Slupiness is Next to Happiness

As you know, last week I went to the shelter and sprang Ms. Slupe out of there. In the car, I felt like we were Thelma and Louise getting the heck out of dodge.

Poor kid had been there two stinken years. Can you imagine living in that room for two years without a break? No birthday or Christmas. No vacation. Not even a staycation. Every single day and night dealing with new cats and sometimes kittens. Wondering who might stalk you. Who might annoy you. Who might nip you on the tush. Who will kick you off the cat tree, out of the litter box, or away from the food bowl. Listening to dogs bark on the other side of the wall 24/7.  Seeing and hearing the sad stories of other cats. Never being able to put down your guard and just stretch out and put up a leg and lick yourself leisurely.

Slupe had a reputation at the shelter. Not a bad one. But not a good one either. Slupe kind of faded into the background, got holes in her fur (from stress), shrank from touch or occasionally nipped if someone persisted. She resisted going in a carrier. She wasn’t a candidate for PetSmart adoptions.

But she and I clicked, and I knew she was a very very sensitive soul. It got so that even though I still have Kana/Tiger troubles I couldn’t let her stay at the shelter a day longer. Who knows when some new cat would bring in a disease or ringworm and Slupe would have to go back into ISO until she was better (ISO is way worse than living in the roaming room). Without the ability to go to PetSmart and without a personality that would garner attention from visiting potential adopters, Slupe was doomed to stay much longer than two years.

So she’s here now. I have no idea what the future holds for any of us, but she is reveling in the peaceful sanctuary of her new bedroom. From the moment I opened the carrier to let her out, she has been the sweetest, gentlest, most loving and curious cat!!! Everything I wrote in paragraph three is all wrong: that isn’t Slupe. That was living in the shelter for two years. This is Slupe.

Slupe has the radio, a CD of birdsongs and one of whale music, and then I let her listen to my daughter singing on my iPhone.  She was amused at her version of “The More You Ruv Someone” from Avenue Q, but when my daughter’s “Different Drum” (the same one Linda Ronstadt sang) came on, she came right up to the cell phone and almost lay down on top of it so she could listen up close. Later, I repeated the song, and she was mesmerized all over again.

I’m not surprised. I like it, too, and Slupe is my buddy.

So let me tell you what my mother said. Heh. “I’m not sure I’m going to tell anybody you got a 5th cat. It’s been hard enough to tell them you have four cats.” Bahahahaha. Yup, that’s Mom. Her way of telling me I’m a crazy cat lady, and that it matters what her friends think.

Slupe chilling with no worries about some meanie bothering her

The jury is still out on whether I did something really stupid or if this will all work out. I was glad that hubby was game to help her, too.

When have you done something on impulse even though you knew it was going to be a big production because you thought it was the right thing to do?


Filed under #writerlife, Art and Music, Cats and Other Animals, Nonfiction, Writing

33 responses to “Slupiness is Next to Happiness

  1. Congratulations on your new Cat! You did a wonderful thing and we are wishing you and your cats all the happiness in the world. Purrs, Quicksilver et al

  2. I just wasted about 20 minutes of a scam phone callers’ time, by stringing him along, then politely telling him to go away

  3. I’m so happy for Slupe. May you all be happy together for years to come.

    When I went to see about a german shepherd/husky mix puppy, I arrived to a growling maniac of a puppy who wasn’t fuzzy in the least. He hated me. But the next day he was going to be taken to the shelter and put down. I knew I was nuts, but I took him home. You’ve read the stories.

    Goliath was the best thing that happened to me during those 10 years he was with me. But I still shake my head at the fact that I took him home.

    • Elyse, thank you so much. I HOPE I can keep her, but if not, I won’t let her go until I’m sure that the Dalai Lama or Jesus wants to adopt her. In other words, not just anybody! But I hope I get to keep her myself ;).
      I love the remind about your sweet and crazy dog and the stories you’ve written about him. What a wonderful love story you have had!

  4. I went to drop off old towels at our shelter and there was a one-eyed cat. I thought it was an old cat without much prospect of getting adopted so I took it. As it turns out it was a young cat (about 9 months) and the best cat ever. She is the only cat that isn’t afraid of new people. She will not bolt and will spend time under an end table when we have a party. Of course she comes out to be adored first. I never regretted it. She was #4 at the time. I have since lost one so I’m down to 3 cats. I had someone say to me just last week, “you have 3 cats?” like I was in the crazy cat lady category. My response was, “I had 4 but lost one last fall.” Walk tall crazy cat lady. I only hope you can resolve the Kana-Tiger issues to make the home more peaceful.

    • I love that “walk tall crazy cat lady.” That is just exactly what I needed to hear. I don’t have to hide it! (so there, Mom) Aw, i love that she demands her adoration from fans! Thank you so much for taking a one-eyed cat. We think that we are helping them, but then they enrich our lives!

