This week’s Pet of the Week post comes from a fan of the Hartz Facebook page, Drew Belle Zerby. Read about her serendipitous journey to finding a new best friend (and partner in crime), Penny Lane!

“On July 27, 2010, my 20-year-old cat, Figaro, passed away. She was my playmate during the day and my snuggle buddy during the night. I recall returning home for fall break my first semester of college. All I wanted to do was curl up with my best friend on the basement couch. When I departed on a Sunday afternoon, my eyes began to well up with tears as I reversed out of my family’s gravel driveway. I sobbed for at least two hours of my journey. My contacts were crinkled with salt and blurred beyond repair by the time I reached my destination.

The morning Figaro passed away is a vivid image forever ingrained in my memory. How I was able to peel myself from my bed, put on makeup and dress myself for another day at work, I’ll never know.

One year to the date Figaro was laid to rest, I adopted a beautiful, rambunctious kitten from one of my friends. Personality, she did not lack! It took me a few weeks to realize that I had indeed brought Penny Lane into my home the same day Figaro left it. Coincidence? Probably, but I prefer to think of it as something more.

While Penny Lane can never replace Figaro and what she meant to me, she has made my life much more fulfilling. I admit, my significant other and I have spoiled her rotten, to the point of Penny Lane thinking of us as props for her to propel herself to the top of the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets.

She hides behind corners and doorways only to dramatically jump out at me, ricochet off my body, and revel in my squealing. She sticks her head in our water glasses, and if the water is too low for her to lap up, she nonchalantly places her paw on the rim and knocks it over. I swear I’m not imagining a wicked smirk stretching across her face every time.

She only drinks fresh, filtered water in her bowl, yet prefers stale water from the bathtub and shower door. I swear she is a reincarnated Billy goat because she eats every morsel that falls to the ground, from Mexican shredded cheese and Kashi cereal to limp spaghetti noodles to over-salted tortilla chips. She sneaks onto the stove while we’re not looking and peels the cheese off cooked pizzas and licks the bacon grease off the skillet. She’s knows it’s wrong when she hears my voice bellow across the house, yet she scampers off, licking her lips with satisfaction. She’s somehow picked up the habit of stealing tea bags from my cup and tossing them around like a hacky sack.

As for her fascination with boxes and bags? All I’m going to say is she could easily be the next Maru the cat. And I’m not even going to delve into the damage she’s done to our new leather furniture. However, strategically placing orange and eucalyptus oil-soaked cotton balls around the edges of our couch, chair and ottoman seem to have done the trick.

To many, what I’ve just described probably sounds like a nuisance, a she-devil, a coddled cat that appears as pampered as the Persian feline that stars in the Fancy Feast commercials.

She can be a hyper, Matrix-like kitty that bounces off the walls, tormenting me with her shenanigans, yet she can appear a serene, tender lap cat that vies for the attentions of her two parents. She’s like one of those Sour Patch Kids commercial: First she’s sour. Then she’s sweet.

There’s no denying Penny Lane is mischievous, irksome and a complete mess. She drives me crazy, yet not one day passes without her making me smile, even if it’s when she’s chasing me around the room, batting at my feet or sticking her little pink nose in my homemade dinner.”

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