.  Möet & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot, or Perrier-Jouët, it wasn’t.  They never overcook the filet mignon or prime rib, and they never put anything in the crab cake that doesn’t belong there.

I hope everyone else had just as good a Valentine’s Day as we did.  It was wonderful.

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