I walked into the Wichita County Humane Society with my then boyfriend, with the intent to adopt a cat. We worked opposite schedules and I wanted a companion animal so that I felt less alone in the apartment. We were taken into the ‘cat room’ to fill out paperwork and interact with animals that were available for adoption.
Honestly, I don’t remember all the details about what other cats I considered. Because this choice wasn’t left up to me. While we were working on the forms, a classic blue tabby walked over and announced himself. I ran my hands across his head and moved him aside to continue.
A few moments later he literally sat down on the paperwork and demanded my attention, quite loudly. I remember thinking that if there was ever a sign….
The woman overseeing the adoption was surprised. “His name is George. He’s very vocal, as you can see. Are you sure you’re interested in him?” Now there was no question – I wanted company, so a vocal cat seemed perfect. I’d have someone to talk to!
He came home to us the next week; we named him Karma. After all, it felt very much like a ‘you get back what you put out’ kind of situation! I’ve always said that if Karma were human he’d be the stereotypical camp gay man. He’s a bit neurotic about change because anything out of its place really makes him twitchy. His meow is loud and unpredictable in tone/pitch.
A few months later, we adopted a tiny grey striped tabby and named her Kismet (Kissa for short). They have distinctly different personalities. Kissa loves only two things – her Mama and men. Everything else is an annoyance at best. She has a tiny little squeak of a meow. They have been a pair since.
I kept them when that boyfriend and I split up 2 years later. I moved in with my mother and her cat, Mischief. When I married my ex-husband, I left my cats behind because he told me that he was just too allergic to have them in the house with us. In retrospect, he needed to get some Benadryl (he was fine when we visited, after all).
By the time I arrived back home after ending my marriage, my cats had been with my mother for nearly 5 years. This time, I stayed for two years, but eventually moved away again. I made the decision to leave them with her. They’re always going to be my cats but we agreed that it was in their best interest to stay with her.
This year, Karma turned 16 years old. I went home this weekend expecting that it would likely be the last time that I saw him. It was a long, emotionally exhausting weekend in regards to that topic. I don’t know that I’ll write about it in great detail but the short version is that he’s not ready to go just yet.
Afterwards, in the throes of exhaustion I made the joke to M that my old man had definitely proven himself. It’s as if he were saying, “What’s my name?!”
I hear you, Old Man. Mama loves you.