I didn’t get much reading done this week. Every time I picked up a book, Sir Walter Scott scooted his head beneath it, and collapsed on my chest, obscuring the pages.
Coffee proved difficult to drink, because Walter kept trying to dunk his nose in my mug.
And I’m not sure what kind of texts I sent, because Walter believes nothing should come between my face and his, and keeps batting my phone away.
Walter is our new addition – a tabby kitten – approximately 2 1/2 pounds of fuzz, energy and affection.
When our senior cat, Milo, died in November, we knew we’d adopt again. However, our hearts needed time to heal, and that included our 7-year-old tabby, Thor, who missed his nemesis/best friend.
This spring we started looking at animal shelters and pet adoption centers. There were plenty of beautiful adult cats who needed homes, but we agreed it would be too much for Thor to have to fight for space with another big cat. A kitten he could boss around seemed like a better fit.
But there were no kittens to be found.
“I hope that means people are doing a better job at spaying and neutering,” Derek said.
We kept looking.
And then my friend Haley, told me about a litter of kittens being fostered by Mona Richardson.
Mona and her husband, Dave, own the Hub tavern on North Monroe Street. Mona also works at Northwest Seed and Pet.
A friend of hers had a neighbor who moved away, abandoning a litter of kittens, but taking the mama cat. Mona is a cat-lover and an experienced kitten foster mom. Of course, she took in the kittens.
Several weeks ago she brought the brood to the tavern and invited Derek and me to take a look at them.
They were all adorable. Tabbies, black kitties and even a homely Calico. I held a couple of them, but when I picked up Walter, I knew he was the one.
His blue-green eyes are lined white, and each tiny paw looks like it’s been dipped in a bucket of white paint. He squirmed, then snuggled.
From then, it was just a matter of waiting until he had gained enough weight to be neutered.
Derek dubbed him Walter. I added the Scott. The Sir is optional.
On Friday evening we returned to the Hub to pick him up.
Walter proved popular with the tavern regulars who gifted us with bags of cat treats as we said goodbye.
At home we took him out of the carrier, and Zach and Sam each held him, and then he was off, exploring his new home at full speed. In fact, our tiny tabby’s throttle appears to be defective. It’s either flat-out or dead-stop!
He’d just been neutered the day before and was supposed to take it easy. Apparently, no one told Walter that.
Thor’s reaction? Stunned horror.
He cautiously sniffed the new arrival, but when Walter bounded toward him, Thor backed away with an angry hiss.
Then he mumbled some mean meows, which if I translated, could not be printed in a family newspaper.
Zach, our third-born, sympathized.
“I know what it’s like to be replaced by someone younger and cuter, Thor. The same thing happened to me,” he said.
After several hours of nonstop action and exploration, Walter was having a tough time calming down.
I took him to our bedroom, shut the door and got his new bed ready. He had other ideas and made a flying leap from the floor to our bed. He jumped from square to square on our quilt, like a kid pretending the floor is hot lava, and then he bounced back down.
I’d forgotten I had a mirror on the floor next to a stack of stuff to donate to the Goodwill. Walter took one look at the kitty in the mirror and promptly attacked. That’s how we learned his Ninja skills include somersaults, sideways rolls and stealth pouncing.
I turned the mirror to the wall and got into bed with the exhausted kitten. He tucked his head under my chin, commenced purring and conked out. Five hours later, he woke us up by bouncing on our heads.
Which is why my husband revoked Walter’s big bed privileges. However, as soon as Derek gets up in the morning, Walter races to the bedroom and launches himself on our bed to join me. Sometimes, he even falls asleep.
Thor is slowly warming up to him. Extra treats and affection, and a new cat tree, so he can look down upon the new arrival, helped.
Meanwhile, the rest of us cannot resist a kitten that stands on his back legs and holds up his front paws when he wants to be picked up.
Sir Walter Scott is equal parts entertaining and exhausting. and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
For us, the pitter-patter of little paws is what makes a house a home.
Contact Cindy Hval at email@example.com. She is the author of “War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation.” Her Front Porch segments air Saturday mornings on Spokane Talks on FOX 28 Spokane.
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