Readers, I am looking for your help.
Last July, Z died of cancer. I had him for thirteen years. You remember Z, don’t you? My big fat dumb cuddle kitty who regularly found his way to my website, showing off his extra tonnage in a photo category all his own entitled AM I FAT?
This picture sits next to my bed. It was the last one we took before we put Z down. The cancer had pretty much eradicated his appetite, so he went to the grave looking like the feline version of Valerie Bertinelli, circa 2009. I am sure Z worked it all the way across that Rainbow Bridge.
Now it’s time to get a new play buddy, but you pet owners know how hard it is… looking at all these cats needing adoption and thinking, “Could any of them possibly fill that hole in my heart?” After all, when you first meet a cat… he’s really just a cat who has yet to have assigned to him or her all those human characteristics that lead us to fall in love with them… “troublemaker,” “manipulator,” “badass,” “slut.”
That’s where YOU come in, because I just can’t make up my mind. Every cat deserves a home, but I only have space for one.
After the jump, you can meet the Top 10 contenders looking to win a spot in my life. Take a look, read their pros and cons, and make your decision. At the end of the post, you can vote for your top three. Then check back here regularly to see which cat America decided to vote off… and who will ultimately… win the heart of The Cat-chelor!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll get to know the contenders a little bit better. I’ll take them out and do things with them. Perhaps we’ll challenge our fears by scaling down the sides of tall buildings. Or we’ll pose for romance covers in a photo shoot, followed by intimate talks about our emotional scars in the group jacuzzi.
And you don’t have to worry about playing favorites. All these animals are located at a Los Angeles facility where they are allowed to live out their natural lives. All their needs are met while they await to meet their perfect person.
So help me find my new four-legged best friend. The search begins now! Here come the contenders in no particular order.
Pros: Interested in me, but not enough to get up out of his bed and come say hello. I have respect for that. I’m also a sucker for a cat that’s so fat you can’t find its neck. They tend to roll over on to their backs and then find it difficult to right themselves again… hours of fun!
Cons: I will need an extra lap to support this eighteen-pounder, and little steps to help it make its way up to my bed at night.
Pros: Demanded I pay attention to him with a craggly, ill-tempered meow. I’m woe to admit it, but I love it when I’m told what to do and when to do it.
Cons: Pair-bonded with his one-eyed sister, Josie, and the foster mom is reluctant to break the two of them up. She is asking if I would consider taking them both, which I don’t think I can do.
Pros: Affectionate and reserved without being timid or aloof. Described by her foster mom as “not having a mean bone in her body.” Big round eyes that look just a teensy bit sad as if to say, “I think I need to be held!”
Cons: My previous cats I adopted as kittens. Kalista is already nine, so I would have to be prepared for the possibility of only having her a few years. Of course, I have done the kitten thing and that’s a hell of a lot of work. Maybe an already-broken-in kitty is just what I need. Aren’t they harder to find homes for? And she’ll probably cause less damage around the house, spending most of her time laid out in front of the fire.
Pros: Looks a lot like Z, so I could use Katya as my Kim Novak Vertigo replacement double and basically rob her of her own identity, personality and individual freedoms in an attempt to re-create a love from the past.
Cons: I think Katya might argue that my pros would be her cons.
Pros: Bitching coloring and somewhat droopy eyes that will forever allow this cat to appear to be “so over me,” thus tapping into my insecurities and fears of abandonment. I will most certainly become his slave.
Cons: My therapist bills are sure to skyrocket as I constantly confront the fact that I’m not sure whether or not my cat thinks I’m stupid and embarrassingly unworthy.
Pros: Won’t require much attention. And I won’t have to worry about whether or not I think he’s cute because I’ll probably never find out what he actually looks like.
Cons: May eat off my face in the middle of the night. And really, my face is one of the few things I’ve got going for me.
Pros: His official description includes the line: Oscar loves to sleep on the couch and is happy to sit next to you while you watch TV. He couldn’t be a better match for me if the next line read: Squeeze him and he poops out your favorite snack food!
Cons: I have been warned that at four years old, Oscar is a very active cat. And I have seen it for my self. He will require a lot of wearing out every day, will most likely shred at least two prized pieces of Crate and Barrel furniture, the underside of my box spring and my leather office chair. And that’s just for openers. But what’s a cat without a little clever naughtiness? I’ll tell you what it is… it’s a baby! And I sure as hell don’t want one of those.
Pros: Well I won’t have to exert a lot of energy chasing him around to get him to drop my Chap Stick. And when it’s windy outside I can use him to keep my utility bills from blowing off the desk.
Cons: Is it just me or does anyone else see Phillip Seymour Hoffman in there a little?
Pros: Returned by her former owners for “being too affectionate,” so automatically deserves to be worshipped for previously having been shipped off with an ass-hat. She’s a Maine Coon with long, long fur. Seems to be unable to get enough petting. A very mellow twelve year old who only has love to give.
Cons: Gotta be real when it comes to the kind of cat that will fit best in my home. With fur like that there’s big-time shedding, lots of dandruff and a constant need for brushing. I may not be the kind of owner who’s home enough to keep her well-groomed and happy. Also, Michael says all that fur makes Maine Coons “walking ovens.” I’d have to keep Lady Gray away from any women going through menopause or she might jump onto their laps and cause them to spontaneously explode.
Pros: Lots of energy and very small so she can be picked up without any effort at all, and might learn to ride around on my shoulder! How cute would I be in the laundry room with light-as-a-feather Suzie riding shotgun down the hall?
Cons: Another doppelgänger for Z. Is it weird if I get a cat that look just like my dead one? Also, as the youngest cat on the list, Suzi is probably most likely to get swept up by another home the fastest, so should I give a cat with a trickier history or a little bit more mileage a shot instead?
There you have ’em. Now’s your chance to place a vote. But before you do that, consider rescuing a pet from a shelter. There’s lots of older ones just looking for companionship and a warm place to sleep who won’t cause a big ruckus. If you can’t adopt, there are lots of non-profit organizations devoted to saving homeless or abandoned cats and dogs. They will always welcome a donation. Here’s a place for you to start.
Once you’ve done that, mark the ballot below for your favorite three cats. Vote as much as you like, and feel free to leave your comments below. Then check back to see who’s still in the running.