Modem is dead.
She was hit by a car a mere five months after Burger, a couple of months before she'd have turned 11. She never really went near the roads, but the stars aligned against us as there was a rare day of nice weather prompting her to go for a stroll and a speeding idiot all happening at the same time. This time there was even a neighbour (the one looking after our kids when we go to theory classes) witnessing it because it happened in broad daylight.
I don't actually want to talk about it. I don't want to think too hard about it either. Most of the time it's kind of like I pretend that she's just out of sight and not permanently gone at all, but of course I know that she is. For the main part choose to be grateful for everything knowing her gave me rather than broken that she's gone, and I don't like talking about it because it feels too personal.
If you know me then you'll know that me calling something 'too personal' is rather significant, since I otherwise have no problem sharing my pain and past experiences. So just... leave it be, please.
Anyhoo. I haven't dealt that well with the emptiness since then. To suddenly not have a cat when you're me and always had a cat is very... lonely. I know that sounds weird because I have Maz and the kids, but that's how it is. Also, Modem was very helpful with my anxieties. Nothing like a soft, purring, always faithful kitty to make you feel better.
So I told Maz that I needed to have a cat and I was going to get me a rescue from Inges Kattehjem ASAP and build it a big cage out back so it wouldn't get hit by a car, because I was done with that. He was on board with getting a cat and building that cage (I think they call it a catrun in English?) but thought - and probably still thinks - that I was rushing it a bit. I didn't - and still don't - care. Nobody could take Modem's place, but at least a new cat can calm and distract me while I heal.
So we went on Sunday. Of course, the whole trip was a mess, what with Kupo suddenly NEEDING TO PEE on the way and getting some on his trousers so he pretty much had to run around in underwear because we of course didn't bring extra trousers with us this ONE time. *sigh* (We tried purchasing some stockings for him but he claimed they itched and refused to put them on.) And Snuffles was a bit unwell and went into full hunger mode at a time when we didn't have any snacks for him.
But in spite of all this, we made it to the shelter and had a look at their selection. There was only one staff member present and it took us a while to get her attention since we obviously weren't the only people looking to adopt. I knew right away that I didn't want to adopt one of the cats they had, because she looked a lot like Modem. That one was adopted by the next ones, though, and they seemed nice, so I'm sure she'll have a good life. From the shelter's website I'd considered a white/grey cat called Bianca, but her papers at the location said she didn't get along with small children, so that was a no-go as well. I liked a very mellow white cat with black and red spots, but she was perhaps a bit too mellow for the kids, because Kupo was completely uninterested in getting another sleeping lump. XD Kupo really wanted a black seven-month-old called Pjok, because it was very playful, but unfortunately it was also an extremely frightened cat when taken from its cage. It didn't like being taken out by anyone and everything considered, the staff member didn't think the kids would ever get to see her as she would simply hide from them. As far as black cats went, I was really fascinated by a huge
Finally we had a look at the very first cat the staff member had pointed out to us. A mouse-grey striped one-year-old male called Frede. (Very Danish name, alina290 had the right idea when she called him 'Freddy' on Twitter, and that's the name I will now use for him in here.) He'd been tying himself into knots to get anyone's attention, but unfortunately for him, he had a sign that said to wash hands after touching him that scared people off. Turns out it's because he has a cold that could transfer to the other cats. That cat can sneeze, I tells ya. His fur was/is also a little greasy down front because he's been treated for ear mites recently with some drops. He'd been found wandering around in the southern part of town and the guy who'd turned him in (he gave his address as a Gardening Association, so I assume it was on behalf of the whole association) had seen him come and go for a month and a half and hadn't managed to locate an owner. Freddy had no identification and hadn't been castrated, earmarked, chipped, vaccinated, or anything, and as mentioned came in with ear mites. So they took him in and got him checked out, treated and sorted on all those accounts and by the time we went down and got him, he should be fine. Except for the cold, which is likely stress-related and will be treated for free by their vet if it evolves.
Here he is:
He's still very cautious and I'm a little worried that he won't ever accept Snuffles, because apparently Snuffles is a very scary baby that prompts hiding under the towel closet for an hour after he's gone. But then, Freddy is so young that he should still be able to learn to trust that we won't let the baby harm him. He mostly lives in the cat carrier out in our bathroom for now, but it's only been a day, so we're giving him time and space to get used to being here. Whenever Maz or I go to check on him, he goes completely bananas and writhes around to get the most scratches possible, so no problems there. Kupo was a little bit disappointed that Freddy wasn't as playful today as he was down at the shelter, but accepted that the cat is still a little bit scared of us (mostly the kids though). At least Freddy cautiously accepts Kupo and doesn't hide from him. He just refuses to exit the cat carrier.
Thursday I need to bring him back down to the shelter so their vet can give him round two of his vaccinations, and I think I'll ask them to weigh him for me so I can dose his food properly. Not that I currently fear he'll over-eat. I was pleased to see that he'd eaten all his food the first night, but he didn't so far touch any of it today. He did, however, visit the litter box and turn over the kids' bathtub as well as the dustbin, plus we can hear him rummaging, so we know he's checking out his new environment and playing with his toys.
We've already ordered him new food and drink bowls, more toys, and a few other odds and ends. We're also looking into whether we can build the catrun from scratch ourselves or whether we need to buy more expensive sections and put together, and once we have that sorted, we're going to build a kitty playground in there and make it so the kids can go in and play with him when they want to. Expensive? Certainly. But to me, more important than getting a car.