It was a year ago today that I met Mr. Oates. He was a sad little shelter kitten who had lost his family home and was sleeping rough in the adoption lounge with about 50 other cats. The Arnprior Humane Society folks really recommended him though. He was a bit younger than I wanted but otherwise he ticked most of the boxes – never been an outdoor cat, friendly, had all his shots up to date, good looking ginger tabby.

So the next day Maria and I brought him home. He was really freaked out by the car ride, and as a result it took him a couple of hours before he owned the place in Almonte. After that – well, he was sleeping on our bed the first night.

He’s lost his kitten ways and is a young adult now, although he still has bursts of incredible energy – especially at 5 AM. He loves his cat toys, but unlike a kitten’s 100 miles an hour chase tactics he has mastered the art of stalk, hide and ambush. His favorite spot – aside from his cat bed – is next to the patio door to keep an eye on those pesky robins and grackles. He outgrew his first little bed so as an anniversary present we got this larger one. Maria put an old sweater in the new bed to make him feel better. He’s not giving it back.

He doesn’t have the incredible soft fur or wonderful purr of Sammy the Magnificent One, but he’s vocal and engaged like our first cat – Brio the redoubtable Siamese. Smart too. He loves Maria with every bit of his 12 pound being. Nothing like a nuzzle and snuggle at 2 AM to prove it.

No new cat can ever replace a pair of much loved lifelong friends but Oates is doing his best. We’ll keep him.