BY KATHY GIBBONS, Local columnist
---- — So I was back home after working out of town for three years, only coming home weekends.
My beloved cat died last February and the idea of another seemed impossible. She couldn't be replaced.
On another note, she used to throw up all over the place. Cat litter is a pain and I didn't miss it. I liked being free from having to worry about a pet.
But since I've been home, the house has seemed colder somehow.
Then Kara, a high school friend of my son's, posted pictures on Facebook of two adult cats for whom she was trying to find homes. She's one of those fairy godmothers to animals, holding Saturday pet adoption fairs in the office of the apartment complex she manages in Grand Rapids. A boy and a girl cat of about 5, Pasha and Wilson came to the Humane Society together from a couple who had a baby and didn't want them anymore. She couldn't stand the idea of having them put to sleep and brought them into the office, where they had been living for three months and counting.
At every adoption fair, she tried like mad to get someone to take them, but no one bit. Fully grown cats aren't nearly as cute as kittens. And they came as a pair.
Well, I saw the pictures and began to think about it. I'm on a tight budget and couldn't take on the expense of spaying/neutering. These two were already fixed and declawed.
And my daughter has been saying for a couple of years now that if I got another cat, I needed two. They keep each other company and don't get as squirrely as our last two have, being home alone a lot of the time. They weren't squirrely to me, of course, but they weren't social to guests.
So I reached out. I didn't commit to anything, just inquired. Kara wrote back, sending more pictures.
I finally told her I was pretty sure I would take them but wanted to wait until after Christmas, when things would be calmer. Then she sent a picture of the cats in the apartment complex office, each one in an office chair in front of the office desk. That did it. While they were lucky to still be alive and living in that office, I wanted them to be alive and living in a home.
And so I went and picked them up last week. It was tough on Kara, who had hoped to keep them but already had several pets — and a baby — at home. The people in the office had become attached to them, too.
So I've had the cats at my house a couple of days now and have been sending pictures back to Grand Rapids to make them all feel better. Straightening up and putting things away, I belatedly noticed a framed poster that Kara had sent along with some cat treats and the adoption paperwork. It must have been hanging in the office, as part of the effort to find the cats a home.
It was a fill in the blank form, and read: Dear Santa, for Christmas this year, I want A FEW TREATS. I need A WARM LAP. I'll wear A SANTA SWEATER. I'll read THE NEWSPAPER WITH YOU. And I'd really love you to bring us A FOREVER FAMILY. Love, Pasha and Wilson.
Now, they have one.