16 July 2011

Today was an open house at the cat shelter that provides cats to the pet store where I volunteer. It was a tiny house and there were cats in the living room and cats in the kitchen, cats in the bedroom and cats in the mud room. There were photos of cats in multi-portrait family frames. There was a wall with floor to ceiling cat beds up on the shelving, a chair full of snuggling cats, and doors that opened onto a patio patrolled by cats and little dogs. I sat down beside the cooler filled with juice and was quickly joined by a skinny black and white cat named Kramer and a grey cat whose name I did not learn. We sat there for about an hour, while the cats took a nap and I watched people approach a rehabilitating cockatoo with a scruffy regrowth of feathers who was making horrible na-na noises. The cat madam tried to get him to say "hooray!" She was very animated in her dealings with the bird, who she had rescued from a covered cage between speakers blasting, as the bird would tell you, noise. I tried to console a little girl who got barked at by a tiny dog, burst into tears, and headed for the door. I got up to eat some broccoli and sour gummy bears, and there were cats at almost all the chairs at the table. The cats didn't seem to mind the misting rain, and drank from a little fountain surrounded by pretty potted plants. I headed back to the kitchen to try to catch some stories from the cat madam and hooked up with Kramer again, who sat in my arms and let me carry him around. I love socializing with cats, even as in this case, an old cat with potential kidney failure, cats with cancer, toothless cats, and feral cats who watch from a distance. There is no feeling like the encompassing mellow I get from hanging out with cats. The cat madam was nice and kept wildly overestimating the number of cats that were actually in her care. Tomorrow she gets some chickens. I can see the appeal, but the chair was the only piece of furniture in the house apart from her bed.

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