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Kittens: When You Buy Love

It feels a little like you're doing something illicit. It feels a little like you're doing something illicit.

Thirteen years ago, my first batch of cats (all of them rescues) was fast nearing late middle age, with Petronius The Arbiter (Cat from Hades – but in a good way) nearing fifteen. The youngest of that batch was D.T. Burroughs  at 14. Perhaps because this coincided with our younger son leaving toddlerhood, and we hadn’t managed to have another one (we wanted eleven. It didn’t work out), I started wanting a kitten.

I talked my husband around to it by telling him that as the four older cats got old and crotchety (yes, four; no, I’m not even close to the crazy cat lady of science fiction), it would do us good to have a little kitten around.

My husband -- uncharacteristically -- said if we were going to get another cat, he wanted a Cornish Rex. Now, there were practical reasons for this, including that Cornish Rexes have very short, curly fur.  While they are not hypo-allergenic, they are easier to bathe and there is less of their hair around. My husband and I are both mildly allergic to cats.  (Not even close to the crazy cat people of science fiction.  Trust me.)

Also, Cornish Rexes are supposed to be petite, very smart, and very people oriented.

I confess if I were doing this today, we’d have looked at one of the Cornish Rex rescue sites, first and possibly exclusively.

I wonder if my husband’s hope was that I wouldn’t find a kitten close enough to us to get. If so, his hope backfired, because I looked in the paper under pets and there was an ad for Cornish Rex kittens.

I called. The cattery was up the road.

One winter night, in 2000, we left our friend Charles babysitting the kids after telling him we were going to look at Cornish Rexes. (This led to him, later on, when he saw the kitten, saying “but it’s not a Cornish Hen!” which is what he’d understood.)