The view from Goomp's bed this morning as new boy in town Purrky (foreground with left ear attuned to our camera work behind him) and missing girl Lucie (peering out from the bookcase) sized each other up after Lucie's surprise return out of the blue last night. Their predecessor, the mighty black-and-white longhair Thomas Sowell, seems to lend an ear of his own as he peers out magisterially from a top-shelf photographic portrait (Matthew Simpson photo).
Lucie had been gone nearly two weeks, Goomp had found Mr. Perkins at the local SPCA shelter to try to fill the empty place in his heart, and we were all trying to go on with our lives by celebrating his birthday with a festive luncheon of tournedos wrapped in bacon, baked stuffed potatoes and buttered peas. Only Tuck continued to believe Goomp's precious sable Burmese would ever return. After all the guests had left last evening and we had settled down for some blog reading at Goomp's computer, Mr. Perkins drew our attention to the window. We cranked it open, and suddenly something black flung itself against the screen. We ran outside and saw the little pussycat cowering near the door. Everyone mobilized, and soon Lucie was inside the garage, too spooked to let anyone touch her. After time and treats, she finally came inside, had a brief hissing and growling encounter with Mr. Perkins and then ran upstairs to Goomp's bedroom.
Goomp blew out the candles of a serve-yourself carrot cake made of miniature cupcakes at the birthday luncheon yesterday, never realizing that his fondest wish -- to have his little black kitty back in his arms -- was about to come true. We asked him just now what he HAD been wishing for. He thought for a moment and recalled that he hadn't been wishing for anything, really, other than that he would be able to blow out all the candles.
During presents yesterday, Purrky took possession of a top-of-the-line scratching post from Susie, paw washing his face in approval.
When Goomp signed the shelter's agreement the other day for adopting the new kitty, they asked him what he would do if his previous cat -- Lucie -- should ever come back. He assured them it would be fine, there would be room in his home and in his heart for both, but of course no one asked the cats themselves. Goomp's latest imail report from the fur front:
Lucie and Purrky have spent time in the same rooms together with suspicion but no overt animosity. Right now Purrky is on the couch and Lucie on the gas heater looking out. I think Lucie would like to go out but I need a few days to recuperate. Lucie just noticed Purrky and ran off, frightened. Somebody hissed.
Somebody always hisses. But as for going out, things are looking completely different now that Lucie is alive and well [lost a little weight, but eyes bright, fur glossy and appetite robust). We had all been thinking about never letting any of our cats outside down Goomp's again for fear of their being snatched by that vicious fisher a neighbor had seen threatening her Jack Russell terrior the other day. But the fisher didn't get her. She was presumably locked in somewhere and unable to get out and back home till last night. 'Reminds us of that time around Thanksgiving last year when Baby went missing for a whole day and then sauntered back hours later wondering what all the fuss was about. Perhaps he and Lucie could form a secret society to share and celebrate the details of what our blog's poet laureate Jeff Hull calls "these mysterious adventures that . . . serve a higher cat purpose." As he wrote upon Baby's triumphant return last November:
Protecting the secret of where they have gone.
We'd like to forget, but cats do what they do
And patiently teach us what yet remains true:
For all of their wanderings demonstrate that
The simple truth is that no man owns a cat.
But back to Lucie and Purrky. Will Goomp's new kitty and old kitty be able to make a go of it now that Lucie has come marching home again? Susie thinks it just might work:
I have a sense that Lucie and Mr. Perkins may strike a compromise. They can share adoption stories.
It sounds like a plan.
Update: Goomp imails a progress report mid afternoon:
Been watching cats and Patriots. I finally have both kitties in this room together, and Purrky is on the couch and Lucie on the catnip on the SP base. Lucie seems relaxed now and Purrky is snoozing.
That's what we wanted to hear.
Update II: An hour later, Goomp reports that "Lucie is madly rolling in the catnip on the SP, and Purrky is watching in wonder."