We adopted a cat. Her name is Nimbus.
She's six years old and she came from my friend Ann.
Ann got married this summer and her new combined household had a sum total of four cats, a dog, and seven kids when they were all at home.
We were looking for a new adventure (even before Fireman Sam's untimely demise). And my husband, who was the least enthused about the prospect of another cat, was wooed by the idea that she had no front claws and was already six years old and so might not claw up his record collection and was already very familiar with how to use a litter box.
We were going to change her name. Mark liked D.D. (We're Ramones fans over here.) Cole liked Diamond Sparkle Rainbow. In order to dodge that bullet, we said we'd just leave her as Nimbus. Lovingly named after a cloud.
She came to us two Saturdays ago. And she hid under the futon in the basement and didn't eat or come out to drink for a few days. Then she disappeared from that hiding spot and we got worried. In fairness, Ann said to me as I was carrying the cat out of her home, "Don't leave any doors open of rooms you don't want her to go into."
She said that to me.
And then we scheduled a huge crew to come in and rip out our behemoth old furnace and install a new one and a new air conditioner. We lost Nimbus a day before they were supposed to arrive. And we found her the minute they showed up at our door.
She was in the furthest, least-reachable nook at the back of the furnace room under the basement stairs. And we couldn't entice her out, bribe her out or drag her out.
So we left her there.
And the crew worked all day, from nine in the morning until after dinner time. They made a ruckus and dust and at one time Cole asked if they were using a jack-hammer. Mark fretted and stewed and said he was angry because it must be terrifying for the cat. Why hadn't she just come out?! He loves her already, I thought to myself.
And when we went back down at the end of the day, she wasn't under the stairs.
We looked at each other with surprise and worry. We checked under every couch and in every closet and behind every pillow in the house. We dug out the heavy duty flashlight and the headlamps. Then, when we'd turned the entire house inside out, we returned to the nook under the basement stairs and we shone our flashlights in and craned our necks and at the very back of that space there was a perpendicular space that went out of sight, about the depth of a wall and Lord knows how far back. Mark remarked that it was big enough for a petrified cat to cram herself into if she heard a jack-hammer three feet away but wondered aloud if the so-mentioned cat might not be able to then retract itself from the space.
We checked the house again. And again. And then we went to sleep.
Mark kept saying things like, "I really don't want a dead cat in the wall of our basement." And I wondered about the beautiful leopard print cat bed that was never used and also how I'd ever tell Ann I'd killed her cat in less than three days. I tried to remember how long an animal can go without food or water. I wondered about the water content of the treats I'd given her when she arrived.
I wondered if I could carry on the charade of having a cat with Ann for an appropriate amount of time.... what is an appropriate amount of time before killing a person's cat????
The next day, Cole found Nimbus under the living room couch.
The next night she walked all over my head at four in the morning.
That's when I knew we'd turned a corner in our relationship.
Nimbus wouldn't be wedging herself into a wall and starving herself to death any time soon.
Yay for the small victories.