Donovan

July 17, 2003 – December 30, 2011

After moving into our condo in May, it seemed a little lonely with just Sarah and me, even with Randy home for the summer. Several people had suggested that a puppy might be a good idea, just to get me out a bit. So I started going out to pet rescue adoptions at the local pet stores most Saturdays that I was home, without finding the right pup for me.

On July 17, I headed out early, over to Kennesaw to the Petco and PetsMart over there, planning to head in to town to visit two other groups later in the afternoon. Petco was the first stop, but Cherokee County Humane Society had only big, grown dogs outside. I went inside to see who was there, and stopped off at the cat cages to say hello like I always do at any pet store.

CASA, a local rescue group out of Marietta, had a couple of grown cats and a number of kittens there. Normally I just glance at kittens and go “awwww, how cute,” but something made me take a close look. There was a little silver tabby kitten in there. A silver tabby is what I badly wanted when I first started wanting my own cat (25 years ago!) but one hadn’t crossed my path. I reached through the cage to scritch its ears and coo at it, and felt the little guy (yeah, a boy — I NEVER am attracted to boy animals) tugging at my heart. He was four months old, and already neutered, I was told.

As I crouched there, I looked up and saw Carolina Ceron, one of my best students from last year! She is one of the rescue volunteers with CASA. We were both startled to see the other, and chatted a bit as I continued to pet the little guy, whose current name was “Raisin.” After she had to leave, another volunteer (his foster mom) asked if I wanted to hold him. I did. He was squirmy and cuddly and oh so cute. But I wasn’t intending to get another cat! Still, I filled out the adoption application anyway, saying I would have to think about it and would call back.

No dog with my name on it was at the Kennesaw PetsMart, so I drove on out to Hiram, to the PetsMart there where Paulding County Humane Society does adoptions most Saturdays….but not today. On the way to Hiram I figured it out with “Raisin,” whose name I KNEW was NOT Raisin. An acquaintance of mine, who is an “intuitive reader,” had said some time back that IrisKitty would be back, and in fact was getting a little impatient to BE back with me. I have this sneaking feeling that Iris got tired of waiting and pushed the issue, and made sure to be just what I could not resist. So by the time I got to Hiram, I knew I was going back to Kennesaw and bring the little guy home, and I did. Luckily I had in fact put the carrier in the trunk just in case a new puppy came home, LOL!

So “Raisin” said goodbye and we headed home. Randy called as I was almost home, saying he was going to work, and I told him to wait to leave until I got there. This meant that I ended up taking him back up to work, and we took the carrier with “Raisin” in it into Caribou so the whole Herd could meet him. Talk about a mellow kitten — it didn’t faze him a bit with all the people standing around cooing and reaching in to pet him. Randy, of course, was snorked off about having agreed to go to work, but I reminded him that the kitten isn’t going anywhere.

We finally got home, and I set him up in the hall bathroom with his own water and food and litter box. He and Sarah eyeballed each other from across the room while I set him up, then I shut him in the bathroom. I had to go back out, but when I came home I let him come out and wander around, first with me holding him and then by himself. Sarah was NOT HAPPY, needless to say. She hissed at him several times, but actually not as badly as I thought she would. She also managed to get too close and chase him a bit at one point.

The name was another issue. He was DEFINITELY not a “Raisin.” After thinking about it and observing him, seeing how affectionate yet curious he was, it came to me — Donovan. Yes, I am a child of the 60′s, I guess. It’s not a normal cat name but I don’t think he’s a normal cat. So Donovan he became.

Donovan adjusted VERY nicely to his new home over the first couple of weeks. He was quite the cool little gentleman and just ignored Sarah’s hisses and spits. After the first night, they were doing well enough that I didn’t shut him in the hall bathroom for the night, and he opted to sleep curled up with me (and woke me up at 7 a.m. by getting in my face, drat it — I didn’t need to get up until 8:30!). After only a few days SarahCat wasn’t hissing as much any more, either. In fact, they were in the same room much of the time, just staying four or five feet apart. A week after Donovan’s arrival, as I was leaving for work, I noticed SarahCat lying under Randy’s futon in the living room and Donovan curled up on top of it, basically right on top of her. That evening when I got home from work, SarahCat was under my bed (which she firmly regards as HER territory, thank you very much!) and Donovan slipped under there as well. So we had one cat at the head of the bed and one at the foot, and not a single hiss.

Since then, Donovan has grown up to be a goofy, funny lovebug of a cat. He was responsible for “de-roaching” my patio during my first late summer here. I may never forget the sight of a 5 month old kitten strolling across the patio, looking like the toughest cat in the world with a cockroach hanging out of his mouth! He’s also known as the “flop-butt cat” for his habit of gracelessly flopping down on his side on the floor. During his adolescence, when my son’s kitten Shadow was living here as well, we were frequently amused during breakfast with their “World Cat Wrestling Championship” matches, which always seemed to end in a draw. At other times we would just see one furry streak tear through the room, followed immediately by another.

Donovan acts like he may not be the brightest light bulb in the box at times, but he certainly knows how to entertain and snuggle. He is the one who sleeps with me, who climbs on my chest to make biscuits and drool on me, who comes up for attention wherever I am. Of all my current cats, he is the one who is truly MINE.

Update — January 2012:

Sadly, we lost Donovan to cancer far too soon — he wasn’t quite nine years old. Here is the story of his last few weeks.