Our last cat, Quyloc, was 17 when he died, about five years ago. Once he was gone, we let our younger son get the dog he’d long dreamed of, Noodles. (If you’ve been following along, you know about Noodles, how she has grand mal seizures and disappeared for 20 days last year when we were visiting the ranch.) And we figured we were done with pets for a while. Finally done raising the kids. Why not have some time to ourselves?

It was a good plan, really it was. But, like many good plans, it didn’t survive first contact with the enemy.

And really, when the enemy is five pounds of the softest, fluffiest fur ever, what chance did we have?

I first saw him out front in the morning, but I left him alone. Usually, the cats we see around here you can’t get near anyway. Then he popped up again late afternoon outside the back door.

By then it was a different matter. We’re on the edge of town. There’s a coyote party every night out there. No way he’d survive.

It took awhile to lure him inside, but I finally got him. No collar. A wound on his back. Off to the shelter with you, I told him. I looked up the Humane Society where we got Noodles, mapped it on Google, loaded the cat and took off.

It was an interesting drive. I had no pet carrier and he was everywhere in the car. But he especially wanted to be on the dash, which presents obvious problems. After a bit, he finally settled down and lay in my lap for petting and purring.

I hadn’t paid much attention to the exact location of the Humane Society. It was in the general area I remembered it being and that was enough. Except that Google guided me to a street with nothing but homes on it. Where was the Humane Society?

A closer look revealed that Google had sent me to the Human Society! (Whatever in the heck that is.) The place I was looking for was closed. The other animal shelter was way across town in rush hour traffic and closing soon.

That was Friday. On Saturday, instead of taking the cat in, I posted notices everywhere I could think of. We knocked on doors. I figured it would be nicer for the kitty to stay with us instead of being in a shelter. Besides, Noodles was okay with it and he was, frankly, about the mellowest, nicest cat I’ve ever been around. What harm in letting him stay around?

On Sunday, I finally took him in. No one was answering the ads. And I was concerned that the wound on his back was infected. They scanned him. No chip. I had to wait a little while before they could take him and I just felt so sad the whole time. Dang it. I’d already gotten attached to the little rascal. I left feeling kind of empty.

But at least I could count on my solid, sensible Swiss wife to set me straight. She was the one who really didn’t want another pet yet. Or maybe ever.

Except it seemed she had fallen as well. When I hinted at maybe reconsidering, she jumped at it. I never expected that.

Long story short, Bucky is a member of the family now. We had to wait several days to make sure his owner didn’t show up. (Pretty sure he was abandoned.) I made another trip over there to put a claim on him, worried the whole time that someone else had beaten me to it.

So now I have a helper when I sit down to write. He loves walking on the keyboard and can’t understand why I’d waste time writing instead of petting him. I don’t feel like I had much choice in the matter.