Thursday, March 09, 2006

who’s the most cutest kitty-witty in the world? #3

Jon was in the market for a cat. His 16-year-old tabby, Cairo, had died recently and it was clear he hadn’t quite worked through all the stages of grief yet. He was at the showing-pictures-to-strangers stage, and also the keeping-a-mylar-balloon-tied-to-Cairo’s-favorite-chair stage. But such a committed cat dad deserves a good cat—even, perhaps, the most cutest kitty-witty in the world. And Carol, the head volunteer, was determined not to let him leave empty-handed.

“What about Wanda?” Carol asked. “Wanda, say hi to Jon.”

Jon had specified that he would like to adopt two young male cats, preferably tabbies. Wanda was a middle-aged female tortoiseshell, and there was only one of her. But Jon also said he was looking for a cat with a distinctive personality, which Wanda had in abundance.

Wanda has a heart-shaped face that wrinkles up when she meows, which is a lot. In the right light, she’s an attractive cat, but when Carol nudged her to put on the “adopt me!” routine, she stuck a leg up in the air and began licking her saggy, slightly balding belly.

Carol sighed.

Wanda is every teenager’s mom. She cheers with football game theatrics at your piano recital. She wears loud, ill-fitting sweaters and brags about what a bargain they were at T.J. Maxx. But if your friends were to snicker at her collection of resin Santa Claus figures, you would have to stop being friends with them. They would never do that, though, because they see their moms as Wanda and yours as a warm, delightful woman who makes really good spaghetti.

“I don’t know,” said Jon. “They sort of have to find you, you know?” Wanda followed him to the other side of the cattery, her spindly legs supporting her thick body. Jon was interested in a couple of the kittens. He said he’d come back on Saturday, when they’d gotten over their colds and he could see how playful they were.

Wanda is not the type to tell you about how she walked eight miles to school in the snow, but she might casually mention her favorite pair of pink-and-purple snow boots. She might seem a little nostalgic, but she’ll move onto another topic quickly, and then lick your nose for a while.


thelastnoel said...

If Jon can't see how special Wanda is, well...well...screw him.

Tracy Lynn said...

I totally second that. And I have to add that the only thing standing between me and a new cat every time you do these posts is the 3000 miles between Maine and California.

Cheryl said...

I know, I'm totally evil in my kitty proselytizing. But at least I'm evil for a good cause. Here's to the specialness of Wanda.

erin said...

To Wanda! I feel like I know her. :) I just realized that To Wanda is Towanda... from Fried Green Tomatoes. Perhaps not coincidentally I just watched part of that lovely movie a couple days ago. It makes me cry every time. But back to Wanda... I don't know how you manage to go home from the cattery without half a dozen new kitty additions to your family every time.

Cheryl said...

I think cat volunteering is like watching Fried Green Tomatoes. You know it's going to make you cry, but sometimes you gotta do it anyway, because it also makes you happy.

jenny said...

Now you've inspired me to rename my cats Idgy and whatever Mary Louise Parker's name was.

I read that Wanda has been altered. She's all, "Don't even say I was fixed, beeyotch. I ain't broke!"

Okay, that's so not Wanda at all, but I'm sure there's some cat that talks like that. Call me immediately when you find that cat.

Cheryl said...

Alicia totally talks like that.