Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What Everyone Ought to Know About Cat Adoption

One of my favorite novels is in the Anne of Green Gables series. It's the third, Anne of the Island and chronicles Anne's life as she attends Redmond College in Kingsport makes new friends and wards off several proposals (even the one she shouldn't have!). It's certainly one of the more romantic of the novels because we get to see little sparks of Anne's true feelings for her one true love, Gilbert, but in between confusing thoughts and shattered dreams are little chapters like Chapter 16: "Adjusted Relationships."

In this chapter, we see Anne starting her second year of school, where she'll be living in a house with three friends and a chaperone. On her way home from school, she notices people staring at her, but she can't think why. When she finally stops and turns around, an ugly brown cat is following her. Anne is determined not to have anything to do with this thing, but every time she stops, it stops and waits for her.

When she gets back to her house, Patty's Place, she slams the gate in its face and hurries inside. When her friend, Philippa, returns home, the cat sneaks in with her, and immediately finds a place to sleep on Anne's lap. With their chaperone coming with her own cat in a week, the four roommates decide they can't keep the cat, and decide it's gotta go (this is probably the most horrifying part of the story).

Phil, the resident girly girl, offers to be the one to chloroform the cat, but the morning following the act, the cat is still alive. Anne is so horrified as to what has happened and what they almost did decides then and there that the cat has to stay. She names him Rusty, and after a few run-ins with the two cats Aunt Jamesina brings along, the three animals become bosom friends.

It's an absolutely horrible scene, but one that many cats face because they can't find good homes. But my experience with cat adoption has been somewhat similar.

Meet Jane Austen

When I was in college, I took a friend to a cat foster home to adopt her own cat, and while there I was sitting when this pretty little Tortie cat stared at me from her spot, cuddled up with a German shepherd. I love German Shepherds, so I decided to make friends with both of them.

The kitten, Ameda was her name, loved my pets and anytime I took my hand away, she reached out for more. Watching us, my friend said I should get Ameda and take her home with me. I didn't have the money at the time, but the Foster said that if I could pay half now, she could save the Tortie for me.

That was more feasible, so I made the down payment (which covered her first set of shots, and getting spayed), and two weeks later, after her operation and my next pay day, I brought home Jane Austen, who has been my love and constant companion for the last ten years.

Miss Tris, the Priss

Around that same time, in Oklahoma, my sister was living in an apartment, doing her own college thing. She worked a lot, she studied a lot, but what she didn't really have time for was a pet. The cat that hung around their complex had other ideas, however.

This cat, a gorgeous girl with a silky black coat, was all Queenly attitude. She'd come visit my sister while my sis was on her porch, reading, and the two became friends. One day, she heard something at the door, and when she opened it, the cat was standing there, and the two looked at each other. A moment later, the cat waltzed into the apartment with an air of, "Yes. This place will do nicely." And like that, my sister was adopted by Tris.

Henry's Journey Home

After having Jane for a year (well, my parents had Jane. I couldn't have her in my apartment), the same friend that insisted I get Jane told me to take a break from my packing, to come play with kittens. Someone had left them on the doorstep of her boyfriend's friends. I drove up to the address, and we all sat outside playing with two little brother cats. 

The two who somehow ended up with the cats kept saying if they couldn't find them homes, they'd probably be euthanized at the humane society, as they were really young (I think I calculated them to be about 4-6 weeks). Guilted, I took one and my friend took the other. I named him Henry.

Henry and I never made a huge connection, and it was made a bit worse when I brought Jane to the dorm to live with us. As he got bigger, he kept terrorizing her. In March 2009, I asked my parents to take him so that he could have a whole house instead of just a dorm room to roam.

Funny thing. Henry is a man's cat. He tolerates women, but he just loves men. He bonded with my dad, and now the two are extremely close. I'd feel worse about it if my dad didn't like cats, but he loves cats. He and my mom both. 

The Chosen Ones

It's safe to say that cats will choose who they belong with. My mom and I watched this Hallmark movie last year, The Nine Lives of Christmas, where Brandon Routh (Superman Returns)plays a firefighter who tries to fight this cat tooth and nail about being adopted. He insists he's not a cat person, but once he accepts the love this cat wants to give him, he ends up very content. 

This is cat ownership in a nutshell. 

Your Turn

  • Do you have cats?
  • How did your cat adopt you?
  • Any funny stories? I'd love to hear them!

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