So I'm always doing the required proud parental posting of Toddler Peter's cute antics, but he's not the only one in this house doing wacky stuff, as witnessed by Kudzu's impromptu nap in the washing machine Sunday. Animal lovers, I only put her through the "rinse" cycle. Anyway, trying to figure out what to do with dear Kudzu here is one of the bigger moral dilemmas for me with the moving to New Zealand this October. We accepted that it's just not fair to her or us to try and take her – it's a tremendously hard thing to make a cat fly 12-13 hours in the cargo hold of a plane, and then be quarantined for 6 months or so on arrival. Not to mention the huge costs involved too. At nearly 12 years old, it's a lot to do to a poor cat just to satisfy our human ego.
Kudzu and I have been together well over 11 1/2 years now, ever since that day in January 1995 when I decided to get a cat and wandered over to the animal shelter in Oxford, Mississippi. It's always tough to go to those places and just pick one, but this tiny, runt-sized tortoiseshell kitten leapt out of her cage when I leaned close, and I was hooked. Kudzu was a tiny, sickly cat for a while, which makes me think she was a runt of the litter, but grew up into a really tough, smart cat (still on the small side though). She's been with me through my final years in Mississippi, flew with me on a plane to California (running through the Dallas airport with a freaked-out half-sedated cat in a carryon bag over my shoulders is one of my less fond pet-owner memories), and lived everywhere from tiny apartments to big houses to my parents' old 10-acre spread. She's slowed down some now from her frantic youth (and having a toddler for competition will mellow even the wildest of cats), but still is my furry buddy. I've gotten so used to the warm little lump curled up near my legs in bed at night that whenever we're out of town staying somewhere else, it's weird going to bed without her. I ain't one of those folks who antropomorphize their animals to death and call them snuggywuggy and such, but cat or not, she is one of my true constant friends and has been unconditionally great these past 11 1/2 years.
So anyway, we're trying to find Kudzu a new, happy home to live out her time in. My parents are unable to take her, so we're asking around family and friends. I really don't want to leave her with complete strangers, and part of me would hope I can even visit her maybe whenever we come back to the States. If anyone out there in the Northern California area is interested in a perfectly swell older cat companion... ? Just leave your washer closed.
...OK, some of you might not like cats, so here's Peter doing his best Elvis impersonation over at the beach on Bandon last weekend.