We have officially made two of our first, big, joint purchases. I’ll give you clues: Both purchases are black and white. One item gives you a surge of energy and the other one possesses energy within itself 24 hours a day. Both keep you awake into the wee hours of the night and both are extremely loud at times. Both items give you comfort and warmth and bring a smile to G.’s and my face.
One of these purchases is an espresso machine (which was ONE of the best purchases ever, holy moly). The other—is a new kitten, Molly.
We decided a while ago we wanted to get Sammy a friend to pal around with and to keep him company while we were at work. Sam is such a sweet and affectionate cat and we both felt guilty when we came home after being at work all day and he would follow us around our house, pitter pattering so close behind, batting at our ankles for attention and making chirping and meowing noises. He requires we give him treats when we leave for work in the morning, but if he inhales them too quickly before we get out the door, he bolts right out with us, trying to come along to work like it’s bring your child to work day. It’s not that I mind having such a loving and affectionate cat, but after talking to a few different people and his vet, we realized he may be having some separation anxiety issues.
That’s our Sammy—the anxious and asthmatic cat.
We picked up our kitty at Good Mews, which is a no-kill, safe haven for cats. The adoption process was harder than it would be to adopt an Ethiopian child. We had to have two forms of identification, a copy of our lease, a copy of our pet deposit, a written and signed letter, on a letterhead from our landlord stating we paid the pet deposit and he knew we were getting a cat, and on top of all of that, we had to fill out a five-page-long application, answering trick questions. We also had to have a sit-down interview with these people. Even after all of that, they can still deny your adopting a kitty. I’m glad they really want to make sure these guys get a good home, but it was a little more stressful than we thought it was going to be. On the plus side, the shelter is cage free and the kitties get to run amok. They all seemed really content and happy. I have never seen so many kitty trees, litter boxes, play-shelves and general cat mischief going on in one room in my entire life—except for maybe at my own house when I was growing up.
Before getting married, both of my parents had worked and volunteered at animal shelters and my dad was the head of the SPCA in Pennsylvania for many years, saving dogs and cats. I remember one story in particular when my Dad saw a puppy that was stuck inside of a black car in the middle of the smoldering, scorching heat in July, for over an hour. The puppy was whimpering and crying for quite some time and he finally stopped—because he passed out. My Dad punched through the window, took the pup out of the car and to the shelter to get him hydrated again, and later, took the puppy home with him. The owners of the puppy took him to court for breaking and entering, and for stealing. My Dad ended up being found “not guilty” because what they were doing was considered animal cruelty and he was just doing his job. He didn’t even have to pay for the window and the best part of it all–he made a new dog-friend for life.
My parents took their love for animals and general good Samaritan-like tendencies back to Georgia when they moved here after they got married. We had a total of 18 cats at one time, three dogs and Pat the killer goldfish (named after Pat from Saturday Night Live and “killer” because when we tried to give him “friends” to swim around with in the tank; however, every morning, one by one, we would find them next to the fish tank on the floor. He was rather vicious, slowly swimming around the tank. You could almost hear the “Jaws” theme as he lurked in the corners, plotting his next attack).
We didn’t even live at a farm, but all of the cats were indoors, in our basement, which turned into a kitty motel. They had their own waterbed that heated in the winter and was cool in the summer, multiple industrial-sized bowls of water and dry food, and they received their wet food for breakfast and dinner daily. They had many colorful cat trees to play on and to scratch, old yellow sofas and an old pea-green chair. We weren’t going to be using any of that stuff, so why not let them go to a good cause.
To say the cats were living large would be an understatement.
Whenever we would find a stray, we would get them “fixed” i.e., spayed and neutered, and gave them a happy life with a roof over their heads. I never knew life without pets. When my parents brought me home from the hospital, the cats would sleep on my incubator (I was premature) and later, sleep with me in my crib and then my bed. (Don’t worry, my parents monitored closely so I wouldn’t suffocate. Don’t call social services.)
Thus, I have had a love for animals for as long as I can remember and our fur-children bring so much joy, love and happiness into our lives—I couldn’t imagine life without them. They always make us laugh with their bantering and chasing each other around the apartment—rolling around and knocking over furniture, only to come and cuddle with us (and each other) on the couch moments later. They greet us at the door when we arrive home and see us out when we leave. As I write this, Molly is curled up in my lap, purring, and Sammy is snoring (literally) on my desk, basking in the warm glow of my lamp. Comfort and contentment are the mutual feelings in our study right now.
I will leave you with photos of the fur-children and a pet’s “prayer” that I saw awhile back that gets me every time and, hopefully, will help others see how special animals really can be.
“Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in the entire world is more grateful for your kindness than mine. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t strike me, chain me or lock me up as punishment. After all, you have your job, your friends and your entertainment. I only have you.”