But with Sasha gone, it was too quiet. And Morgana our youngest cat, had finally gotten accustomed to Sasha and was enjoying having someone she could tear through the house with. She was moping. And so were we. I started campaigning for a kitten. We called the guy who handled Dad’s hearing aid order, who also runs a cat rescue, and he knew of kittens who were up for adoption. We came home with a 6 week old male kitten whom we named Gardeen (Gaelic for "little protector"; named for a fairy cat in a book by Jo Beverley). He’s fearless, intrepid and a wild child. He has two speeds: Indy 500 and asleep. By the end of his first week we had to rush him to the vet because he fell backward off the arm of a kitchen chair and landed hard on his left side. Nothing was broken, and by the next day he was back to batting at the tails of our older cats, and doing his best Halloween Cat imitation at them. He tears around the house, emitting his mighty battle squeaks and challenging all comers. And then he collapses in someone’s lap with a contented sigh.
Gardeen made the last week of Dad’s life—which was hellish for us—tolerable. His basic sweetness and affectionate nature helped calm me down when Dad would glare at us, his eyes filled with rage because we were following the orders of his doctor and speech therapist. I had a tiny scrap of black fur who would curl up under my chin or on my shoulder and purr himself to sleep. Dad threatened my husband and bit him, my husband would leave him in his room watching TV and go play with the kitten. There were nights when the kitten’s warm, loving presence was all that kept us from howling naked at the moon.
While he looked solid black at first, he seems to have shadow striping and may end up being a dark mahogany tabby or a black cat with shadow stripes. Hard to tell what he’ll look like as an adult because he has the normal big-eyed kitten face, and his voice is a tiny squeak. His mother looks almost seal point Siamese but her markings aren’t perfect, and no one knows who the father is. One thing we do know is that he is an incredibly affectionate and courageous little cat, and even Morgana has accepted him, though she still hisses if he gets too close. We plan to get him neutered in a month or two; he’s still pretty young.
We haven’t forgotten Sasha, and we hope the big galoot comes home, but there’s room in our hearts for the new kitten, too.