Monday, January 2, 2012

Zelda and Mrs. Parker's Stories

Zelda and Mrs. Parker perched on the shower door

Pets' names:
Zelda and Mrs. Parker
Adopted by: Leonore
From: Putnam Humane Society in Carmel, N.Y.

Leonore (who blogs at As a Linguist...) sent the stories of Zelda and Mrs. Parker, her two sister kitties. 

My first cat, Gomer Pyle, had come to me as a refugee from a friend who loved him but also loved her two Boxer dogs and didn't want him to be chased anymore. He was a goofy cat: crooked tail, overbite, and slightly crossed eyes. Then, a tumor required the amputation of his front left leg and shoulder, which didn't stop him from chasing his tail. Finally, after a fang extraction, his upper lip would often get caught on his lower fang, making him look like he was imitating Elvis' famous half-sneer half-seductive smile.

And oh, how I loved him! I had him with me for six years.

Gomer got sick one Friday in March 2010. He was better by Sunday, worse again on Monday, and put to sleep on Tuesday. His last moments were spent purring and pushing his head into my hand for the scratches he so loved.

I spent a week crying, another week feeling numb, and the next four months not wanting another cat. Then, I finally decided it was time. I was ready for a new cat—not just Replacement Gomer—and maybe even two so they wouldn't get lonely when I was at work.

One day at the end of June, after many false starts and falling in love about a thousand times, I knew I had found my new cats.

My boyfriend and I walked into the Putnam Humane Society to inquire about some foster cats I'd seen on their website. Before we even called the foster parents, however, I saw two small kittens in a corner cage. They were sisters, 10 weeks old, and had been brought in about two months earlier. They'd been found together in a garage alone with no sign of their mother. They were quite feral at first but had responded well to care and attention.

I was handed a tiny white kitten. She was the softest thing I've ever felt. She sniffed around a bit, and then settled into my arms, closed her eyes, and started purring. I scratched her head. She purred harder. I rubbed her belly. She squirmed and, still purring as loud as anything, she turned her head and gave me a little love bite on the arm. She had chosen me.

Her sister, a little brown tabby, was still in the cage. She was even smaller than her sister. She had been in her little kitty cave, watching the whole thing. She was taken out and held up. She immediately squirmed and let out a little squeak that melted my heart even more than it already was. Her sister would not be going anywhere without her.

I was hooked.

A week later, just before Independence Day, they came home with me. They've grown into beautiful, incredibly sweet cats who still love to snuggle with each other when they're not chasing and tussling. In some ways they are very similar: they aren't very talkative, but they both trill quite a bit and let out their little squeaky meows when they want cheese, their favorite snack. Both also like to be in the same room as I am, and they both are very playful. Neither of them have a mean bone in their bodies, and they never bite or swat at me or my boyfriend.

Snoozing under the futon

But they certainly have distinct personalities. Zelda is intensely curious about everything and often gets into mischief by jumping to the tops of doors or bookshelves, or exploring every nook and cranny of a room. She loves to drink out of the faucet and is always on the bathroom counter to watch me put on make-up. She's the one who knocks pens off my desk, or bats at the cursor on the screen when I'm working on the computer. And she loves to snuggle, often making herself comfortable on my lap or next to my head at night.

Mrs. Parker is still more skittish around too many people, but she is extremely playful and silly. Her favorite toy is her scratching post, which she beats up regularly. She doesn't like to be picked up but will snuggle and purr for hours if she's burrowed under a blanket with me. She's a chewer, and after losing two sweater belts to her gnawing, she is the reason I now have a latch on the closet door.

I'm still as smitten as can be with my girls and can't imagine my life without them.

If you adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue group and you'd like to share his or her story, please email me. I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Kate, thank you for letting Leonore share her story. Leonore - your story reminds me of our two dogs - Cherokee and Wilbur. Cherokee sounds much like Zelda, and Wilbur is a canine Mrs. Parker. What a wonderful story. Thank you for keeping the sisters together.

  2. I love when kitty siblings get to stay together. I laughed about the Elvis sneer. I know exactly what you're talking about. One of my cats is minus a fang and does the same thing.

  3. @lenore: Have you written about the pups on your site? I seem to remember something back when I was first poking around your blog. I love that you have the canine version of my girls :)

    @Terri: I was so happy to be able to adopt them together. It would break my heart to think of them being separated. They adore each other. And I'm glad to hear that Elvis is still alive and well ;) I got such a kick out of that sneer!


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