by Lisa

Elfling's arrival as my personal pet triggered a visit to a cat show. There I saw Maine Coon cats for the first time and fell in love with the majestic breed. In March 1998, a coworker told me there was one at the Animal Shelter where he had gotten his puppy. I went there to see but by the time I got there, they had had a big adoption push and the only cat left was a blue-eyed Siamese mix of some ten months. I looked at her and thought of all the nasty things I had heard about Siamese. I looked at the tiny cage where she had perhaps three feet to walk in and tentatively put out a hand. She responded by enthusiastically rubbing against my hand and begging for more attention when I withdrew my hand.

I studied her for several minutes and knew that I could not walk away, knowing as I did that I might be condemning her to death. She was after all, ten months old and would not be a kitten much longer. I did not want a kitten, I wanted a settled older cat closer to Elfling's age to be a companion to him. Finally I nodded yes and said I would take her. I filled out the adoption form and paid the fee. The clerk asked what I wanted to name her and I said C'Mell. It was the first name that popped into my mind. I received the cat freebies and two of the shelter workers, thrilled that a favorite of theirs had a home, helped me get her into the carrier. From the shelter we went to an animal clinic which accepted walk-ins. There I had her tested for rabies and began the shots she needed to have.

I took her home and put her and some cat toys in the bathroom. The next day I allowed her out into the bedroom. She zipped joyously around the bedroom and released the energy she had built up during the month she had spent in the shelter's small cage. She spent one night watching us from under the dresser and the next night she was in the bed.