Meet Shadow (aka @invisicat)

I finally managed to get photos of Shadow. Not because she decided to come out, but because Eva and I finally decided that we’d had it with a cat who was a freeloader in our house and didn’t even have the decency to properly snub us, but rather hid all the time and did her best to pretend we didn’t exist. So on Sunday, we chased her out of her hiding place and attempted to catch her. Of course, she then fled to Hiding Place(2). So we chased her out of there, and she went to Hiding Place(3). Which happened to more or less trap her in a corner. I grappled with her, and I bled. Profusely. And she peed on me. And attempted to run back down the stairs to Hiding Place(4). But we, being the humans, had outsmarted her, and shut the door at the bottom of the stairs. And Eva was successful in corralling her. At which point we were able to contain her in one small room. We spent much of the remainder of Sunday in that room with her, being generally ignored.

Monday, I took her to the vet. No, let me rephrase. Monday morning, she I engaged in epic battle in which I bled profusely (but was not peed upon) at which point I got her into a travel kennel, and we went to the vet. Where she behaved like a perfect lady. Purred. Let me pet her. Didn’t put up any fight when the vet took her temperature or drew blood. She even explored the exam room a little, which meant I had the opportunity to take the following photos with my phone.

Tuesday evening, Eva spent the evening with her, and she agreed to be held for most of the evening. I came home, and was snubbed (she let me hold her for 10 minutes). I was home this morning, and she completely ignored me. Eva is home now, no doubt receiving tons of affection. So it goes.

No doubt this, too, will change. But at least now you have the pictorial proof that she exists.

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A New Cat

Eva and I adopted a new cat on Sunday. She is going by the name of Shadow at the moment, which seems singularly appropriate, as she is solid gray. She is adorable. She is three years old.

This is normally when I would post some lovely pictures of our new cat. Many, many more photos than anyone would truly be interested in. Beautiful photos of the cat lounging in a variety of dignified poses as well as some rather more embarrassing photos that shouldn’t really aren’t appropriate to the dignity of a cat. Maybe even some photos of Shadow with me, with Eva, with Artemis. However, we do not have those photos here. And do you know why? Because we haven’t seen her since about Sunday at 5PM, when she discovered that there were better places to hide than under the secretary by the front door.

The key difference between me now and me 14 years ago is that I’m not freaking out. I understand that cats, moving into a new house, often hide for a bit. I’ve been through this a few times with cats. As long as she seems to be eating and using the litter box, I’ll remain relatively calm.

It is, however, very disappointing to acquire a new friend, a new cat, selected because she seems to respond to you at the humane society, and then have her disappear as soon as you get home. It’s just not the goal you’re hoping for. In fact, it kind of seems like nothing has changed, since we never really see her (though we do hear her from time to time.

By the way, the reason we are using the name Shadow instead of the name she had previously, is that her previous name was Chloe. Now, we have a history with a cat we named Chloe. And it didn’t end well.  And therefore, it seemed like we really needed to find a new name for the cat we adopted this weekend. Because she is pure gray, and somewhat shy, Shadow seemed an appropriate choice. We were hoping, however, that she might not live up to the name quite so literally.

As I said, we are not yet particularly worried. Cats take time to adjust. We are giving her time. When she’s ready, she’ll come out and say hello. But until that, we’ll satisfy ourselves with hearing her in the closets every now and again, and seeing the food disappear and the litterbox get used.

A Prayer for a Dead Pet: Chloe didn’t Make it

So, it turned out that Chloe was too far gone, and after two days of improvements, she seemed to give up, and after two days of decline, it was time to let her go. We’re obviously sad, but as we only knew her six days, the grief is mild.

Nonetheless, it sparked thoughts in me, wondering what prayer one should say on the death of a pet. And working within the Jewish tradition, I’ve composed the following:

God, full of love, dwelling in the spirit of all life, may the spirit of ___________ be accepted into your love. By the merit of his/her love, may his/her spirit live on in the love of all life. And let us say, Amen.

Edited: I’ve managed to create a Hebrew version of the text below:

Meet Chloe

Eva and I have adopted a new cat: This is her looking her best (which is rather unfortunate, aChloe's Faces we might wish that she would look considerably better). She was found 6 weeks ago on the side of the road, nearly dead. Since that time, she has been nursed back to health, put on some (but not nearly enough) weight, and tried to get run over by both a car and a horse.

Chloe’s Face

In any case, she is almost 4 pounds, and we’re hoping to fatten her up considerably over the coming months. We think a part of the issue is a hyperactive thyroid, which is making it difficult for her to gain weight. We now have her on thryroid meds, which we’re hoping will address most of her issues.

So, I’ve warned you, she’s very  thin, very underweight. Here is a more representative picture of her, which shows way too much of her skin and bones. She is looking a little bedraggled, despite the fact that this photo is after I gave her a bath and brushed her out (for the record, she hates baths).  We’ve named her Chloe. She is probably around 14 or 15 and seems quite social with people.

At this point, Chloe is still integrating into the household, and the other cats are not sure what to make of her. She is not so sure what to make of them either, though, so it seems to be ok.

Normally, I’d tell you more about her personality at this point, but we’re still getting to know her. She is so starved, that her personality seems to largely consist of needing huge amounts of sleep and not eating enough to make us happy (though she is always delighted when new food appears). We are looking forward to getting to know her better, and are excited to think that at some point her universe might expand beyond the 10 feet immediately around the food bowls, and down to the basement where the litter boxes are.

I am sure that there will be more details on Chloe in the weeks to come, as we nurse her back to health (we hope). But I figured I needed to give her a “coming out” post now.

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