|PK trying out the harness and leash||he wore to Walk For Paws|
The next day, the woman brought Peanut, the orange cat in the box, and his housemate, Lucky, to our adoption show. They were her daughter's cats, she said, and her daughter had just moved back home with her husband, new baby, her unneutered male cats, an unspayed female and many kittens. The kittens were all Peanut's and Lucky's fault, she said, and they had to go. We agreed I would keep the cats overnight and get them neutered the next day. She would pick them up from the spay/neuter clinic and keep them until they got adopted. I never heard from her again.
On his first night as a foster cat at my house, Peanut befriended all the other cats who lived here. His personality was as sunny as his bright orange fur. Lucky, meanwhile, was hiding in a closet, and that's where he stayed until he got adopted. Although we never separate litter mates and lifelong friends, Lucky and Peanut clearly disliked each other, and I didn't even give a second thought to sending Lucky to his new home alone. Peanut was a dilemma though, because my wonderful, elderly Van Gogh adored him.
It wasn't long before I decided Van Gogh should be able to keep his cat. But we couldn't have a cat with a name like Peanut. He needed something more dignified. Maybe PK, for Perfect Kat or Pretty Kat, depending on the mood we were in.
For 11 years, the foster cat who quickly became a member of my family went for walks with me and rubbed around my legs and rolled on my feet while I was talking with neighbors. He slept with me every night, kneading my arm but being very careful to keep his claws in. When I was upset, he was upset and tried to comfort me. When I was especially unhappy about a cat who desperately needed help, I'd cry on his shoulder.
The week after Thanksgiving, we lost PK to cancer. It was very sudden and totally unexpected. But when I think about him and remember him, that bright ray of sunshine returns to my life, if only for a few minutes.