So Whitmore stayed in the Garden State, & I went to the capital, but I confess that I miss him even still, almost two years later. I've even been known to tear up when I think back on my time with him, much to the amusement/confusion/disgust of some of my anti-cat friends. I know Whitmore is happy & healthy in New Jersey, being taken care of by people who love him as much as I did, & certainly he has forgotten about me by now. Yet for some reason, I'd been struggling to do the same.
Obviously, a new cat sounded like just the ticket for moving forward.
My new apartment is just blocks away from the Cleveland Animal Protective League, & I had originally planned to go there to decide which of their dozens of orphaned cats was my perfect match. But then my friend Lindsey found a post on Reddit by a girl in my neighborhood - just three blocks away! - who recently found a stray cat on the highway, so malnourished they'd originally thought he was a kitten. Now that he was healthy again, she was looking for a forever-home for him.
Just like when I found my apartment online, I looked at the pictures of this cat & knew I wanted him. One night earlier this month, I went over to the Redditor's house for a quick visit, which only solidified my decision: This cat was comin' home with me. His foster owner agreed to keep him for another week while I was on vacation, & the day I got home, I went to get him.
She'd been calling him Chase, because she'd had to chase him down to rescue him. Chase is a cute name & all, but I'm big on naming my cats after TV & movie characters, & I wanted this little guy to follow in that storied personal tradition. I first thought I wanted to name him Omar, after Omar Little of The Wire & Omar Vizquel of the 1990s Cleveland Indians, but when I finally got him home, he just didn't feel like an Omar.
I brainstormed for all of 36 hours before deciding on a name: Helo, after a sleeper favorite from Battlestar Galactica. There are other BSG characters I like more, but somehow, Helo seemed liked the perfect name - & so Helo he is.
Things are going well so far, most of the time, except at 6a.m., when Helo is basically a tiny furry terrorist who meow-screams for food & hates when I close the bathroom door because it means he can't lay underneath my claw-foot tub. The rest of the time, he's adorable & cuddly & soft & perfect, following me around the apartment & headbutting me for forced petting & just generally being insufferably cute.
In other words? He is exactly what I needed to make my apartment feel like home.