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Cathouse Confessional: I Almost Got Into a Cat Fight Trying to Adopt My First Cat

Adopting a cat should be a no-brainer, considering all the cats out there looking for homes, but it turned into a pretty stressful experience for me.

 |  Apr 2nd 2012  |   40 Contributions


You never know when you're going to adopt another cat. Here's Catster editor-in-chief Janine's sister Christine with baby Earlie.

People always talk about how wonderful cat adoption is and how easy it is to adopt one of the thousands of homeless cats out there. What a shame, people say, that there aren't more people out there adopting cats.

So let's just say that the last thing I expected was to show up at a cat adoption event and find myself close to baring my claws in a cat fight over one of the kitties. But I'm getting ahead of myself here, so let's rewind a little bit. 

I was at a low point in my life when I first seriously considered becoming a cat mom. I had just broken up with my longterm, long-distance on-again off-again boyfriend of almost a decade and my sister (Catster Editor Janine Kahn) recommended that I add a cat to my life to cope with the loneliness. I had never owned a cat and had feared most animals as a child, but I found myself becoming fond of them after meeting a very well-behaved kitty named Daphne, who is now in cat heaven.

I was in the middle of moving to a new apartment, when Janine sent me a link to Earl Grey’s PetFinder page. The listing read something like this:

Me with Warren as a kitten.
"Earl Grey, a 2-month-old Russian Blue, is the sole survivor of Greycie’s first litter. He had a tummy abscess when he was a baby, but he’s all better now! He and his adoptive brother, Warren the tabby, are looking for their forever home.”

Earl Grey and Warren were both being fostered by Cats at the Studios, a rescue with truly interesting LA film-related origins, and they were holding an adoption event that very weekend at the Woodland Hills PETCO store. I arrived at PETCO a good half hour before the event started, eager to meet my future fur babies. While waiting for the foster mom to arrive with the kitties, I filled out an adoption form to be efficient. Little did I know it would be my saving grace moments later.

The foster mom, Susan, arrived with Greycie and her sweet little boys. I immediately fell in love with them and told her I was ready to adopt them together. Susan took Earl Grey, and I reached in to pet Warren. Bad idea: Greycie promptly scratched me, sensing that I was taking her babies!

Who wouldn't want to adopt him?!

While the paperwork was being finalized, Earl Grey sat on my lap and purred. Oh, how much I loved him already! Things were going fine, when a your typical L.A. lady (blonde, slim, all heels, large sunglasses and entitlement) appeared out of nowhere and confronted Susan about Earl Grey.

She insisted that Susan had promised Earl to a friend of hers (who had not yet arrived). I sat quietly and continued petting Earl Grey, holding him a little closer, worried he might have really been promised to someone else and preparing to get involved if things got ugly. As the conversation grew heated, I wondered if I should intervene and tell that walking stereotype to back the heck away from my kitten. Seriously lady, with all the thousands of cats looking for homes out there, you have to try and take mine?

Susan was on my side, thankfully. After some catty back-and-forths with the increasingly aggressive lady, she put her foot down and said it was too late -- the papers were signed, and the fact that I was also adopting Warren sealed the deal in my favor. 

I felt a huge sigh of relief the moment the lady stomped out of the store. My brother Marcel, who had come along to meet the kitties, helped me pick out some supplies for them, sensing I was stressed.

Warren and Earl as kittens.

Finally, we were all set to go home… or so I thought. I noticed that Warren’s eyes were unusually teary. I pointed this out to Susan, who said he likely had a cold. She offered to take care of him for a week, so that Earl wouldn’t catch it. As a first-time pet owner, I welcomed the offer.

I brought Earl home to my new apartment, and he was literally in the middle of the chaos. Here’s a photo of him sitting next to my unassembled IKEA bed:

A week later, Warren was ready to come home. He was so tired his first night at the apartment that he fell asleep in his litter box! 

Soon the boys were reunited. Earl Grey was so happy to see his little brother again, and I was thankful that he’d have someone else to play with instead of my feet!

Here they are two years later with their newest (not-so-little anymore) brother, Theodore, who I suspect is part Maine Coon. We’re a happy cat family, and I wouldn't change a thing.

Tell me, did any of your adoption stories have unforseen bumps like mine?

You can follow Christine, Earl, Warren and Theo via her MyCatBoys blog.

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