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COLUMN: A furry new addition to the family

My wife and I have a new addition to our family. No we didn't have a baby – we just got a cat. In late October, one of our friends asked us if we'd be willing to take in a black tabby named Monty.

My wife and I have a new addition to our family. No we didn't have a baby – we just got a cat. 

In late October, one of our friends asked us if we'd be willing to take in a black tabby named Monty. He was previously our friend's father's cat, but he was moving, and would not be allowed to take the cat with him. It meant Monty needed to find a new home. 

We accepted Monty temporarily in early November, with the understanding that after a one-week trial run, we'd decide whether or not we wanted to keep him permanently. 

We knew probably by day two that we'd be keeping him. It was a pretty easy decision. At seven years old, Monty is already neutered, house-trained, and pretty low-maintenance – which works perfectly with our hectic schedules. 

I've written in the past about my previous cat, Jazz, who I sadly had to have put down in early 2021 at the age of of 18. Jazz had been in my family since i was eight years old, so it felt like I grew up with her.

Having Jazz put down was incredibly tough for me. She was always considered 'my' cat, in the sense that I was the only person she really liked. She slept on my bed, curled up on my lap, and once I was old enough to drive, I was the one who took her to most of her vet appointments. 

I've learned quickly that Monty is a very different cat from Jazz, who other than showing affection toward me, mostly kept to herself. While most felines are notoriously skittish and introverted, Monty is probably the most outgoing and attention-seeking cat I've ever met – seriously, he won't leave me alone. Even as I wrote this column, he jumped up on my desk at home and curled up on my laptop, meowing at me when I finally pushed him off. 

Speaking of, he's also the most vocal cat I've ever met. Whenever my wife or I come home from work or elsewhere, he'll meow non-stop until he gets the attention from us he feels he deserves. He has quite the personality. 

Despite being a bit overweight, he's also quite graceful and has shown a propensity for jumping on every surface in our home – including the very upper-most cabinets in the kitchen, which are just below the ceiling. Occasionally I've seen him perched up there. 

Though he was a bit skittish when he first arrived at our house and spent much of the first night hiding behind the furnace, Monty quickly warmed up to me and my wife. I think he's happy to have landed with us.

After Jazz's passing, I figured I wouldn't want to have another cat anytime soon. But though Monty has come into my life unexpectedly, I'm happy to have him in the house for the next however-many-years.

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