Ma'as salaama, Sir Albert

In late February, after four+ months of being thoroughly kittened, our Egyptian feline Albert went to his new and permanent home. Despite yelling at him just that day at least fifteen times to stop doing whatever it was he was doing, I found myself missing him greatly after he was gone.

We knew from the moment we brought him home that we weren’t going to keep him and we were delighted that our friend Susan offered to take him before even seeing him. However, even despite my almost 30 years of experience working in shelters and dealing with cats and kittens, we were both completely unprepared for the effect of the “Albert presence.”

He started out a scrawny, filthy street kitten and morphed into a round, squishy, extremely content, Dip cat with a green card. He is a true force to be reckoned with, going from a warm, cuddly, purring, mass to a crazed, obnoxious, hilarious, rubber, monkey-boy in just seconds. By the end of his stay here, he and Chuckles were friends to the end, sleeping and playing together, racing from one end of the house, then reversing the chaser-chasee roles, and racing the other way, but then also having those moments of being thoroughly annoyed by your best friend (we all remember those times, right?). He and Clifford, being the far-reaching ends of our cat crew in terms of ages, 5-6 months versus 15 ½ years, were able to enjoy an envigorating game of ping-pong soccer and it was amusing to watch Albert defer to Clifford, despite a significant size advantage (although, practically everyone defers to Clifford and always has, which is good considering Clifford fully expects it). Albert was even, at the end, able to get Ricky to play which is something no one else has achieved (Ron believes that Ricky is a wizard trapped in feline-form, who has obviously not read the “How to be a cat” manual – his favorite pastime is to sit and stare at Ron as he works on the computer). The only one who was never won over by Albert’s charm was Max. Who always had a look of great distain and disgust when Albert came in the room.

Upon his departure there was a significant change in the air. Although Max had an added little gleeful hop in his walk, everyone else immediately staked their couch claim and we apparently hoisted the sign for the “Feline Retirement Home.” Despite the feline need for 16-20 hours of sleep a day, I do think that everyone (sans Max) really missed the zippy monkey. But, if it’s kittens you want, just wander outside and take your pick (sadly). There’s a whole family of Albert-look-alikes a few doors down. But I’m doing my best to keep my head up, and my blinders on.