Jasper Johns and Rudy Boy

Jasper Johns, left, and Rudy Boy, live with Carolyn Harmon and Lee Jones out on the prairie in Enfield.

Some things are better in twos.

While purchasing an extra large litter box on Sunday for Rudy Boy, as he is growing and growing, it came to me loud and clear — I was going to get another.

My body following my mind, I drove to Petsense exhilarated by the unknown: What cats are available and which one will choose me?

Four were in their cells provided by Rainbow Animal Rescue, complete with shots and birth control, for $85. This is a bargain compared to the cost to do this on one’s own.

As I skipped to the back of the store, one of the four called my attention. “Jacuzzi,” his tag read, “Eight months old — shy to sweet.”

To be sure of my choice, I checked out the other three from left to right: a little girl, a black, green-eyed beauty, and a tiger — all silent except for Jacuzzi.

When the clerk let me hold him, he wrapped his legs and arms around me in a hug, something I have also taught Rudy Boy, touching his tiny nose to mine with complete trust and an open heart.

His new name came to me immediately, Jasper Johns, after American painter, sculptor and printmaker of abstract expressionism, Neo-Dada and pop art — because of his positive energy.

The compelling reason for the purchase was to provide Rudy a companion. We have left him for a couple days at a time, and when we are gone I wonder if he is lonely. Are the seconds dragging by? Does he run to the window with every sound? Are these thoughts wish fulfillment, thinking cats have that kind of emotional capacity — for me?

While it may not be proven that cats feel love, I am convinced of the possibility every time they run and greet me, kiss me or rub their faces on mine. But in the event it is absent, my love for them supersedes — especially at night when Rudy Boy falls asleep on my pillow and his breathing is calm in my ear, while his furry, warm paws relax on the sides of my face. Sometimes I lie awake basking in the sweetness of it all.

One thing I know is I have always loved cats. I owned three in West Virginia: Buster, Sissy and Cosmo. They have all passed on, before leaving going deaf and blind, offering their interesting selves to the very end. Their lives were rich and full with both inside and outside adventures fulfilling them.

And while providing them with food and a home, they offer a great diversion from real life — watching their running, tumbling, jumping to olympic heights and sliding to a halt on the slick tile floor.

Also, after dragging the Christmas tree out into the living room, they have decided it should be climbed, staying awhile inside the cover of the branches. To them it is just another tree.

And so they play.

Love is one of those things that just can’t be proven to exist in animals or in people, but to be sure, cats are straightforward. The late Ernest Hemingway said, “A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”

He might know a little something about this, as the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum host about 50 of his cat’s descendants. For some, cats are a nuisance — but for me, they are home.

Savoring the tenderness; and that is all.

News Editor Carolyn Harmon can be reached at charmon@rrdailyherald.com or 252-410-7058.

News Editor Carolyn Harmon can be reached at charmon@rrdailyherald.com or 252-410-7058.