Saturday, March 31, 2012

Admin Cat

Last week I wrote about Dickens. Now Zorra is up here on the desk, demanding that I give her equal time. The desk is her favorite spot, which is why we call her our "Admin Cat." We think she must have been an administrative assistant in a past life because, whenever either of us sits down at the computer, Zorra is right there to "assist."

Six years ago, when our sweet old calico died, it didn't take long for us to decide to adopt another cat. We missed Cleo's shy, quiet presence in the house, and so did Dickens. At the suggestion of the receptionist at our veterinarian's office, we visited the Agoura Hills Animal Shelter. They have a large, airy room (the "Habicat") with lots of toys and cat furniture, where prospective adopters can meet, play, and socialize with the cats.

We were looking for a female with a personality similar to Cleo's. We quickly narrowed it down to two: a little white Persian and Zorra. Because the Persian was sleeping, we couldn't really tell what her personality was like. Zorra seemed shy and quiet, so we picked her.

We were told by the animal shelter that her name was Zorra (clearly for her black "Zorro" mask, although she can certainly be a vixen at times). I don't think anyone ever told her what her name was. It was months before she responded to it. (Of course, much of the time she doesn't respond to anything, as if she's in her own little world. We call it "Zorra world.")

At the animal shelter, they practice full disclosure. They told us that Zorra had been adopted—and returned—twice. Her file stated that the reason the adopter returned her was because she kept them awake at night. The file also stated that she was lazy. The only thing the file didn't tell us was that she had fleas. The fleas were easy to get rid of, but her other quirks took some getting used to.

She is definitely not quiet. For such a little cat, she has a very big mouth, and she is at her most vocal at night. Her purring alone can wake you up. It's like a bus idling next to your ear. It's also quite true that she's lazy. Her favorite thing to do is sleep—preferably on top of Loretta or me. She makes things difficult on laundry day, by bedding down on the laundry before we can put it away or on the bed before we can make it.

And there's the admin thing. Right now, I am having to contort myself to type around her.

But she's a sweet cat—with just enough of the vixen in her to keep Dickens on his toes. I can't understand why anyone would return her—or any animal—to a shelter. Adoption should be "for keeps."

Oh, well. Their loss is our gain.

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