True Confessions of the Feline Kind (and a Forthcoming Meme)

You knew it would happen, didn’t you? I’ve brought Penny home. A third cat is the last thing I need, but this cat—she’s special. Honest. This has nothing to do with my being a complete pushover when it comes to felines, nothing at all.

So, we are in the middle of some very complicated arrangements chez moi as Penny works her way into the household. Right now, if Sparky and/or Bea are inside, Penny stays in the bathroom. When Sparky and Bea go out, Penny gets the run of the house. This leaves me doing lots of door duty and placating of cats who are cranky because a) they smell interlopers and b) they don’t have full run of the place as they’d like.

What sealed the deal on Penny was a dream I’d forgotten about that I had several months ago and that came back to me all in a rush one day.

Here’s the back story. For years, I had a beloved calico cat, Joanna Clambake Lambeaux. Joey had been feral as a kitten, and when I first met her, when she was not yet my cat, she lived in a state of near-constant terror. If you even looked at her funny, she’d run off in a panic and remain hidden for hours. Cross and uncross your legs? She’d upgrade to terror level red. Sneeze? Well that was as good as attempted murder. The first time I ever got close enough to try to pick her up, I took her in my arms and she went wild, flailing with all four paws and ripping a six-inch tear down the front of my dress.

But as we got to know each other, Joey began to trust me. When no-one else was about, she’d creep onto my lap, trembling with fear and purring with joy all at once. When Joey’s owner called me and said, “I don’t love this cat. You do. Come get her or she’s going to the pound,” I came and claimed her.

Over our years together, Joey blossomed beyond all imagining. She loved to sit on my lap and would sleep perched on top of me at night, rolling along to keep her place as I turned about in bed. She’d let me pick her up and carry her about, resting her front paws on my shoulder. She didn’t let others handle her, but she confidently sat in the same room with strangers, allowing them to admire her from a distance. Almost every day I would find myself looking at her in wonder, awed by the proof she gave of the healing power of love.

Sadly, she developed a hyperactive thyroid and, despite my care (some of which—the medication, in particular—she did not appreciate at all), she died, curled up on my lap, on December 30, 2005. I’d just returned from Christmas at my parents’ home and, even in my grief, was deeply grateful that she’d waited until I could be with her to take her leave.

And how does this come back to Penny?

About six months ago, Joey came to me in a dream. Now, I am not a cat-coming-in-a-dream kind of gal. I am a rationalist who scoffs at intuition and omens and the like. But that didn’t stop Joey. She came and curled up beside me as I slept and told me that even though she missed me, she wouldn’t be able to visit again. Instead, she explained that she’d be sending another cat my way, one with a tender heart like hers—and that she wouldn’t feel betrayed if I loved that cat.

The dream was a comfort at the time, but I forgot all about it. I didn’t remember it when I first met Penny, but suddenly one day, in the middle of a phone conversation with my sister, I remembered that dream and I knew, just knew, that Penny was the gift-kitty Joey had sent my way. I’ve made Penny’s last name Lambeaux, too, just like Joey’s. And now she’s settling in at my home and proving to be every bit the lap-cat my dear, dear Joey was.

P.S. Gail, of A Nurse Who Knits, has tagged me for the 8 Random Things Meme. While I contemplate which of my quirks I’m ready to reveal, please let me know if you’d like to be tagged next.

P.P.S. The circular shawl in malabrigo from Wrapped in Comfort is coming along beautifully. I have enough yardage that I think I’ll be able to work an extra repeat of the largest lace pattern, which will make the finished length quite generous. I’ll try to get a picture up this weekend.

P.P.P.S. I just picked up a copy of Lesley Stanfield’s 150 Knitted Trims. I’ll work on getting a proper review up next week, but meanwhile, if you are the sort of person who enjoys designing/customizing patterns—you need to get this book. It’s giving me all sorts of ideas for embellished linens, feminine accessories, and other goodies.

P.P.P.P.S. The Revontuli Shawl pattern is now available in English! (You’ll also need the charts from the original, which you can get here.)
Chevron shawl.