The Bio: A little black and white cat that goes by the nicknames Poptart, Popstar, Poppy seed, and Poppy girl. She also is the very definition of a scaredy-cat: wind, water, housecoats, and the rustle of a plastic grocery bag, all send her seeking refuge in the darkest corners of the shoe closet.
Dan and I got Poppy four years ago. I was browsing the classifieds of the local newspaper, when I saw an add for free kittens! The two sweetest sounding words in the English language. So naturally I called the number and told the lady to reserve me a little girl kitten, and I'd be along that evening with my boyfriend to collect her.
That evening, Dan walked through the front door after having written his last exam ever as a university student. Hurried congratulations were given as I ripped off his backpack, collected the car keys, and dragged him out the door telling him the best news in the world: free kittens! One is ours! Let's go!
As you can tell, The Swiss is an understanding fellow and only minimal protest was made.
We pulled up to the address that I was given, and looked at the house (and surrounding neighbourhood) and wondered where the hell we were. It was a tad rundown and sketchy, to say the least. Walking up to the house, every single window was blacked out with heavy dark sheets. Is this a trick? Are we walking into some sort of sick trap, meant to lure in cat lovers? Obviously Dan felt the same, because he made me stand behind him when he rang the doorbell.
When the lady opened the door (and after our eyes adjusted to the pitch darkness of her basement) I saw a woman who I can now say resembled that frail Dr. Abigail Tyler from the Fourth Kind: huge eyes, hollow cheeks, fried blond hair, and a very slight frame.
She apologized for the thick carpeting of cat hair all over the place, but "the cats don't like the vacuum". She apologized for the darkness of the house, but "the light is hard on the cat's eyes". She led us into the living room, pointed to a couch where we could sit. The couch was covered in stuffed animals, and nestled here and there were the kittens. Dan picked one up, examined it for girly-bits, and determined "we'll take this one" while thinking, "let's get the hell of here". But the lady said no, she had to pick the cat for us based on our personalities and vibe.
Bizarre. Bizarre. Bizarre. Bizarre!
After we were grilled as to will the cat sleep with us, what's Cosmo like, and do we have a vacuum, she decided that little Pops (or as she called, her "the first one born") was the cat for us.
As she handed Poppy to me, I realized that in my hurry to get out the door I'd forgotten the cat carrier. So the lady took Poppy back and disappeared into the inky blackness. Was this our cue to leave? We stood up, just as the lady came back. In her outstretched hand was a long denim purse that had been buttoned up, and the purse was squirming wildly and mewing.
Thanking her very much, and trying to dodge the questions of "will you send me pictures", we practically sprinted from the house back to our car.
Opening the purse, we saw Poppy clearly for the first time: one blue eye and one green eye, a little cap of black, and a candy pink nose. Clearly she was adorable, and we both knew she would be a sweet addition.
Driving away though, I was given very clear instructions from The Swiss: "This is the last [bleep]ing add for free cats you ever respond to. Deal? That woman was [bleep]in' nuts."