Dr. Watson

As most of you know, I lost my sweet Mrs. Hudson at the end of January. She was older than the hills, on full-time medication, and finally reached the point where we knew it was time to let her go.

I held her while she got the shot, we buried her on our back property with a big white stone over her grave, and I swore that was it. We were done with cats, we had a puppy now, and no cat could ever replace Mrs. Hudson. To be honest, I was afraid of never finding another cat with a personality I liked as much as hers.

Six days later, I caved.

A cat brings something into a house, guys. It fills a hole. I kept thinking I saw her dart past my feet, or heard her meowing outside at night. It nearly drove me bonkers.

So, six days after she died, on a complete whim, we went to visit the humane society.

Just to look.

Pro-tip, if you ever go to the humane society just to look, you’re not going to just look. I can promise you that.

They only had two cats when we came in, which kind of shocked me. When I picked up Mrs. Hudson, there were probably thirty cats waiting to be adopted. This time, nothing but empty cages. One had a tortoise-shell female who was labeled an ‘overstimulated’ cat (a cat who will play or enjoy petting, but will quickly become overstimulated and bite or scratch.) Obviously, not a cat for us.

And . . . there was Dr. Watson.

They had a label for him too. Shy, anxious, going to need lots of time to adjust to his new home. Since Mrs. Hudson was the same way, I figured he was perfect. I know how to deal with shy cats.

I’m very shy myself, you know.

So . . . after a lot of agonizing, we brought him home. He spent the first two weeks hiding in our closet with a nasty bout of a kitty cold he picked up at the kennel. We saw him only at night, when, promptly at nine o’clock, he came to join us in bed and sneeze in our faces while we slept.

Snuggling is always mandatory, even with a cold.

Since then, he’s come out of his shell, gotten rid of the sniffles, and become the perfect addition to our little family. He gets along famously with our puppy—who is delighted to have a cat that finally is young enough to want to play—is quiet and mannerly, and always up for a good cuddle. Even if he is already three, I’m pretty sure he’s actually Mrs. Hudson on another of her nine lives, back to reclaim her queendom and boss us around for another ten years. I still miss her terribly, but am relieved to have another cat in the house.

Every writer needs a cat, right?

Have you ever welcomed a new animal after the loss of a beloved older pet? What was your experience like? Tell me about it in the comments!

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