The vet thought Not Cat perfect. She said so several times. She looked almost eager when she pronounced him between twelve and eighteen months. He may grow a little more, but he’s not going to be in Cat’s league for size. “Is that alright?” she said, “I’ll have him if you don’t want him.” I was a bit taken aback, then remembered we’d had the conversation about me wanting an older cat.
It seems everyone who sees Not Cat loves him on sight. Except me. I like him, I’m fond of him, but I don’t yet love him. I hope and expect I shall. But I didn’t love Cat at once. I don’t remember how long it took. My father proposed to my mother after two weeks. He may have taken longer over his dogs, but I don’t think so. I evidently have a slower burning fuse.
The vet exclaimed over Not Cat’s perfect teeth; loved his perfect looks. I pointed out his perfect whiskers just in case she’d missed them, showed her his perfect fig leaf. Not a yowl or a cry as he had his vaccinations. He didn’t seem too keen on the scan that revealed no microchip in place. He got off the table and hid under the cabinet while we humans discussed possible names. She favours the one I think I’m settling on. He poked his nose out and she lifted him up. He went back in the basket. She opened it again to admire his pink nose. He lifted his face to hers.
So I came home without him. No, I hadn’t given him to the vet for ever and a day. He’s staying in overnight to have his testicles removed. She told me I could ring in the morning but there wouldn’t be any news until late in the afternoon. She remembers my anguished calls when Cat had to stay over. It’s alright, I assured her. I haven’t bonded with him yet. I’ll be fine. She told me she loved him already. But as I handed him over, I felt a tug, a wrench. Hmm. Maybe we are bonding. If she tells me something awful has happened to him on the operating table, I’ll get a search warrant out for her home.
When I got home, there was a ‘phone message from a neighbour, desperate to know what the microchip scan had revealed. I called her back to reassure her. We discussed names. She doesn’t like any of my top three and was quite dismissive of them. I felt my hackles rise. He’s my cat, I thought. And suddenly realised the possessive gene was kicking in.
Yes Munchkin. You’re My Cat now. You’re coming home to stay.