Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thwack. Thump. Mrrrroww.

Three years ago I met my match, in a cat who was named Rosie at the time.
I went to Rosie's foster home to meet her after meeting at least 10 other cats and just not clicking with them - of course they were all cute and I wanted them all, but none of them seemed to really be the challenge I was looking for.  Just like in life, they needed to work for it.  Being cute wasn't enough to come home with me.
When I met Rosie, she came right up to me, sniffed my hand and sat down and glared at me, thumping her tail on the floor in a dog-style fashion.
By glare, I mean she intently stared at me like she already hated my guts and I didn't have a chance with her.
I felt rejected.
Complete and total rejection.
But this was the challenge I was looking for.
I grabbed a feather toy and waved it in front of her face.
She got up, turned her butt to me and went across the room and sat down 10 feet away from me, taking up her glaring contest again and completely and utterly ignoring the cat toy I was trying to invade her space with.
"Come here Rosie," I said, patting the floor in front of me.  "Rosie, do you want to be my family?  Come here."
With that, she let out a "Mrrrroowwww," got up and came over and sat down about 6 inches away from me, thumping her tail some more.
I made no attempt to pet her but glared back at her intent stare.  Here was my challenge.
I knew this was the cat for me.
Rosie arrived with the rather insane animal rescue volunteer.  I hate to categorize all animal rescue people as being weird, crazy, and full of emotional issues, because I would consider myself one of them, but not falling into that category.
"Put her in the bathroom and let her get used to the space," the volunteer said, "Just let her come out slowly and explore."
My bathroom, about the size of a Port-o-Potty, did not have enough room for both me, the volunteer, and the cat.
The volunteer snatched the cat carrier and insisted on showing me how to "introduce" the cat to my home.  Having been a cat owner my whole life, I tried not to be offended and let her stomp into my port-o-potty bathroom to let the cat out herself.
She went in and put the cat carrier down on the 2 square inches of floor and got down on her hands and knees, uttering noises that I can assume she thought "communicated" with the growling cat in the Sherpa bag.
"It's okay Rosie," she chirped.
The view at this point was a half closed door, the volunteer's rump up in the air blocking the door from closing, with her face presumably down near the cat carrier flap - all the while lecturing me on how to introduce a cat into my home.
At some point, I can only assume she unzipped the carrier flap because a highly incensed Rosie, who I would quickly learn was anything BUT the adjective her name alluded to, came flying out of the bathroom, over the top of the volunteer's head and rump, shrieking, hissing and growling all the while.  A whirlwind of gray flew past me, circled the room in tornado fashion, and disappeared somewhere into the small apartment.
The flustered volunteer told me just to "give her time" and "let her adjust" and promptly left, presumably slightly embarrassed, and not wanting me to change my mind on the adoption.
Well it really didn't take anytime for Rosie to adjust, I promptly changed her name as it was not only ill-fitting but reminded me of Rosie O'Donnell.  I couldn't have something sleeping in my bed at night that reminded me of Rosie O'Donnell.  
Melody would be her name.  For the sweet cacophony of growling and shrieking that came out of her mouth continuously for our first year together.  Mel for short.
And quite promptly, my home became Mel's place - I just live here.

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