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February 17, 2006: Now we are six (again)

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Ever since Allegra died there has been a huge void in our house. Rebecca's death started it, but Allegra's death made it real. With both of them gone there have been no more snippy, opinionated little cats in the house, and it is amazing how very much you can miss that when it's no longer around. So we started to toy with the idea of looking for another cat, at some point - maybe even a little tortie - but we decided we would take our time and think about it, because it is the way with cats that something will always show up eventually that is just what you were looking for, even if you hadn't known you were looking to begin with.

A few months ago I saw a picture on a random feed from Petfinders and the face was pretty cute, and when I clicked on it, the story intrigued me even more. It was a tiny little tortie who was a feral kitten and who was pretty nervous and shy and had a hard time getting to know people and who needed a home with people who would be willing to be patient and understanding. And her story stuck with me because after all, we already have a cat who is nervous and *very* shy and who we refer to as the invisible cat and who only decided that to be brave enough to sit near me on the couch after he turned 12.

Every month or so I would click the link and see if the little nervous tortie had been adopted, but of course she hadn't because that is just the way of things, and every once in a while Richard and I would talk about the idea of getting a new cat and the idea of getting a very specific cat, and then finally we realized...well, you all knew this was inevitable, right?

This is Checkers (the picture is from the Petfinder's site because right now the only picture we would have any chance of taking ourselves would be of two little eyes peering suspiciously out of the dark).

We picked her up this evening from her foster home in Folsom and she did not make a sound the entire drive home. We've closed the doors to the library and the jack-and-jill bathroom and set her up with some food and water and a litter box. We've rigged a towel over the portion of the bookshelves she immediately bolted toward so she can have a little cave to hide in and I made sure that the door to the linen closet is slightly ajar because our other nervous cat really likes hanging out in there. She's a tiny little thing and she's just under three years old, and she has the biggest yellow eyes and I do not think I even need to tell you that we were smitten the instant we met her, or that maybe, just maybe, some of us were smitten months ago, having stumbled onto a little thumbnail picture of a tiny tortie with a checkerboard chin who was meant for us all along.

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