It's no secret that ever since losing Conan and Voodoo I've desperately missed them. Although it was painfully sad to see Voodoo pass away, it's been particularly hard to have lost Conan, because we don't know what happened to him. I've dreamt of him coming home, see cats around the neighborhood that resemble him, and just miss him terribly.
I've wanted to get a kitten for quite awhile now, and Fillip has been the uncharacteristically practical-minded one opposing a new cat. However, by yesterday I'd had enough of living without any cats, as it was the first time ever that I'd been without one, so I took a stand. Yesterday I said I was going to get a cat. We went over all the reasons why that wasn't a good idea, and although they are all valid, I said I wanted to get one anyway. After Fillip left for work, the kids and I went to buy supplies for bringing home a new kitten- litter box, food, toys, etc... Then we went over the East Valley Animal Shelter. They didn't have what we wanted, so after lunch and naps we headed out again to the West Valley Animal Shelter. I almost brought home a 3 yr old Bengal mix, but just wasn't sure she was the right fit. She was understandably nervous, but unpredictable. Despite the tears in Hayden's eyes, we left without a new cat. I was feeling rather silly for having bought supplies for a new cat, when we had no cat.
After we all got home we ordered pizza. As Fillip was paying the delivery guy, I heard him trying to shoe something out of the way. In our house that could be anything, but he sounded really insistent and surprised. After a few tries, a cat insisted on coming right in! He walked in, looked around and started purring. Of course, 3 little kids immediately descended with loud voices, fast movement and some tail pulling. This cat didn't even flinch. When I picked him up he just melted into me. Within 10 minutes he had made himself right at home, even sprawling out in the middle of the floor while we got the kids situated for dinner. I immediately noticed his uncanny resemblence to Conan, but we thought he was a kitten (about 9 mos old) because he is so little, not to mention skin and bones.
By late last night I'd nearly convinced myself that Conan had returned to us after over 2 yrs missing. I can't even describe how much they look alike with few variations that are subtle and could be explained by 2 yrs of aging and being on the streets. Not to mention, I know this cat, and he knows me. It seems weird, but he just knew I needed a cat and showed up. I figured that since he was obviously so comfortable in the house, insistent on coming in and wanting to be close to us, how could it not be Conan, as far fetched as that would be? Of course the odds of a cat who was nearly 16 yrs old when he disappeared over 2 years ago surviving this long, then returning home is pretty low...it could happen, right?
So, today I took him to the vet to have him checked out and see if I could verify who he is. Well, he is Conan...but reincarnated in another cat. As crazy as it was, I had been so thrilled to be reunited with that beloved pet, that I balled like a baby in the vet's office at the very logical news that this is a different cat. It was like saying goodbye all over again. However, it is probably best that this isn't Conan. Having an 18 yr old cat would mean potentially high vet bills, possibly a messy illness and passing to deal with...and another goodbye.
This little guy chose our family for some reason beyond my understanding, but we are absolutely floored that he is here. He is so sweet, goodnatured with the kids, completely comfortable here and already a part of this family. He and Doris are still working on an uneasy truce, but they are fine as long as she doesn't get her nose too close to his. The vet says he is 7-8 yrs old. I declined the full bloodwork panel (and add'l $145 on the bill) figuring we'll fatten him up a bit, then see how he seems. So far, he is very calm, sleeps a lot, but also wanders around to be near us and seems to be eating and drinking well. He uses the box no problem. I can't help but see him as another cat, but I think that will change as we learn more of his personality and give him a name.
Sometimes life happens in ways we just can't explain, but that's what makes it so amazing.