The first cat to ever own us was called Fluffy. Baptized by our four year old daughter, Ilene, it was one of many stereotypical feline names we used over the years.  Ilene saw Fluffy in a pet shop window and it was love at first sight.  To me he looked like a skunk because of a white stripe running from head to tail.  So there we were, dog people, walking out of the store with a cat,  litter box, and cat food. 

Never having shared premises with a feline, we treated him as if he were a dog…and it worked.  Since Fluffy, we have been blessed with about 15 more cats, 7 for a while at one time!  

My sister, Nelle, lost her beloved cat, Tatiana, a few months ago. Tatti lived to be almost 20, which is a very good age for cats. Now sis is ready to find another ‘best friend’ and it’s been a comedy of errors all the way.  

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Although Nelle loves Russian Blues, she feels it’s her duty to adopt a shelter resident and give it a permanent home. Her only requirement is that it be female and small.  

Since the cat chooses its person, my sister is making appointments to see who might be her ‘kismet.’  When Jason and I adopted Pyewacket, I dreamed about him for a week before actually making contact and we knew he had chosen us.  We called around to different shelters and rescue organizations and made appointments (actually it was Nelle doing the calling because a cat was going to be her birthday present to me).  Those days are gone.  Everything is now done by computer.  You register with ‘Petfinders’ on the web, you email them, they email you and many are not even in New York State.  Nelle has received photos from Tennessee, Georgia, you name it.  Oh, of course there are still shelters here, but many of their residents are coming from places across the country.  It’s like computer dating: enter your requirements, a picture, and two people to recommend you.  Then you’re matched by strangers who feel they know better than you do (at least in dating you can meet for a drink, click and go on, or just say goodbye).  

One email my sister received promised to drive the cat from Tennessee to spend a week and then pick her up if it didn’t pan out.  It doesn’t work that way.  You need to interact first, meet a group of felines and see which reaches out to you.  With pictures on the net, you have no idea if they’re around the corner or 3,000 miles away.  

Just backs up my theory that the electronic age instead of simplifying things has made our daily lives more complicated.  Since the adoption fee must be paid before the cat is delivered (from another state), there’s no way to tell if it’s real or a scam.

At this point I think Nelle ought to keep visiting local shelters where she can be face-to-face with the applicants.  I’m sure there must be a kindred quadruped spirit out there looking for its biped roommate.  I’ll keep you posted on how it all works out.  There’s nothing like a warm fuzzy cat on a cold winter’s night.

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