My life collided with Tallulah’s about eighteen years ago, when I decided to get a cat. My three-year-old grandson had just been diagnosed with autism, and, since his mother has severe allergies, an animal at my house seemed like it would be good for him. So with that motivating me, off I went to find a cat.
My search for a cat began and ended at my local Petco store. Tallulah was placed in the store by a local rescue that was partnering with Petco to help find homes for cats. Interestingly, that store is still in the same spot eighteen years later. I adopted an eight-month-old, tabby female, my Tallulah. I found out later that Tallulah had been abandoned at an apartment complex when her family moved away—poor Tallulah!
Tallulah and I might have lived happily ever after, but we got off on the wrong paw. Lulu immediately developed a nasty case of ringworm. Not knowing much about ringworm except it is contagious to humans, I panicked! I bleached every hard surface in the house, vacuumed constantly, and Lulu endured pills slicked with butter poked down her throat, medicated baths, ointments, vet visits, and a definite lack of cuddling. She hated me.
I’m not exaggerating. It took two years before Tallulah decided to like me. Cats can hold a grudge with the best of them, but after enough time had finally passed, we achieved a more typical cat/human relationship. We share a pillow. We snuggle. I talk and she listens, and, as I write this, Tallulah is sitting where she always sits, on my lap.
Now we are both not just growing old, we are old. I’m seventy-four, with health issues, and Tallulah is nineteen, with health issues. I know loneliness and depression can be a problem for older folks, but with Tallulah and her brother, Jack, in residence, the house is never empty. I’ve got plenty of feline companionship, and my life would be pretty bleak without it.
Tallulah has lost weight, and her backbone feels like a small, hairy mountain range, but she still enjoys napping in a sunny spot and drinking from a dripping faucet—to her way of thinking, these are life’s greatest pleasures. For me, living with my old friend Tallulah has been one of my life’s greatest pleasures. We have been together a long time.
Tallulah has been my best friend for years, and I love her, but she may not be around much longer. She’s an arthritic, old granny cat. I get it. I’m an arthritic old granny too, but my heart breaks for her just the same.
The rescue that saved Lulu’s life no longer exists, but Happy Jack Cats, Inc., is here in Idaho working to rescue abandoned cats like Tallulah. They also partner with Petco and place cats available for adoption in local Petco stores. In fact, they partner with the same store from which Tallulah came years ago at 3548 S. Findley Ave., Boise, ID.