Adopting a Cat in the time of Covid


The year 2020 was a lousy year. Not only did the Covid pandemic keep us locked down for most of it, my fiancé and I also lost both of our elderly cats due to illness. I could have borne the year in lockdown with my two felines two by my side, but when our second cat Jango died at the end of October, the silence in the house grew too much to bear. As the winter dragged on, and the worst of my grief passed, I began thinking of adopting another cat – in particular, a pair of bonded cats, preferably a year or two old, as we would like a pair of cats that actually get along and have outgrown the energetic kitten stage. Unfortunately, we found out that trying to adopt a pet was just one more frustrating experience during the pandemic.

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In Memory of Jango (2002-2020)

Jango, 2014

I really didn’t want to write another memorial this year. It has only been eight months since we had to put our beloved Phaedra to sleep, and even though we knew Jango was declining as well, he seemed to be doing as well as an 18-year-old cat with stage 3 kidney disease and an abdominal tumour could be. He was diagnosed with the kidney disease on his annual visit in November 2018 – then, in stage 2, he showed no other signs other than drinking more water than usual, though he’s always been a cat who loved his water. On his annual visit last year, not only had the disease progressed to stage 3, the vet also noticed a firm, abnormal mass in his abdomen. This was about the time Phaedra started going blind after her stroke in August. My greatest fear was that I would lose my pets at the same time, but when Phaedra passed at the end of February Jango still seemed to be doing well. If it weren’t for the fact that he had kidney disease and cancer I think he probably would have lived until his twenties!

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In Memory of Phaedra (2001-2020)

Phaedra (2013)

Today I mourn the loss of my old girl Phaedra.

She came into our lives on August 4, 2001 when Doran and I visited the Humane Society in the hope of adopting a pet. I had never had a gray cat before and was enchanted by the thought of getting one; I had my eye on one in a cage in the cat room at the OHS but Doran saw Phaedra (then called “Muffin” by the Humane Society) rubbing herself against the bars of the cage on a higher shelf, wanting out, but almost purring and looking content. She was a beautiful tortoiseshell colour, all blacks and browns with cream mixed in. The Humane Society worker let us hold her, and right from the start she seemed to be a happy, affectionate cat. She won our hearts immediately, and we took her home in a cardboard pet box in our old ’89 Ford Taurus that day. I remember how she chaffed at being in there so I opened the top; she jumped out and hid under the seat. I had to pull her out in order to bring her to our apartment on Iris Street. When we put her down on the floor she immediately ran to hide beneath a computer desk. Doran had to run to Walmart to get food and a litter box and pet supplies while I tried to coax her out.
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