New Man

Or as I wrote in my tweet, the mew man in my life. Here he is:

iPod Pictures 043

Boo Radley


Boo came into my life last week, when I got an email to a bunch of us from someone looking to find Boo a new home. Boo Radley was not working out with Atticus, his fellow adoptee, and it had been determined that Boo would be best in a single cat family.

Well, being catless would certainly qualify me as a good prospect for the single cat designation.

That, and no longer being in the running for living in Chicago for an entire month in the museum means I actually can adopt another cat these days.

Boo is two years old, 18 pounds and black as pitch. He is friendly and curious and likes to play. I picked him up yesterday, and although he hid under all the pillows on my bed when I first brought him home, as you can see, he is now actively moving about and exploring his new environment. And posing for photos.

His former caretakers gave me his toys, food, treats, snacks, and an entire scratching post. I still need to get the scratching post out of my car. I’m trying to not be too obvious, though walking into my building in broad daylight with a howling cat in a carrier marked LIVE ANIMALS probably couldn’t get more obvious. Officially, no animals are allowed in our building. But considering I see cat food containers and empty bags of litter in the trash, in plain sight, means I am not alone in my contraband.

Boo is nuzzling my legs right now. I gave him his food as his former owner instructed and he just looked at me. Maybe my water tastes funny to him, it is a little on the rusty side. I had to step out last night to go see a movie with a friend, and when I got home, Boo was no longer hiding under pillows and had found the litter box. This is why I love cats, the amount of training needed when changing environments is always non-existent.

So Boo is adjusting. Unlike Hamlin, he never settled down last night, but would hop on the bed, snuggle for a while, then get up and go exploring some more. It didn’t help that people were walking on the roof last night, so that captured his interest. His constant movement led to my rather disrupted sleep last night, but we will see if that is normal activity for him, or if he eventually settles down. And yes, I know cats are nocturnal, so it’s a lot to ask for him to adopt to my schedule.

Of course, going from 8 pound Hamlin to 18 pound Boo is taking some adjustment on my part. We definitely need to do some training as to what parts of my body are okay to put his full weight on. He’s not a scratcher, but a nuzzler, and his canine teeth poke out just enough to remind you they are there. And when he wants your attention, he just comes and nuzzles with head butts, pushing his full body weight against whatever body part is handy. He has force, weight and momentum to get your attention. And he loves to do the weaving between the legs trick. Getting to the bathroom in the morning is taking twice as long now, just to avoid stepping on him. Helps make me pay attention, and wake up, so not necessarily a bad thing.

The other part of the story to be told is who Boo’s former caretakers are. Evan sent the email, and I had just recently met Evan, someone in the same training program as myself. He used to live in Seattle. I mentioned I used to live in Portland, when he mentioned his girlfriend used to live in Portland before living in Seattle, where they met. He also mentioned his girlfriend’s name was Barbary. That’s odd, I thought, the only Barbary I have ever met, I used to go to college with. Wouldn’t that be funny if it were the same person?

Uh, sure enough, it was the same Barbary. She was a year ahead of me at Reed College, but the fringes of some of our friendships crossed paths. Not hard in a college of only 1,200 students when we attended. So when I came over to meet Boo, it was actually a time of reminiscence. I felt bad for Evan, since all these people we were talking about he had mostly never met.

They told me they had been looking for a new home for Boo for about two or three months. Most who they trusted could take him in had other cats. And animal shelters would not take him, because he is black. I had never heard of such a thing, but we are close to Halloween, and people are worried that someone would adopt a black cat to perform Satanic rituals on it. So animal shelters either have black cat quotas or just stop taking black cats in at this time of year. And I’m sure the fact that Barbary and I had a connection from x number of years ago probably didn’t hurt!

So here I am with a new cat, and home is feeling a lot more homey-er as a result.

And my lamp that kept turning on in the middle of the night and random parts of the day? I came home one day last week and told the burning light that Hamlin didn’t need to worry, there would be a new cat coming home soon, and not to worry. And the lamp hasn’t turned on by itself since. Hamlin, my familiar, was looking after me, even in death. I hope he approves of Boo.

One Response to “New Man”

  1. Carol Elaine Says:


    Such a sweetie! And he sounds pretty typical for a black cat. Especially the canine teeth poking out (both Matisse and BJ have that, whereas Edison doesn’t).

    I had heard that about shelters and black cats before – there is a concern about black cats around Halloween. They also won’t release a black cat they may find around that time, even if it is yours (as I discovered when Matisse disappeared for three days in October one year – thank heavens it turned out he wasn’t there after all).

    I can’t wait to meet Boo.

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