For almost a year now, I've considered getting a cat. I have a hard time deciding what to eat for dinner, let alone major life-changing events. I really wanted to make sure I was ready for such a change. To let you in on why a little fuzzy cuddle machine would make such a difference in my life, here's a short list of things that would pop into my brain while deciding:
Litter box location. I refuse to be that person who has people over who immediately want to die because of cat smell.
Longevity. My family's little 8-pound fur pot lived until she was 18 years old. If I get a cat that's 5 years old now, I'll be in my forties when it's that old. FORTIES.
Moving. What if I move? Looking for pet-friendly apartments will narrow my search.
I go to work and the gym. I have a pretty regular work and work-out schedule. But being in a home is better than a tiny cage in a shelter, right?
Cost. What if it develops some food allergy and has to have the most expensive food and monthly vet visits and shots and medicine? Of all the people to raise a diva cat, it would be me.
I don't want to adopt a cat then have to give it up again in a year because I realize too late that I can't take care of it. All my doubts, though, seem to fill my head just because I want to be the best "mom" to this innocent creature that I can be. And of all the doubt in my mind, the one thing I've never doubted was my ability to be a good mom someday. So while I'm in no position to have kids now, I can definitely mother a four-legged fuzz bag.
Cut to last weekend, April 12th, when a coworker took me to Chicago's Anti-Cruelty Society. I walked past a cage and was greeted with green eyes, grey fur, and a high-pitched meow. There he was, all 15 pounds. After a short play time outside of the small cage, I went home without adopting. My house wasn't ready yet. I didn't have all my supplies. I had planned on visiting other shelters the next day, but my mission was clear: give the giant grey kitty a loving home, outside of the noisy shelter. Hours later, after buying a variety of food, a littler box, food bowls, and a laser pointer, I drove downtown (Yes! I drove downtown.) back to the shelter to pick him up.
I named him Walter. My grandfather's name is Walter. I just think that's a great name, and this lovely grey, regal cat is worthy of such a name. He is almost seven years old, declawed from previous owners, who had to get rid of him because they developed an allergy. (Or so said the paper on his cage at the shelter. I have yet to see this cat shed!)
He settled right in, takes naps on the furniture, eats regularly. One week later, we're growing to be pals. I see him trusting me more, and getting more comfortable. All my doubts are gone.
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