So last Sunday, there was a knock on my door. It was the volunteer from the animal shelter (let's just call her Crazy Cat Lady), carrying two towel-covered cat-carriers. Inside said carriers, in a complete post-bath-and-car-ride swirl of kitty-PTSD, were my foster kitties. Yay!!! I envisioned curling up on my couch that very evening, ooh'ing and ahhh'ing at the Golden Globes red carpet (being secretly thrilled that Angie and JLo don't look quite as good after twins as they did before), with two adoring, purring felines at my side, alternately nuzzling themselves and my feet.
Oh silly, deluded Sarah. Abandoned, potentially abused foster cats who have no names are generally not the nuzzling-on-the-first-date type. Even if there are tasty tuna treats involved. This was more like a blind date who'd had root canal earlier in the day AND whose last partner cheated on them with their best friend and emptied their bank account before slashing their tires and stealing all their CDs. A little standoff-ish and bit commitment shy, you know?
There was much hissing and yeowling involved. All the while C.C.L. was yammering on about her own cats (her many, many cats; said yammering also included a "have you seen all my grandkids"-esque demonstration of cat pictures from her wallet) and requesting a tour of our house so she could check for screens on windows and doors and, I guess, to be sure we weren't running some sort of science lab that required kitty test subjects or a cat-fur coat manufacturing facility out back.
Satisfied that I wasn't going to test make up products on the cats or bludgeon them for fur, she finally put her photo menagerie back in her wallet and headed home, leaving me with two hissing cat carriers, each of which seemed to contain only a pair of gold eyes a piece.
Following the advice I'd received from veteran cat foster parents, I left them in their carriers and moved them into the guest room, along with their litter, some food and water, and a toy or two. I turned on a dim light, talked softly and let them be. I was bummed to watch the Golden Globes without being able to lavish affection on their deserving little heads, but making fun of whatever the hell Renee Zellweger was wearing made up for it a little bit, I guess.
That was Sunday. It is currently Friday. Turns out the carriers did in fact contain entire cats, not just their eyes and hissy little mouths. I've seen them. On occasion, I've patted them. They've purred exactly twice and come out from behind the guest bed probably half a dozen times, primarily under the cover of night and when we're asleep. I have found them hiding in Ethan's closet and in the pantry closet. They spent one day cowering in the coat closet under a pile of coats after not being able to make their way back to the guest room upon our waking in the morning.
Ethan has been so very un-2 around them. While he's still screaming and hollering in the living room and racing and crashing his cars at the highest decibel possible, when he goes into the guest room, he softens his voice to almost a whisper because I've told him the kitties are shy and don't like loud noises. A couple days ago, I found him laying on the guest bed, looking over at the kitties below (they hide between the head of the bed and the wall), saying, "Do you want to come out, kitties?" Later, it was "Can I sing to you please, kitties?" which was followed by two or three (or twenty) rounds of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Heart. Swelling. With. Love. And. Pride. Must. Eat. Mah. Baby. Now.
So we're doing a whole lot of kitty therapy in our house these days. I have no idea what they saw through their eyes before they came to us or how they were treated by those they trusted before (although I can venture a guess), but here we are all about the kitty TLC. It does my heart as much good as I hope it's doing theirs. Making such a tangible difference in the life of another living thing is just plain good for the soul.
And here's what we generally see of them: