Someone recently asked me a question about one of the resident cats and it made me realize I haven’t told their story! With all they put up with, it’s the least I can do.
In April 2008, goofy Gus crossed the rainbow bridge, leaving behind wild child Pip. She was a stray found in the yard at work. She was never completely domesticated but, oh!, did she love Gus. At the time I was planning on moving so Pip and I lived alone for a few months. After I moved into my condo it was clear that Pip was still lonely so I decided to finder her a companion. It had been many, many years since I’d sought out a cat (they’d all found me!) and around this time I learned about Toronto Cat Rescue. In late September 2008, they were having an adoption event. Off I went, “just to look”. I didn’t take a carrier and even took transit having NO intention of actually adopting. When I walked in (it was in a store that is still a TCR partner, though it’s been completely renovated since then) all I could see were kittens. Pip was 12 years old — she would not appreciate a kitten. “Do you have any older ones?” “Sure — over there.” I was directed to the cage holding “Curly”. “Older” is clearly a relative term. Curly was six months old! But SO adorable. And very friendly and affectionate. After years of timid cats I was eager to find someone sociable. So Curly — I was told he was one of three fostered by the young men who found them; I can only assume the other two were “Larry” and “Moe”! — came home with me and was re-named Jonesy.
Pip hated him on sight.
I mean hated: Who is this young jerk — who is NOT my Gus — trying to play with me? Who is this unmannered little beast who keeps trying to get my attention. Make him go away.
I tried for four months. Things did not improve — they got worse. Pip was hiding ALL the time and Jonesy was getting more obnoxious with boredom. He’d attack me all the time when I was home, wanting attention, wanting play. Let me state right here: at NO time did it EVER occur to me to return him. EVER. Even though I was worried about what the situation was doing to both of them.
I decided that Jonesy needed a playmate and Pip would rather be left alone than have the wrong friend. So back to TCR. I chose Murphy from the website. He was six months younger than Jonesy. I was screened again and was put in touch with his foster. I asked her where she was. We arranged a meeting. At the end I asked for directions. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Toronto is huge, geographically. The Greater Toronto Area is just over 7,000 square kilometers (2700 square miles)! It has swallowed up a number of smaller towns/municipalities. There is a lot of duplication of street names. When I asked her where she was she named an intersection not far from me. By that time I no longer had a car; I thought, oh, that’s not bad on transit. When I asked her for directions, she started, “You take the 401 to …” Wait? What? The 401 is the major highway that runs east-west right across the city. Turns out she lived in a suburb of Toronto 45 minutes highway driving away (two hours by transit). Uh, ok. I phoned a friend and asked if she could drive me to Brampton. “What’s in Brampton.” “A cat.” “A cat? Why can’t you find a cat in Toronto?” “Because I fell in love with the photo of THIS one!”
Meet and greet day arrived. Just before it was time to leave I got a call; the foster wanted to cancel. Her kids were sick. But I’ve arranged a ride!! I told her if it was too much trouble, that was one thing, but if she thought I was worried about catching something, I wasn’t. She must have heard the desperation in my voice — she said ok.
So off we went. Even on a Sunday morning with light traffic, it was FAR. I assured my friend that unless there was something seriously wrong (and probably even then) with the cat I was bringing him home. There wasn’t. I signed the paperwork, handed over the fee, popped him in the carrier and off we went. When we got home I knew I should do the separation thing but I just had a feeling. Jonesy was already inspecting the carrier. I opened it up and out popped Murphy. (Actually, I think his name was Matrix.) They chased each other around a bit and after half an hour they were eating side-by-side. They’ve been pals ever since. Because of all the help, my friend got naming rights and he became Murphy.
Pip accepted Murphy and they became friends. Not good friends, but friends nonetheless. Pip and Jonesy never became friends.