Buffy died recently, and I miss her a lot. But then I still miss my old Coon Cat, Kittikitti, who died many years ago. Now I am without a cat for the first time in decades.
My first impulse, naturally, is to get another cat. I am looking in dozens of shelters and rescue facilities. I’m not so dumb as to try to replace Buffy. You can’t replace someone you’ve lost. What I’m looking for is a new friend. People in the shelters ALWAYS ask, “what kind of cat are you looking for?” I tell them I’ll know it when I see it. If the shelter worker seems generally interested, I add it’s a matter of chemistry: “you understand that,” I tell them, “you work around cats all day.” Most generally they say, yes, they do understand chemistry.
I have a list, partly conscious, but not totally, I’m sure, of the things I’m looking for in a cat: alert, people-aware, friendly, smart, etc etc etc. Same thing as when you’re looking for a girl-friend or a wife, right: you have a list of desirable qualities you’re looking for.
But wait. How stupid is that? Lists of desirable things works if you’re buying a car or a house, but, a friend? You want a friend because you want someone to love. But you don’t love desirable qualities, you can’t, it doesn’t make sense.
And if you’re concerned with unconditional love, which is the best kind (and which I am), then you don’t even love a cat: you just love. not something you attach to an external object; it’s not something you acquire a thing for and then expect to find it “out there,” or get it back. You just love.
So. I should be able to get any cat, and love it. I should be able to get a kitten with mange, or an old scruffy cat about ready to croak, or a grumpy cat, or a three-legged cat, and love it equally. I know that.
I understand that, but I can’t quite do it yet. I will probably be selective, and keep looking until I find a cat that’s easier for me to like.
But Buffy was a calico, and I hated calicos. But I loved Buffy. That’s a start, I guess.