Rennie was named for the Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte. One day we were walking past the Cat Vet at 2210 South Street in Philadelphia. The vet, Elizabeth McKinstry, provides a wonderful space in a store front window (weather permitting) for kittens who’ve been rescued and need loving homes. Well, there was an adorable little fellow in the window whom Betsy and I both fell in love with at first sight. By the way, Rennie has the unique privilege to be our only cat whose exact birthday we know (July 23rd, 2005) thanks to vet records and the fact that the woman who had brought the kittens in had taken in their mother, a stray, while she was pregnant with them.
Anyway, we stood for a while talking to him through the plate glass window, and then Betsy said she was going inside to see if she could hold him. I refused to go in with her and told her we didn’t need yet another cat (I always say that, but seldom mean it), and I headed off toward home. At first Betsy relented and began following me. I told her she should go in and hold him if that’s what she wanted to do. I knew it’s what she wanted, but she was reluctant to do so if I wasn’t totally onboard with the idea of adding another cat to our already significant pride of kitties. So, Betsy turned back toward the vet’s office and I walked the block or so to our house.
Once there, I proceeded to get a litter box and food and water bowls ready in the art studio on the first floor, knowing full well that Betsy would be bringing the little guy home. When she walked through the door twenty minutes later empty-handed, I was quite surprised.
“But you said you didn’t think we should get another cat,” she explained. I showed her my preparations for his arrival. She smiled. “So, you do want him,” she said. I suggested she hurry back and adopt him before someone else did.
Rennie is an absolute joy. I call him the Buddha cat because he’s so laid back (although a couple of the other cats might not agree). And he’s a real daddy’s boy.