Sunday, June 29, 2008

World, Meet Very-Possibly-Abbey

A few months back, my uncle found a cat--young, dusty, startled--in his garage. The cat wasn't skittish or scared around him or other people. In fact, she would come right over and rub all up and down your leg. She meowed. She threaded through legs. She let you pick her up and hold her like she was a sweet, sweet baby. He figured she'd been someone's cat at some point--the point before they dropped her off and the side of the road, crossed their fingers, and hoped for the best. He felt awfully sorry for the cat. She was beautiful and loving. There was no way she deserved a fate that had her living underneath old farm equipment in his garage.

So my uncle said, "Hey, Jess. You should take her."

This was over Christmas. I'd driven home, so it wasn't out of the question that I could pack her up like she was part of my Christmas booty and chauffeur her back to Maine, where she would live a good life roaming the large rooms of my apartment. I said I'd think about it. I'd been wanting a cat, after all, and this was a nice opportunity.

However, after I packed my car full of suitcases, presents, and my cousin Kait, who was coming back for a brisk mini-vacation before she went back to school for the new semester, there was absolutely no room for a cat carrier. I had to call my uncle and say there was just no way it was going to happen, as much as I wanted it to. I knew the cat would be fine. My uncle has a soft heart for cats--this sweet, white-footed one in particular--and it wasn't in him to leave her cold, lonely, and hungry.

And I was right. The cat became Socks, and Socks, who really is quite a pretty cat, got to know some of the neighborhood cats. And I think you can imagine what happened next.

Last month when I was home after our trip to Mexico, I wandered over to my uncle's house, and the cat flopped at my feet, purring. She was very, very pregnant. "She's huge," my uncle said. "It can't be long now."

And it wasn't. Just recently, Socks gave birth to three kittens in an elaborate and cozy birthing suite my uncle nested on the back porch. And a few days ago I finally got to see them, finally got to lay claim to which of the kittens I want for my own. It was a hard choice. All three kittens are ridiculously adorable. Two are brown tabbies like their mother--one of which even has the same four white feet as her.

The third kitten has a striped tabby tail, a white body with a few brown splotches, a tabby face, and--the cutest thing ever--a pink nose. And to top it off, the pink-nosed white kitten was a girl, and I love female cats. It was love at first sight.


It's not a good picture, but that right there is my kitten. That right there, nestled in my chest (the chest that everyone I've shown the picture to claims is not mine. "Sorry," Amy said last night, "you have a really nice chest and all, but your boobs aren't that big.") is the kitten who will very possibly be named Abbey--a name I've been chanting to myself ever since I decided it was time to get a cat. The Boy From Work has an alternate name--Eva--and I like that, too. I am coming back for the kitten in August, and if she has a more aristocratic, more sophisticated air to her, she might very well become Eva. But if she's more sassy than sophisticated, it's going to have to be Abbey.


That is her white-footed brother. He mew-mew-mewed when we picked him up. He was so pleased to be in the cup of my father's hands.


That's all the siblings curling up together.


And there they are with Mom.

I might have to make another paper chain countdown, because I don't know if I'll be able to make it to the day she becomes mine without celebrating each night I get closer.


Diana said...


Makes me want another kitten. Especially since my kitten is so evil and mean and fantastically cute.

Who am I kidding? I want 17 more kittens.

Jason said...

I know I'm more curmudgeonly than I should be at my age, but all of that goes away when I see a kitten.

Especially tiny kittens like those.

It makes my brain turn to mush. Cats are great, but they're never better than when you can fit them in your palm.