As Gale sleepily prepared Tabbouleh’s wet food and refilled his water dish, he explored the legs of the dining room table. Cheese watched from his perch on “his” chair at the table with wariness; the little guy could really jump these days, and it wouldn’t be long before Tabbouleh could make it up on Cheese’s chair. Now THAT would be annoying!
As Tabbouleh gobbled down his breakfast (not leaving even a tiny bit for her, Banana noted with annoyance), Cheese watched Karen do something odd—Karen was putting Tabbouleh’s bed, extra food, and toys into a box.
Tabbouleh spent the rest of the morning doing what he did best: scaling the sofa, sliding down on to a nearby table, jumping to the big black chair, tumbling to the ground, and then doing it all over again. Later in the morning,
Banana watched Karen put Tabbouleh into a cat carrier (Cheese would have seen this too, but he “disappeared” to the basement as soon as he heard the rattle of the handle of the carrier). Banana had watched Gale do the same thing earlier in the week (when Tabbouleh went to the vet for his first shots), but this time it was different—Banana could feel some sadness in the air as Karen gently closed the carrier door. Banana saw the box on the floor next to the carrier, and she rushed to find Cheese.
A little while later, Banana and Cheese watched as Karen picked up the carrier, and Gale lifted the box from the table. The cats heard the front door shut, and then all was quiet; quieter than it had been since Tabbouleh fell into their lives five short weeks before.
When the door opened again, Karen and Gale came in empty-handed. Again, that sense of sadness came in with the women, and the cats realized they had some rubbing and purring to do with their people. As Karen snuggled Banana, Gale stroked Cheese, and the women wiped tears from their eyes. “Today, we took Tabbouleh to his new home,” Gale explained. “He seemed a little scared at first, but the little girl and little boy were so gentle, I’m sure he’ll feel at home in no time. I think he’ll like it there; he’ll have lots of new places to explore, and a new family to love him.”
If cats could cry, you would have seen Banana and Cheese wiping tears from their cheeks too—they understood Tabbouleh had left to become part of a new family, but they were really going to miss the little guy. Karen suddenly looked worried; “Do you think Tabbouleh has enough to eat at his new house? Do you think he’ll have enough toys to play with?” Banana and Cheese looked at each other, pleased that Banana had thought to convince Cheese to come up from the basement long enough to put some of his favorite treats into the box that Karen had loaded for Tabbouleh.
The treats landed right on top of one of Banana’s favorite red shoestrings. The cats knew they had done their best to make sure their little friend had some things from their home to take to his new home.
As the sun went down that night, each creature in the house had the exact same thoughts: “Wow, it’s quiet here without Tabbouleh! He really did become a part of our family! I’m going to miss him.”
And indeed, they did. They missed Tabbouleh every day.