On one hand, I could very easily adopt another cat on impulse--another one of Millie's rescues, or one I encounter on one of my bike rides. On another, I want to have Max as my "only child," at least for now.
I wonder...How would Max react if I were to adopt another cat? Would he and the new kittie become pals. Or would Max try to run him/her out of the house? Sometimes he was aggressive with Charlie. Other times, he and Charlie curled around each other in a corner of my living room or on the sofa. I'm not so sure Max was trying to push Charlie away as much as he wanted me to himself. Yet he seemed to know that he and Charlie were "in this thing together," as we used to say in my old neighborhood.
While it's tempting to take home the next thing I hear mewling, I realize Max is about the same age as Charlie. That means he might live one or ten more years, or something in between. He might or might not take well to a new roommate. Then again, he might get lonely, or simply tired of me. Or his energy might start winding down and he won't be so playful. Will he have a relatively quick decline, as Charlie did, or a slow and agonizing demise?
Tomorrow or ten years from now? Alone with me or with another kitty? Whatever his remaining lifespan, I want to enjoy it--and I want him to enjoy it even more.
If he spends his remaining time alone with me, I could adopt a pair of kittens and they could grow old together, like the two cats who preceded Charlie and Max in my life. And--depending on when I adopted those kittens, I'd be old with them. Real old.
Oh well. I'm going to be home in a while. Max will charge the door when he hears me coming, and he'll curl around my ankles as I try to walk through the doorway. I'll feed him, and maybe eat something myself. And I'll probably cry for Charlie again. Max knows.