There was, in fact, one last piece - a bright-eyed, silky-sable, sweet as syrup piece named Tori.
Puzzle, as you know, suffers from thoroughly enjoys OWOCS (Obsession With Other Cats Syndrome). Now, many cats are keen on other cats, and one of my favorite feline phenomena is seeing two or three or more cats loving on each other gleefully. There’s something very right about cats who agree that cats are amazing.
But Puzzle took this intra-species affection to new levels. I can confidently say that I have never met another cat who loves cats as much - or as semi-hysterically - as our black-and-white boy.
At Tabby’s Place, Puzzle’s holy grail was the friendship of a certain marmalade marvel - the unsinkable Mango. To his credit, Mango was astonishingly patient with Puzzle, putting up with, oh, 150-200 head butts in the space of seven minutes before finally giving his neurotic friend a gentle swat. Mango is such an easygoing good-time guy that it takes something on the level of nuclear war or a remake of Gigli to upset him, so he was truly the perfect friend for Puzzle. With his good heart and nearly-inexhaustible patience, Mango earned himself a lanky, high-strung, huge-hearted black-and-white shadow.
So, I was a bit forlorn over the prospect of separating these buddies when Puzzle was adopted last month. I knew Mango would be fine. After all, Mango is always fine. And, truth be told, this friendship wasn’t really his idea, anyway.
But what about Puzzle? It wasn’t just the thought of separating him from Mango, but separating him from other cats in general. Much as he adulated Mango, a cat with Puzzle’s heart can’t help but attach himself to several BFFs. How would our skittery social butterfly do as an only cat?
We hemmed and hawed over this puzzle at Tabby’s Place. Puzzle had been awaiting his forever home for over two years, and it was clear this was it. Could we possibly deny him a home - ostensibly the home he was meant to have - simply because we couldn’t bear the thought of him living without other cats?
In the end, it was a choice we didn’t have to make at all. No sooner had Mama Puzzle fallen in love with her boy and gotten him happily settled into her home, than she returned to adopt his new little sister. You see, this wonderful human bean and her boy have something splendid in common: they both think cats are best in pairs. Mama Puzzle had planned all along to get Puzzle a buddy, and waited only long enough for him to feel secure in her home before coming back to Tabby’s Place.
As for that lucky little sister, you’ve heard her name here before. It’s none other than Angelina’s daughter Tori, one-time returnee and sweet sister of Mahalia. And, once again, we have a brilliant case of meant-to-be-ness.
Because Puzzle is in looooooooove.
Mama Puzzle giddily reports that the dynamic duo are already bonded and blissed-out, playing together and following one another around like long-lost loves. And so, at last, this picture is ready for a frame and a display in the Happy Dance Hall of Fame.