The joys of cat ownership (especially of grateful SPA kitties)

By Dea Randall

Willow was featured with an accompanying, heartbreaking picture in an article about unwanted, unadoptable teenage kittens at the SPA. Her aloof look masked a little mottled gray creature with a loving heart looking for a warm lap to curl up in. After eight years with our family, Willow is as delightful as she was in her early days, especially when her kittenish streak hits and she suddenly rushes under beds and across them like being chased by the Hounds of Hell. She’s a joy in her quieter times, too, during which she occupies my lap, purring, or burrows under bedspreads and blankets to make herself a little “tent” when trying to keep warm. She gives us quiet pleasure every day.

Several years ago while volunteering at the SPA, I fell in love with BooBoo during playtime with a huge batch of kittens (25 or so). His tiny gray and white body and beautiful little white face, as well as his frantic energy, captivated my heart immediately. My initial worry was that my five older cats would harm him; I was soon proven wrong very clearly. BooBoo terrorized everyone else and almost had to return to the SPA because of it, but a few “lessons” from older cats mellowed him out a little, and he became the wonderful, playful boy he is today. He spreads himself on his back across a bed and takes up almost the whole thing. He’s a huge cat, and has learned to “talk” on command for his “dad,” who is quite charmed by him. He keeps my legs warm while I watch TV or read in the evening by doing his little “milk tread” on my lap blanket, kneading my shins with special force so strong he occasionally elicits cries of displeasure from me. His “cuteness” allays the pain!

Willow and BooBoo brighten and enrich our lives immeasurably. No trip through the bedroom is complete without stopping and patting them both. The socialization they received from SPA volunteers before their adoptions was invaluable. Volunteer hours are Monday-Saturday, from 11-2 at Los Pinos 7, 152-6124. Not only is it a pleasurable experience for the volunteers to let a cat or kitten get to know and feel comfortable around them and others, but it also helps our lovely cats and kittens get adopted, giving others the chance to experience the joys of cat ownership.


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