Two weeks ago, my blog took on a very somber tone when I described BJ’s bout with colic. At the end of the blog, I listed the ages of our farm animals and stated that, with aging pets, loss is an inevitable reality.
Mere days after I wrote that blog, Danny and I said goodbye to Sherlock, our gray tabby, in our vet’s office.
We knew his health had been failing, and the day before we took him in, I saw evidence that his condition was deteriorating very rapidly. Plus, I suspected that he was possibly in pain. We waited a day to see if he would recover, and when he did not, we took him to our vet to euthanize. We know we did the right thing, and we will miss him, but we will treasure our amazing memories of Sherlock, our “Tom Hanks” cat.
Danny and I both agreed that we needed another cat. The perfect opportunity arose when two of our granddaughters, cousins to each other, visited our farm recently. I first took them shopping at Orscheln (my favorite store!) where I bought them each a pair of boots (one can hardly visit a farm without proper boots!), then it was on to the Humane Society to shop for a new cat.
Unfortunately, there were far too many from which to choose. As much as I wanted another cat, nothing would have pleased me more than to have them tell me, “Oh, so sorry! All of our cats have already been adopted!” That wasn’t the case.
I told the girls that I didn’t want a newly-weaned kitten. Instead, I wanted a youthful cat, but one old enough and smart enough to protect itself against wild animals should it wander into our pastures.
As we strolled down the aisle, looking into each cage, both girls were immediately intrigued by the same cat – a butterscotch yellow tabby with white socks. He was keenly aware of us, and appeared quite playful as he stuck his paw through the cage door.
“I want this one!” they both exclaimed.
I too, thought he was not only very pretty, but his personality seemed quite friendly and playful.
“Let me see what his name is,” I told them as I flipped over the card on his cage.
“Sherlock?!! Are you kidding me?!” I exclaimed.
There was another woman in the room with her daughter, also looking at the cats. She stared at me with obvious confusion at my reaction to his name.
I quickly explained. “We just recently lost a cat. His name was Sherlock.” She smiled and nodded in understanding.
I turned to my granddaughters. “Girls, I think it was meant to be.”
When Danny met him, he too fell in love with our newest family member, but hesitated at calling him “Sherlock”. I agreed. Somehow, we both felt that our other Sherlock, the one we buried, deserved that identity. Yet fathers and sons were given the same name all the time. How did they avoid confusion?
“Let’s call him Junior!” I told Danny.
So, what kind of a cat will Junior be? This much I know: he is playful,
loves people, and the dogs, but is cautious around the horses. (That’s a good thing. I don’t want him stomped on.)
He has also shied away from Simba. (Who doesn’t?!)
As far as being a mouser, the jury is still out. He caught this mouse, played with it awhile…
…and then let it go.
(We met Sherlock Sr. in the May chapter of my third book, The Return to the Family Farm)
Next Week: Hay there!