I had lost my cat Jasper the day after Thanksgiving. He was 15, and had lived out his natural life, but it was still so painful to lose my constant companion of the last 12 years. Every time I walked into my apartment, it felt heartbreakingly empty. I kept forgetting that Jasper wasn’t there in his favorite spot on the sofa or on his pillow next to mine on the bed. The only thing that kept me from sinking into a complete depression was the thought of adopting a new cat at some point, who I could love and spoil as I did Jasper. After all, I had been through this before with previous cats. Their little lives are so short in comparison to ours, but it never gets any easier to lose them. After a few weeks, I decided I would be ready to adopt in time for my birthday, which is the week before Christmas.
It was a cold, rainy day when my mom and I went to Bideawee to see if they had any likely candidates. I was worried because I could only adopt one cat and I know that kittens are usually adopted in pairs, but I also didn’t want to adopt an older cat, after having just lost Jasper. I couldn’t bear to go through that pain again anytime soon. The new cat would have to be young, but not too young, and would have to be comfortable as a solo cat.
Bideawee was quiet when we entered, perhaps because of the rain. I filled out the adoption forms and looked wistfully at a sweet black kitten kneading the sides of a fuzzy cat bed. I knew that I couldn’t adopt a kitten. Even though I work mostly from home, there are a few days a week that I still have to go to the office, and I would not be comfortable leaving a small kitten home alone. A staff member quickly told me about Hatch: he was about a year-and-a-half, born in foster care, and returned to the shelter for beating up the other cats in the household. He sounded perfect, but would he like me? My mom and I quietly entered the office where Hatch was living. A handsome tabby cat greeted us. We sat quietly for a few minutes and observed him playing with a track ball toy and kneading a fuzzy blanket. He was curious about us, jumping around the office, and he sniffed my hand a few times, but wouldn’t let me touch him.
“Does he let you pet him?” I asked the volunteer, and she assured me that he did. I decided to take a chance. There was something endearing about the big tabby who was so full of life. The fact that he didn’t like other cats made it seem like he was destined to be my solo cat. We went downstairs to fill out the paperwork and wait for my new companion to be brought down. While waiting, we talked about names. I had a short list and several that I was leaning towards, and I ran them by my mom. After trying out a few that didn’t’ seem to quite fit, we agreed that he looked like a Jonesy, after the bassist John Paul Jones. My previous two cats had J names and I wanted to continue the tradition.
Hatch, now Jonesy, was brought down in my carrier, none too happy about the situation. I tossed a blanket over the carrier to keep him dry and went out to hail a cab. We got stuck in the most atrocious crosstown traffic and it took an hour just to get to Hell’s Kitchen, with Jonesy meowing his objections for most of the ride. Once safely inside my apartment, I unzipped the carrier, and he dashed under the sofa. But curiosity got the best of him and he only hid for a few minutes before coming out to explore, sniffing everything in his path. He seemed pleased with his new accommodations and flopped down on the rug in front of the sofa, where he accepted some petting and belly rubs. Gradually, he discovered the high perches and other design elements I had installed for Jasper. The windowsill with a close view of the bird feeder is a favorite spot. He learned how to jump on the furniture to get up to the high perches where he now spends much of his time. He is a much bigger cat than Jasper so I had to move some things around that were previously cat-proof, as he can jump very high, even right up onto my kitchen counter. Overall, he has settled in nicely and is now king of the castle. I think he knew upon meeting me that I would spoil and cherish him and he was right! Thank you Bideawee, for helping me find the perfect companion!
—- Michele, Jonesy’s adopter