Shane vs. The Machine

For some reason, when I’m on my laptop, Shane, the friendly cat, likes to get up and cuddle with me. If I close the laptop, he’ll actually sit right on top of it. Maybe because it’s warm.

When I was working remotely as a content writer, I called this event Shane vs. The Machine. Shane was always the winner. I know, shocking.

Nothing like the pleasant distraction of a sweet kitty purring on your lap. Good therapy and stress relief.

Shane was the other half of a package deal with his brother, Finnigan, from the NHSPCA: two for one. Understandably, they did not want to split up the pair. We adopted them in August of 2020. While Finny can be affectionate on his terms, he is not as friendly as Shane.

In fairness, neither cat had ever been around young children. But their descriptions sounded lovely, and I figured they would adapt.

The entire first week, they mostly hid underneath the couch all day. We were afraid they wouldn’t ever come out. Eventually, though, they did.

We hadn’t had cats in our home for over three years, after Louis and Echo died. Aislyn never knew Louis, but he got to live in our first house for a short time.

We lived in our Newmarket apartment for 12 years, and Louis had been able to memorize the layout so well that he didn’t require his eyesight to navigate it. But when we moved to Dover, he bumped into furniture. That’s how we realized he had gone blind.

Louis was a gift from my mother-in-law after my mother’s passing in 2001. He was six weeks old when she gave him to me. An orange and white, wild and rambunctious tiger in his youth, I immediately fell in love. He was the first cat that had ever been specifically mine. He died of old age at 16.

Shane reminds me of Louis in appearance only. Their personalities are quite different. But at first, I did call Shane Louis frequently.

Echo was a little black female who was sweet to people, but bullied Louis. Well, you know what Space says: “The female of the species is more deadly than the male.”

She was my baby until I had my baby. Then, I don’t know why, but I slowly began to lose patience with her “crowding” me. I was rather dismissive of her in her last years, and then in 2018 she got sick and died, and I cried for my selfishness. Hadn’t she been my go-to for comfort and consoling on countless occasions? Where had I been for her?

The good news is, in those twilight years, Derek was much kinder to her than I had been, and she warmed right up to him.

Fast forward to 2020. The kids aren’t babies anymore, COVID’s in full swing and we’ve been quarantined for five months. I felt like it was time for a cat again. That’s when I found Shane on the SPCA site. They told me he came with a companion: Finnigan. We talked it over and took the plunge.

Shane loves Desmond, and that makes me happy. Finny likes Derek most of the time, and Mom, but that’s about it.

I don’t know if we’ll ever have a dog. Derek doesn’t think the house is big enough, and it’s true that we don’t have much of a backyard. But there are little dogs that don’t require a lot of space. My dad and stepmom have a Feist in their condo. My stepbrother has a Pomeranian, I think, in his apartment.

Of course, my favorite dogs are labs.

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