Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I remember the first day I saw her. She was a tiny ball of grey fur, snuggled up against her sister, the last two left out of a litter and their mom, found in an abandoned car somewhere in Phoenix. My friend volunteered at the animal shelter and told me to go down after I mentioned that Shana was begging for a cat. The adoption process was crazy. Shana and I had to be interviewed. We had to watch an hour long training video. I had to fill out a questionnaire (one that my friend warned me about, even gave me some of the "preferred" answers so I would pass). I've had cats forever. I'm a cat person. I do own a dog, but, even after over a decade, I still do not understand him. I still get that Dogs are from Mars, Cats are from Venus feeling whenever he follows me around, constantly seeking my approval. Cats couldn't care less. I've got a long-lost refridgerator magnet in a drawer somewhere that says, "Dogs have masters, cats have staff" and it's so true. So, way back when, after a year or so in a catless house, Shana and I took home our new kittens. Lotus and Lulu. I wasn't crazy about their names, thought that I could do better. But when fifth-grader Shana said that she learned that day what a Lotus was (an Egyptian flower), I figured it was a sign. Plus, Lulu sounded sort of French and, sorry about the stereotypes, but she was pretty aloof, determined to get her way, hoity-toity, while Lotus, the cute one, the stoic one, seemed pretty Egyptian to me. So it's no wonder that of the two cats, Lotus is my favorite. One of the reasons Shana is an only child is because I knew that I would end up having a favorite kid and that I wouldn't be able to hide it, somebody would figure it out, and we would all end up in therapy for years because I was such a bad mom. But with Lotus, I try to hide it. Lulu's the "alpha male" of the two girls, always in charge, usually cranky. Lotus even has a scar on her ear as proof. Lotus is the sweet one.  If you ever need to find her, you only have to walk into Shana's room. Her place is right at the top of her bed, next to her pillow. I look at Lotus and Lulu and think that I will watch them grow old together, two old broads, finishing up life, side by side. They remind me of my sister, Amy, and me in thirty years or so, sitting around, growling at each other. Amy has a special bond with Lotus, too, spending hours having "love-ins" with her when she comes home to visit, even more recently talking about taking her back to New York with her. But now Lotus is sick. We joked for a couple of weeks that she was just trying to lose weight for the holidays, but it's more serious than that. She's tired. She seems to be forgetting things. She looks sort of yellowish. The vet called with half of the lab results and we're waiting for the rest today. I've been spending every extra second I can with her, petting her, brushing her and, right now, typing and rubbing her with my foot while she purrs. I even told her that she's my favorite.

I hope she doesn't tell Lulu.

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