Thursday, February 16, 2012

Then Came Faith

We were always a two-cat family. Skittles, our blind cat, changed the dynamic among all of our cats, profoundly irritating Luna, our "gray personage", who is the shyer of our two older cats. But after we had boarded all three cats during necessary home renovations, peace was restored.

Then came Faith. (I didn't name her - she had a littermate named Knowledge.) When Faith came into my care, she was destined for the animal shelter (never open on Mondays, the day I collected her) or a local horse barn. My god-daughter relentlessly combed her to rid her of the fleas that had infested her, and I cautiously housed her in our garage and then our basement while waiting to learn where I was destined to deliver her. I also took her to our vet for flea treatment and to ensure she was safe to bring into the house with our other cats. It was as if, the vet said, she was going to be a coddled house cat, not a barn mouser. It was too late. She wasn't going anywhere. I had fallen in love with Faith.

Faith loved me, too. She is the only one of our cats who reliably comes at my call. But the strongest proof of her love occurred the day I woke up and found a recently deceased mouse next to me in bed. When a cat gives you a mouse, it is the equivalent of caviar, champagne, violins, roses, and diamonds, all at once. So I was flattered. I also screamed, and insisted my husband remove the little corpse.

Faith restored the balance in our home. All four cats variously pair up to sleep with us or chase each other, as it suits them. Even Skittles plays withthe other cats, although she has never learned proper body language, and annoys the older cats on occasion. (Now here's the funny thing: the vet thinks Skittles is getting her sight back, at least a little, after two years of blindness.My husband and I aren't sure, because at home she is so functional we don't see much difference.)

I know you aren't supposed to have favorites, in children or in pets. Cats in particular can be quite jealous. But I love Faith dearly. At her last vet visit, the vet said, "She's an angel." I have to agree.