The Big One

Last year, I started to get emails from a wonderful woman named Suzie.  She had lots of questions about getting her cat here and I was happy to help.  Her husband would be in Shenyang on a contract with an aviation firm.  Once Suzie moved here, we became friends.  We watched each others’ cats.  We talked and shared.  I got to know her children.  Then the contract ended after only 9 months and they were faced with a lot of decisions.  Such is the life of an expat.

One of those big decisions was about their cat, Humphrey.  Her husband had a line on a job in England, but it was another short-term contract.  She was torn about moving her 11-year old furry son to China for 9 months, then England for 6 months, then who knows where?  After much anxiety, Suzie popped the question.  She asked if we would be willing to take care of Humphrey for those 6 months, or 9 months, or longer, depending on their situation.  I said yes, then I asked Tim what he thought.  Then details, details, details, and Humphrey came to stay with us for a transitional period to see how it went.  He’s still here.

There was hissing.  Our 7 pound, 13 year old Daisy wasn’t too happy about waiting such a long time be the Alpha, then have a big ole British Blue move in on her territory.  The 10 pound, 12 year old Bandit just wanted to be sure the thing wasn’t going to eat his tuna.  And the much bigger, 11 year old Humphrey had never lived with other pets before.  So there was more hissing.

It’s been a couple of months now.  Daisy still doesn’t like him, and Humphrey isn’t sure what to make of her.  But he and Bandit are buddies.  The “wake the humans up at 5 in the morning, eat some tuna then go to sleep” buddies.  Suzie was true to her word when she said Humphrey prefers women.  Tim might get to pet him once a day.  But he loves me, even takes a shift sleeping under the covers when we go to bed.  Cutie.

So why “The Big One”?  Our other two cats, Daisy and Bandit, have names that can be translated.  Chújú (雏菊) and Tǔfěi (土匪) were the names given to them by our driver, Pan.  So what do we do with a given name like Humphrey?  It was difficult for him to pronounce and he didn’t understand.  So we decided on Da de, big one.  And the name fits.

Welcome to The Next Adventure, Humphrey!

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I started this blog in 2010 as we prepared to move to Shenyang China. Since coming back to the US in 2015, my writing has been less consistent. Trying to find a voice here...

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