I have a new kitty in my house. She’s an eight-month-old short-haired little girl named Polly. Polly is somewhat unique in that she is almost all white except for a little gray on the top of her head. And she has a few more toes on her paws than most other cats. Polly is polydactyl… and she is also Pip’s pet kitty. Pip is my dog Charlotte’s kitty.
I got Pip a year and a half ago when he was two months old. Charlotte tried for three years to get my older cats to play with her. She would dance around and play-bow in front of them. They would simply stare back at her as if you say “you’ve got to be kidding, right?” Charlotte would finally give up and walk away. So one day, I had an idea… or an hallucination as one of my sisters would say. What if I got Charlotte her very own baby kitty to play with? It dawned on me that no one in the history of pet ownership had probably ever had such a great idea! So I went to the Humane Society and found two-month-old Pip. When I got him home, I laid him down in front of Charlotte. They immediately started playing and cuddling. A year and a half later, these two improbable friends continue to play and chase each other around. They also take care of and watch out for each other on a daily basis. It truly was a great idea!
Now Pip needed my help. Even though he has Charlotte to roll around on the floor with, he just looks like he wants something more to satisfy those young cat instincts. I often see Pip trying to play with the other male kitty in the house. But Chunie is ten years old and only interested in two things… eating treats and sleeping. So any attempt by Pip to engage Chunie in kitty play goes nowhere fast. Pip isn’t one to give up. Rather, I get the feeling from him that he thinks he can get Chunie to do what he wants if he bugs him enough. Reminds me of those pre-teen years with my kids.
I really didn’t have to think long about how to help Pip. The answer was pretty clear and doable… get Pip his very own kitty.
I found Polly at a veterinarian’s office. She and her sister were just taken from a kitty hoarder. They both were in good health and fairly social. Polly just happened to be sitting on a cat tree when I walked in. I wasn’t drawn to her immediately, but the longer I spent in her company and the more times I went back to check on her, the more I knew that she was the one who would bond with Pip and give him a run for his money. I quickly filled out an adoption application at the vet’s office. The next day I was approved as a good home for Polly. So after paying the adoption fee and getting all of the instructions, Polly came home to Pip.
Pip and Polly are bonding nicely and are starting to have some really special “play dates.” Of course this didn’t happen right away. Polly spent the first few days hiding in the basement among the cat trees and boxes. I didn’t see much of her, but I could hear the little bell on her collar ringing happily as she started to chase kitty balls around the basement floor. Then one morning I got up to see a white flash scurry across the dining room floor and dive for cover under the buffet… Polly had made it out of the basement.
As the week went on, the sound of a little bell got louder and more frequent as she and Pip began chasing each other around the dining room chairs. Of course when Polly caught sight of Charlotte or me, she again would run for the safety of the furniture. But then, all of a sudden one magical afternoon, Polly let me pet her. I immediately fell in love with that soft white fur, those beautiful green eyes and yes, even those extra little toes. My heart melted and my soul sighed as Polly let me luxuriate in the softness of her furry little body. I lost track of time. I’m not sure just how long I sat there in Polly’s company. I do know that those moments spent with her were some of the most peaceful and calm moments I’ve had in a long time.
I may have adopted Polly as a companion for Pip, but as time goes on, I may just find that Polly will be a salve for me. It goes to show that you never know where ideas will take you. Getting a pet for your pet’s pet might just be the revolutionary idea of our times.