by Jo Singer, , MSW, CSW, LCSW (Ret.)
Blogger Jo Singer whose picture of her cats Sir Hubble Pinkerton and Aki won the Pet Radio Cute and Cuddly contest, shares the story of her two babies
I am not particularly superstitious; however, I try to keep an open mind when it comes to spiritual matters. I only mention this because very shortly after our blue ticked tabby Oriental Shorthair kitten, Master Aki joined our household so many things I consider miraculous started to occur in the Singer household.
It was almost three years ago that our beloved Oriental Shorthair kitty, Dr. Hush Puppy suddenly passed away. For the next two months, Sir Hubble Pinkerton, our then 15-year-old Oriental Shorthair was grieving so profoundly over his brother’s death that his health rapidly declined.
He longer showed any interest in playing, moping around the house, and hanging out in all the areas in our home in which he could catch a whiff of his brother’s lingering scent. He cried, he yowled, and he paced back and forth for hours, searching for his missing best friend. My husband Marty and I also were grieving deeply, but no matter how hard we tried, we were unable to console Sir Hubble.
Thinking that Sir Hubble might feel better with a feline friend, two months after Puppy died, we adopted a five-month-old black and white kitten whom we named Edgar Allen Poe. Following Poe’s quarantine period in our bedroom, we began the slow introduction process, praying that they would eventually bond. But since Edgar Allen Poe was an inquisitive high-energy kitten who just wanted to play with Sir Hubble, his play invitations were far too frenetic for our elderly cat who was not at all amused by this. He wanted nothing to do with this feisty ball of black fur.
We felt awful for Poe since all of his overtures to connect with Hubble were rebuked continuously. Even though we were playing regularly with Poe, it was apparent he was still longing for a playmate. In my overwhelming frustration, I reached out for advice from a dear friend who is a feline veterinarian. I nearly fell off my chair when she strongly suggested that the only solution was for us to get a second kitten for company for Poe and since he would have a playmate it would stop him chasing Sir Hubble.
However, much to our joy a few weeks later we were suddenly blessed with a five-month-old blue-ticked tabby we named Aki. Following his quarantine period, we started slow introductions. Edgar Allen Poe was thrilled with his new brother. They played together for hours on end; chasing each other around the house; naturally getting into all kinds of mischief and they blissfully left Sir Hubble in peace.
Suddenly one day the first miracle took place. Sir Hubble became fascinated with Aki. He followed him around and began sniffing him. Aki was extremely gentle with him; perhaps sensing the depth of Sir Hubble’s grief.
One evening the second miracle occurred. Sir Hubble started chewing on Aki’s ears which was something that he always would do to Puppy. His facial expression was pure ecstasy. Shortly after that, they could often be found snuggled up in a kitty ball; their paws tightly wrapped around each other. Although Aki and Poe continued their rough and tumble play, during quiet moments, Aki and Sir Hubble became inseparable.
But what has been freaking us out is that Aki is developing all kinds of similar “Hush Puppy” behaviors. He is gazing into mirrors and voguing at his reflection; something that Hush Puppy spent considerable time doing. Every once in a while he continues to demonstrate many of Puppy’s odd behaviors.
These are all the things that convince me that Puppy sent Aki to us to help assuage Sir Hubble’s grief and how brought contentment and joy to Hubble. In fact, I firmly believe that Aki’s gentle love, his compassion, and empathy has genuinely saved Sir Hubble’s life. We are forever grateful that he found us.
Sir Hubble got his wings about seven months ago. My husband and I were devastated by his loss. While Aki didn’t show signs of grief, Poe and Aki as adults, have not bonded tightly yet, they still are engaging in the same rough play as they did as kittens. The entire trio dynamic has undoubtedly been altered.
Ask Jo any questions in the comments