  5. I love this story Luanne. Slupe reminds me of Jesse, who was also a tortoiseshell – the oldest and the last one to leave us. We had 5 cats and they were all a joy – they didn’t all get on, but they just all did their own thing 🙂

    • Andrea, aw, I love to hear that they all just did their own thing. Sometimes that is the best thing to hope for (unless you happen to get some that cuddle in a big tangle on the bed, but those are not mine haha). OK, now you mention tortoiseshell. So interesting. At first the shelter had Slupe classified as a tortie, but then they changed it to calico. I can never really figure out the difference, so I just looked it up again. Apparently in the US and Canada if they have the 3 colors they are usually called Calico, whereas if they only had tan and black, for instance, they are called torties. Slupe has amazing looks–her back looks SO tortoiseshell with its tan and black in a small repetitive pattern. But then her stomach and limbs are very calico-ish with bright white, black, and tan. I guess she is both!

  6. I did. I rescued a cat two summers ago, but I ended up re-homing her. It was very sad, and I still gulp a bit when I see her photos, but I know she has a good life now. Even living here, terrified of half the people and all the animals, I bet her life was better than at the shelter.

    • I remember you talking about her. Very distressing, but if you can find a better home, that is the important thing–that the cat is as happy and comfortable as possible. There is no shame in seeing to her best interests, even if it’s not at your house. You can feel so grateful and pleased that she is having a good life!!!

  7. Slupe is happy to have you! She’s such a cutie!

  8. You’ve certainly done the right thing, Luanne. Slupe looks SO happy (and I think she’s made you happy too) 😀

  9. Well, quitting my job was an impulse…LOL. I’ve been wanting another kitty too. Nothing wrong with 5 of them!

    • And probably a really really good impulse, too, from the way you have described (and not described) it. Yes, you definitely need another kitty. Another subject for your photography!!!

  10. So glad you brought Slupe home!!! Such a sweet cat. I hope all will go well with all five cats. Your description of the pressures of being at the shelter is so moving, Luanne. Actually, getting Acey was somewhat impulsive. Dave left the newspaper clipping on my desk at home, his subtle hint to tell me to buy a puppy from the bichon frise litter in Hemet. I was having dinner with John Kirwan that day, so afterwards, he drove out with me to the huge Hemet ranch where Acey was born. Price: $700. Money I did not really have, but some of the best money I have ever spent. The breeder/owner told me to prepare for his grieving, that he might cry and wimper for the first couple of nights. No grieving. He was so happy from the minute he got here, and he and Dave had instant bonding when Dave picked him up. I don’t think he had ever been outside on the big ranch; the entire litter was situated in the kitchen (super large kitchen), and they ran around in a little clump. He loved a little grassy area by our patio, and that first week he seemed so thankful that we picked him over the others to take home. How I miss him. Hope the others will get along with Slupe. Kana and Tiger are still having a difficult time?

    • Carla, I loved reading your story about Acey. What a sweet boy. He was a part of your family for a long time, but I’m sure it doesn’t feel long enough. How could it?
      I did let Slupe come near the others today at breakfast time, and as I carried her past them, they all looked up at her and she looked at them. Nobody reacted. I think they were thinking: ah, she’s a little one; shouldn’t be too much trouble. She was thinking: oh man, a lotta cats here.

  11. Slupe relaxed is quite a radiant transformation, Luanne! 🙂 I love this photo, so sweet and adorable. The other one where she is leaning and listening to Linda Ronstadt’s “Different Drummer,” sung by your daughter was a sweet shot, too. Later, sung by you sounds nice in your description. I believe you saved her life! ❤

    • Haha, no, I didn’t sing it! I just put the recording on a 2nd time for Slupe. She still loves it, too! She is such a blessing to me. I so hope I can keep her. I keep begging my other cats ;).

  12. Hey, Luanne,
    Why am I not surprised that you rescued Slupe??? She is gorgeous and seeing her play is a wonderful thing. I have a feeling she will adapt to your other cats as long as she can do it in her own time, on her own terms. Bringing our Wendy home was one of those “I need to do this now and not think about the consequences” type of experiences. Of course, she was begging for food outside a Wendy’s so it was obvious she couldn’t just be left there. But I did think (rationalize) that I could take her to the vet and leave her to be adopted. We already had 3 cats. But the vet’s office was full of cats/kittens waiting to be adopted so … . And three years later, she is quite content with us, I believe 😉

    • You absolutely had to take Wendy home!!! I’m sure she loves living with you! Slupe is very happy here. I hope she can stay. Keep your fingers crossed.
      I am writing this with the news on right now with coverage of Orlando. My heart is so heavy and my stomach is upset.

      • Yeah, I read one NY Times article and shared a couple of things on Facebook and now I’m done. I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said and that won’t be said again. 😦

  13. Oh Luanne, I love that you sprang Ms Slupe…you know how I feel about all cats! i love too that you included Hubby in the spring…just like with our bunny, Naughty Nate, who has turned into a grumpy bunny but we still love him and I can still blame hubby who was part of the spring…after daughter and I convinced him, naturally, but don’t tell him that 😉 Ms Slupe is gorgeous…and you have a heart of gold xoxo

    • Grumpy bunny?! Oh no! Can you figure out what is wrong with him? I will try to remember when I meet hubby not to tell him hahahaha.
      Slupe is so adorable. I can hardly believe I am so lucky to have her here. Please keep your fingers crossed that she gets along with the others and can stay.

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