Had everything happened on schedule for "Deborah by Default," I would have missed this moment, as it would have happened one day earlier, when I was still in Barrow. That was when I had originally agreed to meet Nabysko at the vet's office in Palmer when she went to pick her up the new Kracker cat..
But the airport in Barrow was shut down after a big blizzard struck the Arctic Slope and raged for a days, so I stayed put. For reasons that are not clear to me, "Deborah by Default's" spay surgery time had changed as well and so she was still at the vet office, in recovery, when I arrived home.
I drove to Palmer and found Nabysko waiting in the vet's office, along with Tryskuit, who had driven her out from Anchorage. She was anxious to see her new cat.
"Deborah by Default" emerges from the recovery room, quite recovered, in the arms of Jill, who then hands her to a thrilled Nabysko. She has been waiting for this moment ever since she moved out into the world on her own... how many years ago?
Jill explains the required medical followup as Nabysko holds her new, ten-month old friend. As I wrote before, Nabysko had gone to the Mat-Su animal shelter planning to adopt a kitten, but as she walked past the cage that held "Deborah by Default," the tabby reached out and put a paw on her arm.
Just a paw, no claw. So Nabysko asked to hold her. Once in her arms, the tabby purred; it climbed up to her shoulders and lightly stepped from one to the other. At no time did it dig in with a claw. The tabby was gentle, and mellow; Nabysko knew they were right for each other.
Jill continues to explain. I am not certain that Nabysko is listening, so joyous is she to be reunited with the cat that she is about to take home for the first time.
Important: Please take note of the dog pictured on the calendar that hangs on the wall...
Nabysko brings "Deborah by Default" out to show to her mother. Sunflower is still burdened by her cast and brace and this is the first time that she has been out of the house since February 2 - Tryskuit's birthday. Banged-up and in pain though she is, Sunflower was not about to miss this special moment.
Remember the dog on the calendar? The one that I told you to take note of? Look through the window of the car parked behind the new cat! It's the very dog! How does such a thing happen?
This dog is jealous; jealous that it cannot be a cat - jealous that Nabysko cradles a cat that Tryskuit pets.
The dog wants to be cradled. The dog wants to be petted. But no one cradles it. No one pets it. The dog wants to be a cat. But the dog is a dog. The dog can never be a cat. Unless reincarnation is real. If so, then perhaps this dog will yet meow.
Nabysko carries "Deborah by Default" through the headlights of our car to Tryskuit's, so that they can drive back to Anchorage. About three hours later, my phone will ring. It will be Nabysko. She will report the drive home to have been an excellent one.
At first, "Deborah by Default" wanted to explore a bit, to climb upon the driver's lap and cause her to crash, but Nabysko kept her away from Tryskuit (had they told me they did not have a travel kennel for her, I would have brought one).
Then the kitty settled down on the lap of her new lady, Nabysko. She gave her nudge after nudge; she purred, she was happy and sweat.
Once home, "Deborah by Default" vigorously attacked the new mouse-dangling-from-stick toy that Tryskuit had given her as a kitty-shower gift. Tryskuit quickly grew worried that this was too much exertion for a cat that had just been spayed, so they took that toy away and opened up a box filled with about 30 fake mice.
"Deborah by Default" was pleased. She dug in. Not a single mouse survived.
And what about Nabysko's boyfriend Bryce, the one who, as we saw in this old post, is savagely allergic to cats?
No bad reaction, so far. He loves "Deborah by Default" and has been caressing and holding her.
As for "Deborah by Default," no one knows her real name yet. Once she reveals it, Nabysko says, the default will be overwritten by the real name. While no one knows what that name will be, everyone is pretty sure it won't be, "Deborah by Default."