After the most painfully lonely week after Jake passed, Ben accompanied me to the local SPCA with the intention of getting some kitty cuddles (I think he was fearful I would come home with 50 kittens). I just wanted to hear some purring.
There were only a few cats in the room, including a couple recovering from surgery and in the process of being adopted. After a cursory walk through where the majority snubbed me, I opened up the cage to a black stray male.
Immediately he assaulted me with forceful physical affection, purring like a maniac and climbing into my arms. He even tried to climb up over my shoulders to say hello to Ben (who will claim he is not a cat guy). I received head rubs and he settled into my arms. It took all of my self control not to burst into tears. Even out of his cage he wrapped around my legs, purring and rubbing. I looked at Ben, and he said “go start the paperwork”.
[ his first picture home ]
His card called him ‘Cosmo’, labeling him as a 6 years old. He came into the SPCA sometime right around Thanksgiving. He looked like a wreck – terribly thin, just been treated for tape worms, and had an upper respiratory infection. I grabbed his Doxy, tucked his carrier under my arm, and off we went.
[ freedom ride ]
He’s since been renamed Khoshekh (Kosh-ECK). If anyone listens to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast – well, you know my inspiration for the name. It seems fitting, as I’ve been told Khoshekh in Hebrew means ‘darkness’ or ‘black’.
In less than a month he’s put on a lot of weight, recovered from his URI, and his coat is becoming quite sleek and shiny. Just when I thought we were smooth sailing in regards to stress-related issues, he came down with wicked urinary tract infection. His whole tract is inflamed and there’s a lot of bacteria and blood in his urine. He received a steroid shot to battle inflammation and now I’m on his shit list (we have 5 days of pain medication and 14 days of antibiotics).
Despite this, he’s settling well. With the exception of taking offense to Honey’s fondness to bounce, nothing seems to bother him. He’s fallen in love with the wood stove and spends mornings rolling over my feet, using the rug to pull himself across the floor. I’m privy to love nibbles and licks, and I adore the chatterbox he’s becoming.
I had difficulty with the first two weeks post-adoption. I felt incredibly guilty that I didn’t wait longer before getting another cat, and at the same time spent that week feeling guilty I had room to save a life and hadn’t yet done so. I wondered if I had done the right thing. Having another cat in the house provided comfort but also highlighted the hole that Jake left. For a few days, I couldn’t look at Khoshekh without crying. I miss Jake so much. It sounds so redundant, saying I miss him, but truthfully I’m not sure I could even articulate just how much that feeling of loss and sadness encompasses. A friend who tragically just lost one of her horses put it in perspective for me – You love them for so long, and when they pass you are left with the love and no where to put it. You need somewhere to place it. I can’t compare a 20 year relationship with a month old one, and I can’t expect similar tastes, behavior, or attitude. I just hope that one day I’ll have an ounce of the relationship with Khoshekh that I had with Jake.