Anyway, the otherwise obvious answer of getting an emergency backup cat comes with some issues, principal among them the fact that cats are only about halfway up the food chain around here and it hurts my feelings to provide variety to the diet of the local coyotes, owls, hawks, bobcats, mountain lions, feral dogs, etc. So I'll admit I haven't pursued this issue with any real vigor. Then I started finding droppings INSIDE the Secret Lair, and that's just unacceptable. Landlady's been after me for some time to get a kitten while Click's still around. There are excellent reasons to do so:
- Click has a near-mystical ability to stay alive in the desert, due to her stringent attention to some fundamental rules. She could, IF she chose and the kitten would learn, teach these rules to her understudy.
- The dogs will protect and cherish the kitten, as they have done to all her predecessors. IF the kitten learns at an early age to accept them.
I had one other cat, before I became the local dog nanny. He didn't learn and he didn't like the dogs. Or Click. And he didn't survive. Lesson learned: Either go without cats, or get a female kitten while the dogs and the older cat are still around and active.
Having decided to chance that second thing, I was faced with the problem of where one goes about finding a kitten. I'm a hermit, you know. I don't get around much.
Well, I let it be known to the neighbors that I was in the market for a female kitten. Very shortly thereafter, I got a call from my neighbor J that there was a CraigsList ad from a local town, for some kittens that had been dumped and needed a home. I contacted the people immediately. They flaked out on me. That was last weekend.
As it happened, Landlady was up at her property last weekend. She said, "No problem. There are kittens galore in [the city where she lives.] You want, I get." I said cool.
But you know: Live local, shop local. A few days ago I got a call from another neighbor. The family at the local auto repair shop has a litter they're looking for homes for. So it seems our little Lair will soon know the pitter-patter of little paws, very soon.
Updates to follow.