2016 – A happy ending

December 19th, 2016

Well, I’m back from my book tour in France, where I had a GREAT time.

I met readers old and new, visited places I’ve never been before, celebrated the publication of a new book, and ate some FANTASTIC food.

Bookstore in Toulon!

Allie in Paris, a novella in French!

Meg in Paris, a photo about cheesy mashed potatoes!

Meg on Rue Princesse, contemplating the vagaries of life

Now I’m back in Key West, far from the reach of the polar vortex, and everyone is celebrating the holiday season . . .

It’s a nice ending to a year that hasn’t been so great, what with losing various things, including our beloved cat Gem (I still can’t believe it. A brain tumor? Running off with her feline boyfriend, Edward Cullen Cat, I could believe. But a BRAIN TUMOR?).

But even though we had a GREAT time in France, and are so happy to be home, one thing was still bothering me. It took me a while to figure out what it was.

Remember that random cat I met before I left for France? I posted a photo of us on Twitter way back in November to say that if you feel depressed, hug a random cat.

Me with random cat

That cat had spent a YEAR living in an animal shelter. No one wanted to adopt her because

  1. she was too old (9), and
  2. she was mostly black, and people STILL have outdated superstitions about black cats,

even though she was the sweetest, friendliest cat.

Fortunately Scott, the owner of Dog 30, a Key West pet store, has an agreement with the Marathon animal shelter, and regularly brings hard-to-place cats into his shop, so they can get a little more attention from customers, and possibly find a forever home.

That’s how I met Random Cat…and why I couldn’t get her out of my head the whole time I was in France.

Fortunately, there’s a happy ending to this story: Random Cat ended up getting adopted last week.

BY ME!

Allow me to introduce Allie Finkle Cat:

(Yes, it’s Random Cat!

She is sitting right here as I type this,

waiting for me to put the computer away so she can crawl in my lap.)

After spending such a long time in the shelter, Allie Cat could not be happier to be living in a house! I knew, in fact, that she was the right cat for us when she sauntered into the house (no hiding, the way some cats do when they’re introduced to a new environment) like she’d always lived here, headed for our very best pillow, plopped down on it, and took a nap until dinner.

Is it soft and comfy? Then Allie Cat will sleep on it.

We named her Allie because it sounds enough like her shelter name (which is a name that a lot of our friends – and even a neighbor’s dog – have) while still being uniquely her own, much like her personality. Allie, for instance, likes to watch over the street to make sure everyone is obeying the rules (much like her namesake, Allie Finkle).

Hey! You over there! Clean up after your dog!

Oh, wait, did I hear my name? Here I come!

At nine (or older. Who knows? Not even the vet can really tell), Allie is not a silly frisky kitten, which, along with her black fur, is probably why so many people overlooked her.

But their loss is our gain, because she is the sweetest, most well behaved cat, who has yet to stop showing us how grateful she is to be here.

I’m Purring Here

So if you’re still looking for a happy ending to 2016, maybe it’s time to consider adopting an older pet. You’ll be doing something wonderful for an animal who will spend the rest of her days showing you how much she loves you. You won’t regret it.

As for us, we’re going to have the best holiday ever, hanging out with our new family member, and looking forward to 2017, which I hope will bring happiness and joy to all of you, too.

More later.

Much love,

Meg