Friday 25 July 2008
Yes, that is a kitten in my living room. On days like today, all I can do is sit and wonder at life’s twists and turns.
Last week, the day I learned of Malo’s death, I came home to my empty apartment, and all I could think to do was care for something, anything alive. I went onto my patio to water the plants. To make a long story short, by chance, a kind neighbor across from and above me, who has a cat and a dog, asked about my cat. I replied that he had died that day. She gave her condolences and encouraged me to rest, saying she knew what it was like to lose a beloved pet.
This evening, as soon as I got home, she dropped by my apartment and asked if I would like a kitten! It turns out that a nurse friend of hers had found a kitten wandering about last week. After asking in several different buildings, at the neighborhood pet supply shop and two veterinarians, as well as putting the word out and waiting several days, the kitten’s owners didn’t turn up. The nurse had to go on vacation and so gave the little kitten to her friend, my neighbor, to see if she could find a new home for the little one. My neighbor first asked friends of hers, but none could take it in — and so she thought of me.
Although I’d wanted to wait, I have indeed been looking into getting another cat; I couldn’t refuse. Adoption through a refuge (animal rescue) is costly in France — you pay several hundred euros up front, to cover the kitten’s first vaccines and neutering. While it’s a great deal, it all has to be paid at once… something I simply can’t afford, whereas I can afford to pay the vaccines as they arise, as well as neutering. I had in mind to wait a few months and, in any case, see what came up. There is, unfortunately, no shortage of abandoned strays here, as witnessed by this little dear. The poor thing has had most of his whiskers chopped off, either by another cat or by whomever kept him before (not the nurse or my neighbor)… sigh.
It’s a long-haired
girl boy!, and he’s one of the sweetest, most personable kittens I’ve ever met. Lively as all get out — he is a kitten after all! — and an absolute love. He’s sleeping on my lap as we speak, has covered me in kitty kisses, let me pet his tummy with luxurious delight, and won’t let me out of his sight.
I’m still at a loss for his name. I thought he was a “she” since my neighbor had said so, and had “her” name picked, but after checking… he’s most certainly a “he”!
Name update: He’s been christened Kanoko, a term from fabric dyeing, kanoko shibori. It’s a feminine name in Japanese, but I think it fits the fawn-colored kitty well!
And so I give you my new furry companion! “Pitchoun” is Provençal for “little one”, and is one of my favorite terms of endearment. People regularly call children pitchoun (masculine) and pitchoune (feminine) here. (And yes, little kitten and I will be visiting the veterinary as soon as I can take a day off, though he seems to be in very good health, confirmed by the nurse and my neighbor.) There are two more photos from today: one showing his coloring while he walked around, and one taken at his water bowl, also showing his pretty colors. I love his mix of stripes and spots.