Thou shalt have no other cats before me.
- paraphrased from Exodus 20:3
I decided to check the local PetsMart and see what sort of cats are available for adoption. The store is a satellite branch of our local animal shelter. I was thinking it might be too soon, but maybe I could make some sort of psychic connection and take a cat home. As it turns out, adopting a cat is more difficult than buying a new car or a home. There is a lengthy form to fill out, and the final approval takes two days.
There is also a brief interview process which I thought I could sidestep, since I had my cat for longer than most children live with their parents. That didn't stop them from asking me if I was "cat savvy." I'm not sure I've ever been asked that before, but after thinking about it for a second, I said that I had my last cat for 18 years, so "yes."
Meanwhile, they let me see some cats. They seemed to be pushing one on me - a bit like a hard sell you'd get at an auto dealership - and I did manage to get to see 5 different cats. Of course, the one I thought was really cute turned out to be kind of crabby and had this little biting thing along with a hiss that didn't do a lot to convince me to take her home - like that hot girl at the party who you finally meet only to find out she's kind of a bitch.
But the peculiar thing is that I wasn't sure that I should even be looking, and midway through the process I started feeling strange. Cat after cat who mostly seemed happier to be out of their cage than hanging out with me (a feeling I also get from some humans) and I spent over an hour socializing with them only to leave without a cat - which would have been impossible anyway since my application won't be approved until Thursday.
What I did leave with was an itchy neck, itchy swollen eyes and a stuffy nose. It was all I could do to drive home and jump in the shower to rinse my eyes out and get the dander off my skin. As I sit here nearly 4 hours later, I notice that my right eye is starting to swell and the drug store is closed. I've never been allergic to a cat (or any other animal) in my life, and I've been in homes with 6 cats several times and of course, my own cat for 18 years.
Is it fate or coincidence?
This is just way too strange. I feel like I'll wake up tomorrow morning as a pillar of salt or with snakes for hair.
And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect:
and make no mention of the name of other cats, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.
- similar to Exodus 23:13