Sunday, May 15, 2011


We have a cat. A new cat. Well, new to us. His name is Kona and he came to us via Facebook: the Burmese Rescue Group. A family in Hoboken, NJ (Mom, Dad and a little one) were in need of a new home for their champagne male Burmese, Kona. The little boy is allergic and no amount of vacuuming, air purifying, cleaning, separating in different rooms... nothing seemed to help. And now there's another boy on the way and it came down to the children or the cat. No contest.

So Thomas, Kona's original owner for the past 10 years, and the family's companion for the last eight, posted on the Facebook group and Chris responded immediately. Initially we thought we'd go up to Hoboken and meet the family (and, of course, the cat) and see what we all thought of each other. But by the end of the week, the family had decided we were The Ones and told us that if we wanted to, we could take Kona home with us on Saturday.

So north we drove to meet this beautiful family and their amazing pet. He really is much more handsome in person. We visited for a half an hour or so, then put Kona in his traveling carrier; the family also gave us his litter box (a really cool design that doesn't need a scoop! You kind of roll it over on its side and the litter sifts itself into a long, deep tray and you just pull it out and dispose...brilliant!); some Meow Mix and his food and water bowls and we made our way back onto the Jersey Turnpike. (By the way, more on Hoboken later. It's a very cool little city!)

Disoriented and probably a little afraid and angry, Kona talked most of the way home, when he wasn't trying to punch his way out of the carrier. When we got him home, he prowled around, getting the lay of the land. He didn't want much to do with us: the hissing and bared teeth were a pretty good hint. So we kept our distance for a couple of days, until Kona started sidling up to us, sniffing our feet or hands, getting close enough to get a vibe one way or the other. By Monday evening, after work, I was on the floor with him and he was nuzzling my hand, begging to be scratched behind the ears. In the intervening week, he's started to curl up on my lap when I'm watching TV, or at the computer. He really is a love sponge...

The other funny thing is that, like many cats, he loves doors and closets and is often to be found sitting at the apartment door, crying to be let out. And he's smart enough that he's figured out how the doorknob works and what it's for. Periodically there will be this soft thud and scratching on the front door, and I'll look over to see him hanging by his front paws from the doorknob, trying to turn it! It's hilarious and really fascinating.

"What's in this closet? I have to know!"
 During those first few days he naturally spent a good deal of time sniffing the air, or sitting very still, staring straight ahead. I suspect he can still smell our late female Burmese, Mehitabel, in the rugs and the upholstery. He can probably also commune with the spirit we suspect haunts the apartment: a man who once worked in this building when it was still a commercial property. He had a heart attack and, I believe the story goes, fell down the service elevator shaft. Cats are much more finely attuned to that kind of thing. (I, at least, have not had the pleasure...)

He sleeps a lot during the day, and howls a lot during the night when we're trying to sleep. But he is very, very loving and absolutely beautiful, with a silky pale beige coat that's sometimes a little grayish, and the most amazing green-gold eyes.

It's nice having the energy in the apartment again, that unique sense of the presence of a living thing that only pets (particularly cats) can impart. Apart from being awakened at two or three in the morning by what sounds like a very peeved baby crying, I'm glad Kona's here. Of course as Chris insists, Burmese bond to one person for life, so he'll always belong to Thomas of Hoboken. We're caretakers.

Or, as Chris also often says, furniture in the cat apartment of life.


  1. A warm welcome to the new addition. Astrid was so different, but as we know he was just a baby and had chosen his family on his own. He never wants out and sleeps all night with me. Kona looks like a very pretty cat and hit the jackpot with his two new might be surprised...he may eventually forget his old family...or realize they gave him up. When our lovely neighbor Joy came back to visit recently..her dog Diego didn't pay much attention to her and continued his daily routine around here with his best friend Paley. He didn't even sleep with her (as she was our houseguest). Thank God that finally Astrid and Diego can co-exist and not drive each other nuts. Enjoy the new kitty...he will calm down soon..although his ability with the door knobs is fascinating. Yours, Bratprince

  2. Congratulations on the new member of the family. I enjoyed reading about Kona and seeing the pictures - not just of Kona, but your surrounding. Loved the picture looking out the window. The East is so different from "out West" :-) Being the parent of two adopted dogs, I applaud you for the adoption and honor your patience in helping Kona adapt to his new loving home.