We have a new kitty and she likes to watch birds. She’s such an avid bird watcher that it tires her out!
We’ve had the new kitty, Lena, since June. We adopted her a few months after our beautiful, beloved Nuri died. He was 15 years-old, diagnosed with heart failure 2 years before his death, but he lived beyond all expectations of his prognosis, living his happy life until the end.
Our son chose Nuri in 2006 from a local shelter the same year our daughter, Shoshana, died. Truthfully, I didn’t care at all about getting a new pet at that time (we had two dogs and our older cat had died), but our son was 11, bereaved, and adopting a new life was a small and positive thing we did to ease some of the pain. Nuri came into our lives and though there was nothing that could fill the abyss of grief, he was a light in a dark time. Nuri was the smartest cat, maybe the smartest pet, we’ve ever had. Lovely, soft and affectionate, he was also quite funny. He got along well with our dogs, made us laugh, and cuddled like a champ.
During the course of Nuri’s life we adopted another cat, a tiny foundling, our sweet Astrud. Named after the jazz singer Astrud Gilberto for her dulcet meows and chirrups, she’s now 8 years-old and has missed for Nuri since his death. Mournful mews replaced musical meows.
I wasn’t sure I wanted another cat, but a nice neighbor was fostering a mama and 4 kittens, and we visited them and, well, you know the ending to that story. As expected, the adjustment between mature cat and rambunctious kitten has had its challenges. Astrud will play with Lena, but the play is limited and only on her own terms. After all, she’s now alpha and she’s the boss cat. There are some growls and hisses on one side and lots of boundary pushing on the other, but they’re figuring out their relationship and generally getting along. Sort of.
Our cats have always been indoor/outdoor cats, with the emphasis on indoor. Nuri liked to tour his territory, but rarely strayed beyond, and Astrud only goes in the back garden, usually in the afternoons, snoozing under select, favorite shrubs. Neither were/are avid hunters, though Nuri was a ratter. Good Nuri! We’d already decided that if we adopted another cat, he/she would be indoors-only; our garden attracts myriad wildlife and we don’t want a feline invasive species messing with the ecosystem. As Lena has demonstrated lightening speed, tremendous jumping ability, and an interest in stalking and hunting, she will definitely reside indoors. Birds, lizards, insects, and toads will be safe from her skulking through the garden, searching for prey.
Though she is a darling, she’s probably a killer kitty.
Lena is named after another jazz singer, the fabulous Lena Horne. Like the singer, our Lena is beautiful, smart and charming, though I don’t know if she sings as well; she does have a quirky, squeaky-sweet voice. Lena is a charismatic little cat and we’re quite taken with her. She’s been a great addition to our household, though Astrud probably has a different opinion.
Like our dog, Asher, who died 3 years ago, we still miss Nuri, and mourn his loss. Accepting the relatively short duration that pets spend with us and grieving when that ends is the price we pay when we love animals and welcome them into our lives.