They say that cats adopt people, not the other way around.
I really wanted another cat. Ever since my baby boy Tigger passed away in 2018, I have felt a void in my life.
Yes, I do also have a dog, But my 75 lb. lab mix, Ellie, is more of a bed thief than a lap dog.
I’ve always had a cat in my home. Now that I didn’t, I missed a cat seeking attention, cuddling in your lap. I missed the antics and zoomies a cat brings to a home. I missed hearing gentle meows and chirps. And so I tried to convince my family that we should adopt one from a shelter.
My husband, however, was not on board with this idea. He was just fine with a cat-free household. And our dog certainly was as well.
But this summer, a little orange tabby showed up. We weren’t sure if he was a part of my neighbor’s feral colony (they have several wild cats that they feed). But he was different. And he was neutered!
It began as casual interactions with my girls. He became more and more friendly as the familiarity progressed. They named him Chicken Nugget.
I suppose naming him was step one in this process of being adopted. It was a slippery slope from there.
Soon, I found myself looking at cat food and toys at the store. Once I started feeding him, he really turned on the charm. Step two.
He was quite the companion in August when I had COVID. I could sit on the back porch, and he willingly got in my lap.
Gradually, we began letting him inside, all supervised, of course. We made sure there were no negative interactions with our dog. Surprisingly, our dog (mostly) tolerated his presence. Although she loves to discipline the cat if I tell him no to something, like jumping up on the kitchen counter!
This cat seemed very well socialized and was attuned to very human sounds, such as a can opening. He even tolerated me giving him a flea bath!
As it began getting too cold for a domesticated animal to stay outside, I had one final test of indoor cat-dom: can he use a litter box?
Again, my husband was not exactly on board. In fact, when I walked in the door from the store with a plastic bin and a bag of litter, he decried, “What the f*ck is that?”
“A litter box,” I replied. Big sigh from my husband.
I kept placing the cat in the box whenever he would come inside. Imagine my delight to see that he had actually used it! Step three.
And that’s the story of how a stray cat adopted us.
He’s now mostly inside. He has a favorite place to hang out on our patio and pretend to hunt for birds. But he seems quite content to rest close to me, wherever that may be. As I write this, he’s sleeping on the chair next to me.
The universe found a way to fulfill my dream of having another cat, and I’m grateful!
Do you love fur babies as much as I do? I’d love to hear about your pets!
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.