A New Friend

In August last year, I visited the Humane Society to find a new companion dog. I had lost my beloved Kayla in May 2016, and I felt the time had come to look for a new friend.

At the entrance of the shelter, the staff had placed a kennel (at eye level) with the cutest, sweetest feline. While I waited for my turn to see the dog, I stuck my finger into the kennel to scratch her ear and became enchanted with the gray and white kitty as she stretched and twisted, purring while enjoying the scratch.

I met the dog, and he was nice, but I was unsure about adopting him, so I left and all the way home I thought about the cat. Next day, I returned to the shelter, adopted her, and named her Minka.

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At first, Minka was shy and timid in her new surroundings, but as the days turned to weeks and months, she became more confident, and her real personality emerged.

There is no match for Minka’s persistence when she wants something. Minka and I fight the constant battle of who will last longer: she meowing at my bedroom door before it’s time to get up, or I, staying in bed and ignoring her. Most mornings, she wins. Once in a while, she gives up, but not often. At one point I got so mad that I told her that there must have been a reason why she had been in the shelter. She only huffed at that.

As a skilled ball player she would very likely make it onto an all-star basketball team if she were human, because she catches her little round toy mouse out of the air, consistently and with precision. I should set up a hoop. She’d probably slam dunk it every time. Minka never tires of batting that mouse around the house, and of course, she wants me to throw it until I get tired.

Minka is still not very social when it comes to visitors and rarely shows her face when friends come over. She even knows when it’s Tuesday; Tuesday afternoon means piano lessons. I feed her, then she hides and only reemerges when the door closes behind the teacher on his way out.

As I write this, she lies beside me on the couch, snuggling; licking my hand; sweet and quiet. But there is tomorrow morning. We’ll see who wins the next round.

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