Ah, Christmas came early this year.
You know what would be at the top of the list of “Things We Need Like A Hole In The Head Two Weeks Before Christmas”? Yes, exactly. A cat.
The CE made a detour from all that holiday shopping he does (insert smirk emoji here…) and dropped by a local cat shelter. Came home all a-flutter. “You’ve got to come see this cat!” he insisted. Yeah, yeah, right. I’d been checking out the kitten situation recently and, while all kittens are adorable, I hadn’t yet seen our purr-fect companion.
“No. I mean it. Not a kitten, a cat. You’ve got to see her.”
No, I said, waving him off. I want a kitten. And was always have male cats. And what I’ve really got to do is get ready for Christmas.
Well, if you know me, you know I married the original Immovable Object. So off we went to the shelter. With Lily in tow. In her Christmas best.
Lily was required to have an “evaluation” before these thorough folks at ASAP were going to entrust a cat to our care.
Lily performed, um, dismally. She was led up to a sort of cat aviary, where a dozen or so felines perched haughtily on various chairs and shelves. “Tell her not to look at them”, was the command from the cat shelter honcho.
This was a stunning request. Lily can be admittedly a bit casual about commands in general. And this one was absolutely not in her wheelhouse. Not look at the cats? Forget it! She stared longingly at each one in turn. Not because she wanted to eat them, we tried to explain. But because she wants to be their friend. Really!
I thought we would be turned away on the spot since Lily was clearly canine non grata. Fine by me, I had shopping to do. But no, they relented and led us to a “visiting room”. And suddenly, our world changed.
Imagine that you’re sitting in a a random lobby somewhere and, say, Audrey Hepburn or Sophia Loren or maybe Grace Kelly enters the room. And doesn’t just walk in, but arrives in a manner that lets you know clearly you are in the presence of someone very special. You can almost hear the background music swell to a crescendo.
This was our first glimpse of her:
“This is Olivia”, said the shelter volunteer. “She’s royalty,” he said in a almost reverent tone.
The markings. The crystal blue eyes. The fur! Her fur is like the gossamer wings of a fairy princess. Seriously. One touch and you are smitten. My first thought, when I remembered to breathe again, was what is this cat doing at the shelter?
According to her paperwork, she is a 5-year-old lynx point Ragdoll, formerly used for breeding, and then somehow embarked upon a downward spiral of unknown circumstances that ultimately led her to be surrendered, full of fleas and mats, to the shelter. She is like a character out of a tragic novel, and if you can think of which one, please let me know, as she needs a new name. We have a human Olivia in our life and thus need a new moniker for this pretty girl.
I started thinking of names before we even completed the paperwork to bring her home. My top choice was Circe, the misunderstood goddess exiled to the remote island of Aeaea. “Pretentious”, harrumphed the CE, who wants to call her “Biscuit”. But I just don’t think that ones rolls off the tongue very well. Maybe Biscotti, if her nickname can be Bisou? Cookie? Or Misu, short for Tiramisu? Or Calla, to go with Lily? Please feel free to weigh in on this!
For the moment, she is being referred to as The Countess, and commenced to reign over us within minutes of arriving home.
Oh, and that delinquent of ours, Lily? She has willingly assumed the role as unworthy acolyte to the new regent, worshipping her constantly from afar and not so far. And stares at her constantly. Just like the rest of us!
“Ho, hum, here she comes again…”
Looking for love in all the wrong places…
“All right, I will let you kiss my nose.”
“Dogs are such simpletons…”
She came to us with a bit of a rap sheet for some inappropriate behavior, but has behaved impeccably since she arrived. Maybe she was just waiting for more devoted subjects than she had in the past. So far, so good. And all The Countess needs for Christmas is a name…