We cat parents love to talk about how our cats came to be ours. And we never tire of hearing each other’s tales, do we? While everyone’s story is a bit different, one common thread runs through them — no matter what the circumstances, each of our cats was meant to be ours.
Sometimes cats pull tricky stunts to weasel their way into our homes. Tamar Arslanian was missing her long-distance boyfriend and looking for a furry companion with whom to snuggle. She walked into an adoption event at a local pet store, looking for a lap cat, and found Kip, a seemingly docile 2-year-old who, Arslanian recalls, seemed rather blue himself.
“When we took him out of the cage, he sat on my lap without stirring. ‘Perfect,’ I thought. We could hang out on the sofa, watching TV, brooding for my boyfriend together,” she says. Little did the new cat mom know, that would be one and only time Kip would sit on her lap.
As soon as Kip was home, he darted out of the carrier and hasn’t stopped running around since. “I was bamboozled,” Arslanian says with a laugh.
Plenty of cat parents don’t have much of a choice. Once their cats targeted them, they were coming home to stay. One story made news last year about a sweet polydactyl kitty named Daniel, whose 26 toes attracted much-needed attention to the struggling Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center. Amy Rowell, the founder, rescued Daniel from the local animal control. She’d been there to pick up another cat, and when she bent down to retrieve her from the bottom row of cages she felt a bonk on her head from above.
“I looked up, and there was the biggest paw I have ever seen!” The paw belonged to Daniel. “We made eye contact,” Rowell says. “I realized that this cat thinks I need to save him!”
Although her rescue was at capacity, she rescued Daniel, too. Daniel’s 26 toes gave her staff members an idea: They began asking for $26 donations to help save the rescue, which was on the verge of closing. The story of the unusual fundraising effort spread across the globe, and within weeks the rescue was saved.
Now, Daniel has a permanent home with Rowell and the rescue. “He’s destined for a life of service, just like I am,” she says.
Social media has done amazing things when it comes to sharing information about cats who need homes. It’s fitting, then, that Yvonne DiVita, a social media expert and co-founder of pet blogging community, BlogPaws, would find her sweet cat, Molly, on Facebook.
After losing their beloved 20-year-old Pandora, DiVita and her husband, Tom Collins, were devastated. But like so many cat parents, life is empty without a feline ruling the house. The couple began to look for another cat who needed a loving home, but they had one big challenge: their very canine household, made up of two big dogs and another little one. Pandora had held her own with the dogs, but how would another cat deal with the active, noisy brood?
One day, DiVita came across a frantic note on Facebook from a heartbroken cat mom named Rosemary, whose terrible allergies were forcing her to find another home for her precious cat.
As soon as DiVita saw the photos of Molly, her heart melted. “I looked at the pictures she posted of this gorgeous cat — the expressive face, the beautiful fur, the majesty — and I fell in love.” She called Rosemary, who only lived an hour away. Quickly DiVita discovered the deal clincher: Molly lived with two big dogs. “It was a match made in Heaven,” DiVita says.
Have you ever wondered if your late cat “sent” you his replacement? Jenny Dean knows in her heart that Rags, her late Seal-Mitted Ragdoll, sent her Charlie. When, at 19, Rags was in chronic renal failure, Dean began searching for a Ragdoll who was related to him and with a specific look — a Seal-Mitted Ragdoll with an hourglass blaze. She searched breeders and pedigree websites worldwide with Rags’ father’s name. When she found relatives who were still breeding, she waited patiently.
When Rags grew very sick, Dean abandoned her search to focus on her sweet boy’s last days. A few months after Rags passed away, she visited the website of one of the breeders she’d been following. “When I saw Charlie’s little face, my stomach dropped.” While Charlie was not related to Rags, he was a Seal-Mitted Ragdoll with an hourglass blaze who she’d been looking for. Since she’d only been on that website to look for cats related to Rags, Dean says, “I knew Rags had sent me to find him.”
Once she had Charlie, Dean went in search for a companion for him. Ironically, the second cat she adopted, Trigg, was related to Rags.
Adding either of our boys to our home didn’t go as we’d expected. My husband and I have an affinity for the smushy-faced breeds, so my husband googled “Persian Rescue” in our area. He was shocked to find a Persian rescue two miles from his office. He immediately set up an appointment to go meet one of the adoptables, “Romeo.”
The interview went terribly. Romeo wanted nothing to do with my husband. He ran and hid in the farthest corner of the room. His grumpy face and cold shoulder might have sent other would-be adopters right out the door, but my husband told the rescue, “I want him.” There was just something about him, he said. He was meant to be ours.
A year later, we adopted Pugsley from the same rescue, but he wasn’t our first choice. We were smitten with a blind old Persian named Julien whom we’d seen on the rescue’s website. But by the time we were ready to meet him, Julien had been adopted. Instead, they showed us Pugsley, a scrawny, mangy little furball with major diarrhea issues. But he was as sweet as can be, and we said yes on the spot. Now, I can’t imagine life without either of my boys.
It’s true. No matter how cats come into our homes, one thing is for certain: They come into our homes, crawl into our hearts, and stay there. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Let’s talk, readers. How did your cats become yours? Please share your stories in the comments!