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My Cambria

It’s now been just over three weeks since I brought Cambria home. It’s been a long time, fifteen years to be precise, since I had a new cat (as opposed to kitten) in my house. I had forgotten what those early days of slinking around and darting under the bed are like. It can be hard to watch, even though you know it won’t last forever.

You just want to say to them, “Listen, I know you are scared. Let me give you the grand tour, and we’ll get this adjustment period over with in a jiffy. Then you can start sitting on my lap, sleeping on the foot of my bed, and generally loving me for the next decade or two, OK?”

Of course it doesn’t work that way. You bring home what you hope will be a new friend, you buy new toys and food for him, and your heart swells with anticipated affection every time you look at him. Meanwhile, your new cat seems terrified by your every move. It is inevitable.

Knowing this, I’ve been wondering, when will Cambria feel like my cat as opposed to the cat I recently brought home? And funnily enough,  the answer is while I was away.

Sure, I got to know him better in our second week together. I learned that he’s just as enthusiastic an eater as Percival, that he has the worst case of cat-underfoot-itis I have ever seen, and that he has epic midnight crazies. I know that he loves Tristan’s old cat tree in the guest bedroom, and that his voice—both in tone and frequency of use—is somewhere between Percy and Tristan. He hasn’t yet scratched my furniture. He is convinced that there must be something lurking between the throw and quilt on our bed and will not rest until he uncovers it. He doesn’t get up on counters or tables. He’s considers it his solemn duty to protect me from dangers in the bathroom.

I have also come to see that he’s the most mellow cat I’ve had. He purrs whenever he sees me and lets me know that he’d like to have his cheek or chin rubbed every now and again, but he’s also happy to quietly spend most of the day upstairs doing his own thing. He’s welcome to demand more from me, and I’d love it if he’d discover my lap, but it’s kind of nice to have such a chill housemate.

Learning all this about him, Cambria was beginning to seem less of a stranger. But he officially became a Goldstein (or Whitworth, whichever) on October 23. Matt, Simon, and I were out having dinner on our second day in Asheville, and I could not stand it any longer: I had to call my mom and make sure that Cambria was OK. She was coming over every day to feed him and has mine and Matt’s cell to alert us of any problems, but I still needed to hear that he was OK and spend ten minutes discussing his eating, purring, and general mental state.

I was worried about him, and that’s how I knew he was mine. Sometimes worry feels a lot like happiness.

2 Responses to “My Cambria”

  1. Amanda says:

    I was just wondering how your new guy was. Sounds like a good match! Want a puppy? lol.

  2. Jessica says:

    Oh heavens no! Puppies—adorable as they are—are more work than babies. Babies do not move when you put them down, wear diapers, and generally do not chew all your stuff. I’m not even considering a puppy until Simon is old enough to do his own laundry. But I’m glad you are helping out two pups in need. They are adorable.

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