Those precious eyes study me, a stranger, as we leave together.
Trust me, little one.
I open the passenger seat and gently set the crate on the seat positioned so we can make eye contact while I drive home.
He is a handsome one with big rings of dark fur around his neck in such a unique pattern. A typical American Shorthair the Humane Society director had told me when she turned him over with a booklet on how to care for a cat.
Hello, little fella. You don’t know this but you are going to be very loved and taken well care of at our house. You should have a good life. We’re retired now and we will spend a lot of time with you.
I start the engine and he sits erectly looking without so much as a whine or meow observing everything that I do. Six weeks old. He is all ready to go to the vet’s for his first round of shots.
Today is Monday and just two days prior my husband and I had come to the Humane Society to look over their kitties. From past experience we had already decided a male kitty would be best for us. This way we could train him in the way we wanted.
At first, we were ushered into a room of male cats six months and older, the residents most in need of homes. The multicolored one cried and the calico rubbed against my legs, but there was no instant bonding.
We asked to see the newest litters and we were taken into a small room where two tiny male cats were in a pen together. One was a gray and a little mite. He didn’t seem too active when I held him in my hand. The other one, a tiger, sat back just looking, and resisted a bit when I picked him up squirming to get loose. Immediately we knew that he was the one.
The first thing that we are going to do at your new home is take a good look at you and see if one of the names I have picked out will work.
What were they? Let’s see I had Dickens, Jeremiah and Stripes selected. All weekend I had used the Internet websites for pet names to come up with some possibilities while I waited.
All the way home I am amazed at how still the kitty sits up in his crate. Our last cat, Muffin, was a horrible traveler who would whine and drool to no end. Getting to the vet’s was a chore to say the least.
Poor. Muffin. We loved you for sixteen years. You were our faithful pet. But…now it is time to move on to open our house to a new friend.
Hey! What are you thinking, little guy? Not even a meow from you. You are so quiet. Yet your eyes are so expressive. You look like you could be very mischievous. Yes…Yes..a little dickens.
I turn the car into our driveway and come around to open the door.
Welcome to your new home. We have a house with lots of windows and many acres of land for you to explore when you get older. Come in..come in.
I set the carrying crate down on the living room floor and see the terror in his eyes. I take him out carefully and sit down in the middle of the couch with him in my lap.
Ummm…..which name? You wiggle around so much and you are so active with those big blue eyes looking at me intently. Looks like you favor lying on your back, too, paws up. Ummmm..Dickens. That’s it. You will be named Dickens Thomas.
That solved that. I take Dickens on a tour of the house to show him his litter and food, but I have way overdone it by now. This is too much space for a cat that has been confined to a kennel since birth. I rearrange my plans and decide to put him and his litter and food in our guest bathroom for a few days to get him oriented. He will be safe there. At night I will close the door and then in the morning I will open the door and sit outside on the rug to let him learn to come to my arms.
Sleep tight, precious one. I will come in and check on you in awhile.