Sue and I tend to avoid going to pet shops, pet shows, or anywhere else that could have a pet for sale or adoption, for we fear coming home with yet another feline companion.

We're also very absentminded.

So on what may very well be described as a tortie day in November, while driving home, we remembered we needed some pet supplies and stopped at a Petco in Patchogue. In the front of the shop were two cats: in one cage was Lucy and in the other Butch. Sue and I both had a similar reaction: we raced to the back of the store.

Sometimes, just sometimes, hiding is not enough. I asked Sue, "Did you see Lucy? Would you like to have another look?"

Apparently, Petco agreed to allow animals rescued by Heart and Soul to stay in the shop for adoption. Lucy had a large sign in front of her cage: "It is no fun being in this cage." And for a striking though muted one-year-old tortie, Lucy looked as if she was ready to have plenty of fun given half an opportunity.

Even though the cats were in a Petco, arrangements for adoption were handled by a telephone interview, and a few days later, we were informed that Lucy was willing to come home with us. The drive home was easy enough, but no one prepared us for the fact that Lucy is a flying cat. She enjoys heights and enjoys launching herself onto the first available shoulder that comes within range.

Lucy and Sue

In a couple of weeks George realized that he is no longer the kitten of the family, but the member of an older and more sedate generation. Nevertheless, he's promised that he'll start a diet in order to keep up with Lucy.
Lucy and George

George: "You can play with the red mouse, the salmon mouse, the blue mouse, and the sport balls. But the Plush Ferret is mine!"

With each day that Lucy is here with us, Sue has decided Lucy is another week younger than the one year originally claimed. "Look at that," Sue said, "only a seven-month-old cat would be chasing her tail in such a fashion." That was approximately one hour before the four-year-old George went wild chasing his own tail.

For those who are politically correct, note that although there is indeed a cat on the table, Sue and I always insist that any cat wash his or her paws first.

Dinner time

As a postscript, Butch was adopted by another family at the same time that Lucy was adopted. But I'm sure, here on Long Island, Heart and Soul could recommend other felines or pets for adoption if you got in touch with the group:

Heart & Soul of Long Island Inc.
818 Fort Salonga Road
P.M.B. 114
Northport, NY 11768

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