In order to better understand the story of Mitalee, you must first hear a bit of Masala's story. When Masala, LP's first dog turned fifteen years old, LP started to look at her differently. She had had Masala since she was seven weeks old ; a tiny, wee cockapoo who at that time could fit in her cupped hands. At fifteen, Masala was no longer the rich, reddish brown colour of her youth and her startling auburn eyes were now clouded over and virtually blind. It seemed every time LP looked at Masala in those days, her throat would catch and her heart would feel tight. Some times her eyes would get wet and LP would have to wipe away a tear. At twenty pounds Masala was a small dog who might have a few years left ahead of her, but who was nevertheless a dog closer to her life's end , than to her life's beginning.
Masala had been LP's best friend all those long, exciting, happy, sad and at times terribly lonely, fifteen years. She had seen LP through two degrees, a few failed relationships and a move alone across Canada. LP knew that Masala ran through her veins and that when she left her, as all life must one day leave us, she would take not only part of LP's heart, but also take an irreplaceable part of a well-founded life force. A life force that had been the centre of LP's life for fifteen years.
LP knew she would not only miss Masala but that she would ache for her when she departed. Ache for her like a person might ache for a missing limb whose brain still feeling its' presence , urges it to pick up the ball and throw it. LP needed to look forward to something, she needed a focus that would allow her to create a contrasting energy source which might ground her and leave her less shaken when that inevitable end arrived. The solution was simple and came quickly. LP would get a cat.
LP loved all animals but cats were kindred to her. She loved their philosopher stares ; the way they contemplated far away places thinking their intricate cat thoughts.She loved how they could make a game out of anything but especially out of boxes. How they curled up in the most unlikely of places and made themselves comfortably at home. How some liked to talk and tell you all about their day.She loved the sound of cats eating wet food ; a sound duplicated by clicking your tongue on the roof of your mouth. She loved all their cat sounds of contentment ; their purring, their furtive post scratching. She loved coming home after an especially long day and finding them sleeping on a favourite chair, on a bed pillow , and later curled up around you, beside you, inside you. Cats seemed to transform a house into a home.LP would get a cat. A special cat who would not only be a new friend for her, but who would also be a new friend for Masala during the last of her days here on earth.
The first thing LP thought of when she thought of getting a cat was RESCUE. She wanted an adult shelter cat who needed a home and so began her search in various local shelters. She soon ran into problems. As hard as she tried, she was unable to find an adult cat who was known to be comfortable with dogs. At the time LP had three dogs, all circumstantially, all adored equally: Masala, Allegra and Isadora.The dogs were calm and gentle around cats. LP had a few friends with cats and the dogs were allowed to visit as their cat manners were impeccable. She wasn't concerned about how the dogs would treat or react to the cat as she knew them well enough to know they would behave kindly but wanted to be certain the cat would be "bomb proof". The cat would not only need to be familiar with dogs but also genuinely love them. She did not want to risk bringing a shelter cat home who wasn't familiar with dogs thereby further traumatizing them, nor did she want the dogs to skulk around their home in fear of being attacked by a hostile cat. Her search would eventually take her quite a long way from home to a private rescue where cats abounded. Perhap a little too much.
To be continued tomorrow.
Have a great day.
See you tomorrow!
the critters in The Cottage