About a year after I adopted Chaz, it was time for him to get a buddy. So, it was off to Toronto Humane Society once again.
As is often the case, the cat chose us. There were many wonderful cats and kittens, but one in particular, a real mouthy one too, saw us and immediately started meowing at the top of her lungs. And not just a calm meow through a little mouth opening, but a full, operatic whine as she dropped her jaw and pulled her lips back far into her cheeks so her eyes squinted and let out a kind of MEEEAWRL. She was all white and pressed her tiny pink nose against the bars of her cage to get a better sniff of my hand before letting out another demanding MEEEAWRL. We fell in love.
A little thing of 7 months old, she had a limp and a metal rod in her hip that you could feel through her skin. The shelter had no information about it but found her to be perfectly healthy otherwise. I’m not sure if that had anything to do with the fact that her hips were so open, so that she could lay flat on the floor with her legs turned out. Of course, she was probably just a hyper mobile cat as you can see in the above picture, because at times it didn’t appear that she had a spine.
When I was a child, I always wanted to have a white Siberian tiger and name her Selby. I have no idea why, but as this was as close to that childhood dream as I was going to get, Selby became her name.
If it seems like I’m especially persistent and specific about advice regarding introducing cats, it’s because I’ve been down this road before. But I didn’t know anything about cat relationships, so I went with the whole, “let ’em work it out” technique after putting them in the same room right away.
Chaz was the first to see Selby around the corner and puffed himself up, which I thought was funny. After all, he was used to wrestling a german shepherd mix.
But when Selby saw Chaz, her MEEEAWRL quickly turned into dramatic hissing.
Chaz was very good, though and didn’t attack or swat at her or anything… yet.
Chaz was an extremely confident beast. Whether he was wrestling Mikey to the ground or relaxing in a complete stranger’s arms, he always seemed in control. So when it came to Selby, he never attacked her, per se, but he would grab her, wrap his legs around her and hold her down while he groomed her. Selby was never very comfortable with this, but unfortunately didn’t have much of a choice with their size difference.
And while he never hurt her, she still let out a barrage of what I’m certain are cat curses and slur words when he didn’t let go as her MEEEAWRL turned into simply MAARLALARLAARL. This wasn’t all the time, mind you, but sometimes she just was not in the mood. Thus, she often ran away from him and jumped to high places. Had I known a bit more about how to improve their relationship, I would’ve made more of an effort. As it were, I barely knew how to hold them correctly.
As happens, I lost both cats in the “divorce,” and my ex took them to Vancouver and then to England. They lived a long and happy life together. Chaz passed at the age of 16 in April of 2012, and Selby left the world at age 17 in August of 2014.
Chaz and Selby were the best cats. They were my first cat family and I loved them dearly. My heart broke to see them leave, though it was the best thing under the circumstances. I really didn’t want to ever adopt another animal because of the pain of losing them, but Bryan, of course, changed my mind and Shorty came along who changed everything.
I hope you get the chance to let an animal change your life too.