4 months ago, I moved into a small apartment. At the time, I was considering my options for a furry companion. I would like to take hikes more often, but I’ve been told that hiking alone is not a good idea for women (no matter how offputting the woman in question may be), so naturally I started looking to adopt a dog.
Shortly after beginning my search, I realized many things about dog purchase and ownership, none of which helped me arrive at “Hey, get a dog already, would ya?” Now, if I had a house and like three grand to blow, I’d definitely get a dog. But for now: cat is where it’s at.
Growing up, my family always had at least one cat hanging around. All of them were either rescued as strays, or adopted from family members. Kindness to and care of animals in need is something that I’ve always felt is one of the most amazing gifts we can give in life. Plus, cats are, like, really cute and each one has its own equally cute personality.
A few months ago, I decided on a cat named Taboo. He is 7 years old, black, and had a botched declaw surgery that caused him a lot of pain before he got it corrected a couple of weeks ago. I will share his story along with pictures when he is all settled in with me. For now, I thought it would be fun to share a bit about the reasons why I chose to adopt in the first place:
My parent’s currently have five cats. That’s right, five. I know what you’re thinking, and frankly, I’m inclined to agree with you: it does sound like a cute cat party ’round the clock, and it pretty much is. That is a lot of pets. If they weren’t adopted and acquired with much love and care, I would question the number!
Kitty, pictured above, is the eldest of the five, at 15 years. My dad came home one evening and told us that his nephew had tried to shoot her as a stray outside his front door. Apparently, he couldn’t get a good shot in because she would not stop rubbing against his legs. Her affection, even in the face of death, is what saved her life.
Within days, we had a new cat. I was 13 and absolutely thrilled. Over the years, she has stayed exactly the same. She loves people, especially those who don’t show themselves often. I think she goes to those who need it most.
Leon came along much later, but established himself as ruler of the roost quickly. My parents got him from their granddaughter several years ago. He was a part of their home for many years as an indoor cat. Leon is the least aggressive cat I’ve ever met – although it can be a bit scary when he druels all over you and chews on your hair. When a younger cat is being picked on, Leon will run to the rescue. He is 14 years old, and it is starting to show.
When I was in high school, we had a couple of cats, and we lost one who was a very good hunter. My dad went to an old acquaintance and picked her from a litter of kittens in his garage. I went with him, and we sat and watched all the kittens’ behavior. Pumpkin was pouncing on all of her siblings the entire time. She ran up to the edge of the garage door and it was very apparent she had a sense of adventure.
At 8 years old, she has tamed a bit and always approaches us with a happy little meow. While an excellent hunter, she has instigated some gnarly cat fights.
Almost 3 years ago, my niece called my parents and told them about a tiny black ball of fluff hiding out near a gas station. One day, after we had Russell for about a year, he came home dragging his front leg. We don’t know what happened, but we took him to the vet and amputation was suggested. His leg was broken in multiple spots, and the vet said it was unlikely he’d be able to walk on that leg again.
The thought of amputating his leg before even giving him a chance to heal on his own seemed unfair. Due to multiple fractures, they were unable to even set the leg. Russell is an amazing animal and he now walks with a slight limp, but he kept his leg and can run and climb like any other kitty.
A couple of years after Russell joined the family, we started to see two kittens around the property. One black kitten, and one white and gray kitten. They looked to be about 5 weeks old. Living on a 40 acre property in a rural area, it is not uncommon to see feral cats roaming around. Usually, these cats are much older, or if they are kittens, a mother is found very close by.
We watched these two kittens bopping around over a few days, and unfortunately, the black kitten stopped coming around. It was sad to see this tiny kitten lose her sibling. For some reason, she would not leave our back yard. We do not keep cat food out and she was still small enough to need milk from her mother.
Eventually, I was concerned, and by eventually, I mean within like 5 days of her being at our home by herself. I took it upon myself to feed her, and while she was a very standoffish kitten at first, my mom caught her and she has been a part of our family since.
I am so excited to bring my own rescued kitty into my home next week. After a lifetime of seeing what good animal adoption can bring into your life, I want to continue the tradition of giving animals in need a good home. Probably not five of them, though…