I’ve been living for many years in a multi-cat household, and it’s been a delightful part of my life. My first wife and I had several cats through our many years together, then Nancy and I got a pair of black kittens early in our relationship. Edwin P. Hubble and Subramanian Chandrasekhar, named for two famous astronomers (you can tell who chose the names!) When Chandra passed away last year, we got two more black kittens, creating a complex, three-cat dynamic. Kittens rolling and purring and clawing furniture, playful romping at 2am, sitting on the pillow staring us awake at 6am. It was fun and easy…as long as Nancy was home.
Then she wasn’t, and neither was I, visiting the hospital each day. The feline dynamic got messy, really it became a love triangle gone bad, with Hubble attacking the younger male daily. The short story is, the young one started marking territory, I had to clean up cat urine in odd places every day, and endure cat-fights in the middle of every night. Pheromone therapy didn’t fix it, three cat boxes didn’t fix it, enforced separation didn’t fix it, and I’ve had my bedroom door closed for months to keep the young one from peeing on the bed while I’ve tried to resolve this feline psychology mess. I’ve hit my limits.
So I surrendered the two young cats (now 17 months old) to the Marin Humane Society yesterday. They are bonded together, they are affectionate and entertaining, and if the evaluation of them is positive, they can find a new home together. I will be tracking their fate, they are dear to me, even as I had to let them go. The above photo shows them when they were four months old, a little over a year ago, just as Nancy and I were starting to make our relationship work really well, just before she went back into the hospital. It was a golden hopeful time, with everything going well for her and for us, just before it all fell apart.
Now the house is quiet, it’s just Hubble and me, as I’m cleaning up the last remnants of months of warfare and upset. There are some stained corners, claw damage on the couch, a little blood on the stair landing from the last grand cat fight. Enzyme cleaner is removing the last of the smell. Now there is only one cat box, now I can leave all the doors open, now the daily clean-up tasks are ended. Hubble seems happy to hang out in the closet like he used to, while coming out and interfering with me as I fold the laundry. Our bond is reaffirmed, and the peace is a huge relief.
How odd, that my life has whittled down to this. Eighteen months ago, there were five beings in this house, Nancy and I, two cats and my mom’s German Shepherd, Sheba. Now all are gone, except Hubble. The house now has an innate stillness that did not exist before. Except when Hubble plaintively whines for attention. He’s spending a lot of time alone now, as am I.