Sunday, August 06, 2006

Choosing new Siamese Cats - and acknowledging our mortality

When my wife and I returned from Sri Lanka in January of 1989, we added two Siamese kittens to our family. Inspired by a retreat we had recently completed at a Benedictine Monastery, we named them Benedict (Bene for short) and Bede. Three weeks ago, after nursing Bene through infirmities of old age for more than a year we put him to sleep and buried his remains in the woods where he had loved to roam.

E…, my wife, then qualified us for adoption at Virginia’s Siamese Cat Rescue Center, a process only slightly less complicated that qualifying for adoption of a child. Last evening we began scanning twelve pages of pages of cats ‘available for adoption’ on the Center’s web site. E… thought we should choose a pair of kitten’s, as we had in 1989, though we were both drawn to older cats, whom we thought might be less appealing to prospective adopters.

Some simple arithmetic lead us to reconsider. We are, respectively 68 and 70 years old. The normal lifespan of a Siamese is 16 to 18 years, which would place us in our early to mid eighties when new kitten arrivals would be likely to compete their lives. Without trying to prejudge the future, we decided that giving two six year old cats who appealed to us a home (they were only up for adoption as a pair) would be a good choice.

We are waiting to hear from the Rescue Center and from their foster parents.


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