It is 5 AM and I am awake, my skin tingling with the sensation that there is something in the room. My husband is still asleep, although his alarm will be buzzing shortly, so this unease must come from the shadow silently creeping up the bed. Suddenly, two furry ears appear over the edge of the comforter, whiskers hover inches from my face, and our new cat, Z, says ‘good morning’ by chewing on my thumb.
Getting an animal should never be a quick decision. We had been considering a cat for several months, and had already factored in whether our building would allow cats (they said ‘anything but a dog’ … does this mean elephants are OK?) and if we had the time and finances for a pet. However, my parents have this theory that you never really set out to get a cat on purpose – you just sort of end up with a cat. As kids, my sister and I brought home barn cats, inherited cats from family friends and one time even found a kitten while trick-or-treating around town on Halloween. With Z, we were slightly more intentional. We decided to stop by PAWs on our way home from some Sunday afternoon errands, but I should have known that if we stopped in ‘just to look’ we would find one. And there she was!
There is an episode of Modern Family where Mitch and Cam decide to get a cat for their daughter. After picking out a kitten at an adoption event they try to take it home. The adoption woman refuses because there is a “process.” Cam then becomes angry and tells her he thought “the process is, we say that we want this one.” Ok, I’m butchering the comedy right now, so just watch the episode. But we also had to go through the process – application, vet reference, building approval – before we could claim Z. It feels funny to be so stressed over a pet application, but the organization does it to insure good homes for all. The most nail-biting part was after we were approved, racing there to pick her up before anyone else could fall in love with her little orange face. As my husband has told me, he is not a cat person, he just like this cat – so it had to be her!
We have had her at home for a few weeks now and in that time learned, that she will escape into the hallway if she gets the chance, but also that she will come back if there are treats involved. She gets car sick. She becomes electrically charged with static if she runs around on the carpet long enough. She will follow you around, every move you make, just to hang out with you :-) So if you are considering a new furry buddy, don’t forget that there are many fun and friendly pets out there at organization like PAWS or other groups with older animals that need homes – well worth the process!