So I got a  cat, and if you know me then you know I had a severe attachment to a cat I had for almost a decade. After she passed away in 2001, I owned two other cats for a couple of years. Then children came along and suddenly there was too much poop in the house.

The fact of the matter is that I’ve been wanting a cat for a while now, but I’ve wanted a specific kind of cat. For starters, I wanted an indoor/outdoor cat, already potty-trained, and happy to sit on laps. And again, if you know me, then you know I’ve always wanted a cat who I could name after a Harry Potter character.

Then came Salem, a nearly-all-black heavy-set shop cat who couldn’t live in the shop anymore. He belonged to a wonderful florist (and her crew) who we work with often in the magazine, but since she changed locations, Salem wound up needing a new home. It seemed almost perfect since he’s used to going in and out of a house, and since I needed a cat who could be flexible, I figured we’d be a good match.

I brought him home last night and he’s made slow, cautious progress. In fact, as I type, he’s rubbing his chin along the top of the laptop screen, his way of telling me, “This belongs to me.”

However, this is new behavior, as he spent the entire day cuddled against the toilet:

He’s scared of the children, as you can imagine, and Hank posed a huge threat. After separating them, I was quite frank with Salem – Hank is priority. If you two can’t get along, guess who gets the boot?

This may be the craziest time in my life, the most inappropriate and irresponsible time to get a cat, but I tell you this: if he’ll sit on my lap at night and make me his best friend, then it will all be worth it. And if he’s lucky, I might make his middle name Severus.

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