We’ve added onto our family, in the form of a tiny gold and black cat named Mirah. She’s feisty, clumsy, and sweet as can be, audibly purring the minute you enter her room. We named her after the K Record artist Mirah, but the name also means aristocrat, princess, or treetop. She’s less princess, more prissy, and seems to have fell from the tree tops into our front yard.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am an obsessive planner. What many of you don’t know is that I’m quite impulsive. And apparently I have magical summoning powers. I’ve been bugging Andrew for the better part of the year about adopting a dog, but it simply doesn’t make sense given our situation. Eventually, I started joking that if I couldn’t have a dog, I wanted another kitten. We’d laugh about it once a week or so, but knew deep down we didn’t really want a third cat. Until one appeared on our doorstep.
I got home late from work one night, went inside, and emerged back outside to go check our mail. When I came back out, a small cat lunged out of the bushes at me, purring madly and twisting herself between my legs. I ignored her and walked out to the mailbox, but she followed. I pet her a bit, then went inside. It’s not uncommon given the climate here for people to let their housecats wander.
Well, she never left. She sat at the door meowing and scratching it for hours. It got quite late, and the temps were dropping to freezing. We shrugged at each other and decided to take her in for the night, sure someone would claim her the next day. She was obviously domestic – litter trained, at dry food, loved to be handled . We put up posters in the neighborhood and waiting for a call, housing her in our spare bathroom for the time.
A week went by and nobody called. I reported her to animal control and online databases. Another week, no calls. I asked animal control if I could surrender her to them, and they told me that they were at capacity and would likely euthanize her. We took her to the humane society, who told us she wasn’t chipped or fixed. Ugh. They told us they wouldn’t test her for diseases unless we agreed to have her fixed. We had some long, almost frustrating talks, then decided we would agree to testing. If she was sick, they would euthanize her on the spot; if she was healthy, we would pay for her to be chipped, fixed, and vaccinated, then take her home to live with us.
The whole thing made no sense. That night I came home, one minute there was no cat and the next there was cat. She literally seemed to have fallen out of the sky. I’d never seen her before. She’s tiny, with huge paws an adult cat face, so we figured she was a kitten with some growing pains left in her. Nope. The humane society told us shes 1-2 years old, a veritable adult in cat years and a total runt. But she wasn’t fixed? Most house cats are fixed before 4 months. So who the hell kept a cat for a year, never had her fixed or vetted, then dumped her in our neighborhood one night? The vets said given her domesticity, it was unlikely she wandered into our neighborhood – they see these kinds of animal drops all the time.
In the three weeks she lived with us in limbo, I came to realize I really didn’t want another cat. I have two adult cats that are bonded, and I love them to death. I simply didn’t feel like I had room for another house pet in my life. But Andrew couldn’t bear the though of her dying; I mean, she is so freaking sweet. And it’s Christmas time … I couldn’t say no, but I secretly hoped she was sick so we could humanely put her down and not feel bad.
Of course, she wasn’t sick, and she joined our family today. I worked a long ass day (training for search and rescue!), and when I came home my stomach leapt remembering there was formally another pet in our home. I reluctantly went upstairs to visit her (we won’t introduce her to the others until after the new year, when we finish all our travelling). And you know what, in five minutes my mood went from disgruntled to full of joy. She looks a little sad with her belly shaved from surgery, but when I sat down she curled up right in my lap, and I knew we did the right thing. Who cares what other people think, or if it will cost $5 extra dollars a month to feed this cat. So often I let myself get hung up on stupid “rules” I set like those. These rules interfere with me actually living my life – loving, spreading joy, being generous. Tonight, I practice accepting my lot, even though I didn’t get to plan it out all perfect.
I’m happy to report we officially have more cats in our house than people.