John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to jemcintyre@gmail.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mr. Saunders is in the house

It was only a few months ago that we had to say goodbye to Scout, the sweet tuxedo kitten whom Alice had adopted, and then bequeathed to us when she left for college. 

Scout, who was my afternoon companion and consolation during the long, fruitless job search of the [cough] hiatus [cough]. Scout, who after a year of declining health lost her vision and had to be euthanized at the age of fifteen. Scout whom we mourned--I found myself on getting up every morning looking to see if she was in the window or on the sofa. 

We were not going to acquire another cat. We were in mourning. And Kathleen, who loves cats, is allergic to them.

Then, a week ago as she was working in the yard, a cat whom we had noticed in the neighborhood, a handsome but skinny orange male, walked up to her and said in fluent Cattish, "I'm hungry. Feed me."

Of course she took pity, and put out some food and water, and the cat ate ravenously. He has wandered away from someone or has been abandoned, we thought. We'll feed him for a couple of days and make inquiries around the neighborhood. If no one claims him, we'll have to call animal control, because we can't take on another cat. 

Then the weather turned cold and I weakened. I let him into the house Friday, and he made himself at home. He is a genial cat. He loves to sit with people. He's a purring machine. 

Fatefully, we named him, calling him Saunders, and you know what that means. 

So on Monday, a trip to the Belvedere Veterinary Center for an expensive series of shots and tests (he charmed the staff), and now I have invested in him. 

He is sitting at my feet as I type, wondering when I am going to give up this frivolity and return to my proper duty of paying attention to the cat. 

On my way, Mr. Saunders. 





4 comments:

  1. Cats always seem to know when they're needed in a home—even when the current tenants don't realize it yet, haha. I grew up with big orange tabby toms, and they all purred like Mack trucks. Saunders is a handsome boy, and I'm positive that he's grateful for you both and thrilled to bits with his new home. :)

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  2. Congratulations on your new friend. My wife is terribly allergic too, which is why we've never had a cat. But last year, we temporarily fed a sweet little Siamese mix named Shadow. Our next-door neighbors abandoned him when they moved. He was apparently an outdoor cat who was used to roaming the neighborhood, but he came by pretty regularly for food and doting attention from our now-three-year-old.

    But then he just stopped coming. We have no idea what happened to him, whether he moved on or was taken to a shelter or was hit by a car. But the three-year-old still occasionally talks about our kitty Shadow who got lost, and it breaks my heart.

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  3. "Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders"

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  4. What a lovely tale (pun intended). So sad about Scout - I understand. But glad you are living under the paw again, being purred at and bossed by the handsome orange boy. Cats and their cat-loving humans keep the world a blessed place.

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