One year ago this very day, we brought home our newest feline friend, whom we named Eggs Benedict. We’d had the name chosen for years (it’s based on a character mentioned in an old Woody Allen standup comedy bit) – we just needed to find the appropriate kitty to fit both the name and the cat-shaped space we had in our life.
Here’s how we arrived at this auspicious occasion:
At the beginning of last year, our home was an emptier place. We’d lost our Desi back in January, so Cooper was an only cat. We’d never experienced a one-cat home together and it didn’t feel right. Cooper is an amazing, friendly, loving, sweet and loyal cat. He’s a buddy to the -enth degree but the fact remained, he was only one cat.
So, we commenced a cat search to again set the people:cat ratio right in our household. After meeting older kitties, special-needs kitties, unsociable kitties and feral kitties at a local shelter, we determined what we really wanted/needed was a kitten. Not just a young’en but a tiny little baby, younger than any cat we’d ever raised. In addition to re-infusing our home with feline energy, we believed Cooper would gracefully step into the role of big brother.
Male or female didn’t matter to us. We were confident that we’d know the “right” cat for us when we met him/her. With our “kitten radar” switched on, it was early spring (aka kitten season) so we were fairly certain we’d find somebody to love if we just kept our eyes, ears and hearts open to the possibility. Quite on a whim, while out and about one day, I called our vet to inquire as to whether they had cats available for adoption. Oh happy day, they did!
We proceeded there forthwith, excited to meet the three 11-week-old brother kitties they had in house. While waiting for an attendant to help us, we approached the adoption corner of the waiting room. As we neared the cages configured two on top of two, we were greeted with a resounding, “MEEEEEEEEEWWWWW!!!” from the lower left cage. Something tiny and gray looked up at us and repeated himself, “MEEEEEEEEEWWWWW!” – even louder (if possible) than before.
“Well, hello there, noisy!” we responded. Oh, he’s so tiny! Ohhhhhh. Myyyyy. Love. Fawning. Weak knees. AWWWWWWW, he’s freaking adorable! And what “cattitude” he’s got! “Yes, please, we’d like to meet this guy in person.”
The attendant told us that he was the runt of the litter and because his two brothers – who were a bit bigger – wouldn’t let him have any food, he was put in his own cage. She left us in a meeting room with the little furball so we could all get acquainted. In the room we sat, entertained by him skittering around the room, evading nearly every effort to pick him up or even touch him. Arching, running, jumping, rolling, flipping…a tiny perpetual motion machine, he was. But what a first impression he made upon us: Look at that face…OMG he’s beeeeeautiful! Big bright yellow eyes shining out of a face full of pure kitten innocence. And look at that short scraggly tail – like a twitchy little torpedo sticking out of his hind end!
While we met his adorable acquaintance, we began filling out an adoption application which was necessary to be considered as adoptive parents. As exciting as it was to be taking this “official” step, it also brought home the reality that no matter how much we might possibly want it to be, the adoption was not yet a done deal. Not only could the approval process take a couple days, but another person had already expressed an interest in adopting him so it was possible that someone else technically had first dibs on him.
We thought he was a whirling dervish when he was alone with us but when the attendant brought in his two black-furred brothers, he kicked into overdrive. The three of them cavorted and wrestled and bounced off the walls of the room, explored every electrical cord, shoelace, purse strap and pant leg in sight. Despite being the runt, the tiny gray thing was every bit as feisty as the bigger guys and gave as well as he got. We spent at least 45 minutes witnessing the little family play and eventually got close enough for a little interaction with each of them. The bigger brothers were fine and dandy but we already felt a connection to the little feller.
I was eventually overcome with an urgent need to leave – I was already falling for him and I’d reached the end of my ability to part ways with him without it tearing part of my heart out. And knowing that we wouldn’t find out if he could be ours for several days was only going to make the yearning worse. So we left – hopeful, yet trying not to get our hopes up too high….
We were completely unable to take our minds off the adorable tiny gray bundle of life, energy and love; we waited with our hearts in our stomachs…
The next day, around noon, the uncertainty was killing us – so I called the vet. They told me the best news we could imagine… YES, we could adopt “Colin” as he was called originally – obviously by someone who failed to recognize his “Eggness.”
Well, we couldn’t get ourselves – and Cooper (who would need a checkup before the adoption could go through) in the car. It seemed it took an interminable amount of time to get Colin ready to go and to sign all the necessary paperwork but eventually, we walked out the door with our two boys, heading for home.
He made his two-pound self at home nearly instantly. Cooper accepted him immediately, like the friendly, social, goodhearted guy he is. Snuggling, wrestling and general playing began soon thereafter and continues on a daily basis. Eggs is a lovey-dovey to his people, too, and loves to be wherever we are.
He’s a particular creature of habit, even for a cat. Yes, he wakes Daddy Scott up every day at 6:00 AM on the dot – but that’s the most inconvenient of his habits. His endearing qualities of sitting on the scale while I shower every day, snuggling, leaping from great distances into his people’s laps, hugging Cooper with his paws and creating his own unique playthings (including gift bows, Dum Dum pops, metal bolts, twist ties, medication bottles, lengths of yarn…) far outweigh any inconveniences he perpetrates. And speaking of “outweighing” – he comes in at a whopping 10.6 lbs as of today.
In this big and sometimes ugly world, we found ourselves a little piece of beauty and love. His name is Eggs Benedict.
I’m so excited about this day that I was actually moved to write a poem…
Ode to Eggs
(which is actually a limerick)
There once was a couple with cats by the ton
Who found themselves sadly down to just one
For a kitten to share
For loving and petting and fun
In a cage they did see gray furry cuteness – alas!
MEEEEEEEEEWWWWW did he yell at them like a blast
“Take me home!” he did plead
“I‘m the one that you need!”
Welcome to the family – at last!
His name’s Eggs Benedict – unusual that’s true
It suits him just fine – he’s unusual too!
He’s been here one year
And that makes us cheer
Our little Eggs, my how you grew!
And just in case you haven’t yet seen enough Eggscuteness… Watch our persistent guy in this video!