When the Mackleys decided this past fall to find a companion for Aurora, their then one-year-old cat, they wanted a kitten that was energetic and playful, but also submissive and laid back. What they got instead was completely unexpected.
The Mackleys were content with their tabby cat, Aurora. She was sweet and friendly, but, in Natalie’s words, “with an attitude that you wouldn’t believe.” And yet the Mackleys began to wonder if Aurora was content. While many cats wouldn’t mind being left alone for hours at a time while their owners were at work, Natalie and her husband could tell their cat was lonely; each evening upon returning home, they’d find Aurora waiting by the door looking sad.
Finding the right companion for Aurora would be a challenge. Their girl needed to be the center of attention, so the new cat would need enough stamina to keep up with Aurora but not as much of a diva.
At the Beatrice Humane Society, Natalie found an energetic, black and white, short-haired kitten that she decided to foster. Ralph was so energetic that they didn’t realize he almost completely blind as the result of an eye infection. But rather than return Ralph for a healthier kitten, the Mackley’s decide to adopt him.
Initially Ralph’s personality was both snuggly and playful. In time he became more stand-offish and yet he likes to sit on the couch with them when they watch TV. In addition, he enjoys snuggling with Natalie at night and will sleep around her head “like a cat.”
Ralph is very sophisticated and insists on wearing a tuxedo always.
Ralph has become the companion for Aurora that the Mackleys were hoping for. He’s better able to keep up with her now that he’s learned where everything is, and when he finds her the two cats love to wrestle.
He also has this funny habit of waking up and sitting directly on my face in the morning, so that I don’t need an alarm anymore.
Like all cats, Ralph has a naughty side. Natalie told me that he’s hungry all the time and “not afraid to voice this.” Moreover, Ralph will climb up on the Natalie and her husband’s lap when they eat on their couch and steal food from their plates if they’re not vigilant. Also, due to his impaired vision, he occasionally adds new scratches to their furniture in his efforts to avoid falling.
My favorite moments with him are early in the morning when he is happy and snuggles up to me.
Ralph also has a happy side. He likes to play and appreciates catnip. He also enjoys naps and lounging in the sun.
For Ralph’s sake, the Mackleys wish that they had met him before his eye infection had permanently limited his eyesight. But the Mackleys are also glad to have rescued Ralph when they did. Despite his limited vision, Ralph has settled well into life with this forever family. Sometimes the best second cat is the one that most needs a home.