I had always been under the belief that cats were worse versions of dogs.
Growing up with only dogs, you start you believe that they're the superior pet to own. They're cuddly, fun to play with, and on top of that have the best reputation for being loving pets. All of that changed when my boyfriend, friend, and I ran into Petco during a thunderstorm. We were looking for shelter honestly, but then we saw him.
Now, imagine, you're looking at the enclosure that houses usually about four cats for adoption. Most of them are older, lazier cats who are trying to sleep in a crowded pet store. But, there's always that chance that you see a kitten. Usually, these kittens are in two states: either sleeping or running around the cage as if they had all the energy in the world. Billy Bob, the name of our cat at the time, was neither of those things.
'Billy Bob' was that small kitten sitting in the back of his cage staring at us with the widest eyes. Now, we (my boyfriend, friend and I) had limited experience with cats, so we didn't know how to interact with him- especially from behind the glass. We knew little about this kitten beside what was printed on the information card, but all we needed to know was that he was a young kitten who needed a home.
My boyfriend made the brave decision to approach the kitten and the weirdest thing happened- he walked up to the glass and the kitten approached him as well. They shared this intimate stare down before he turned to me and said, "I want this cat."
I had never adopted an animal before. All the dogs I owned had come from family or had been bought from local dog sellers, so this was a first for me. I was scared to adopt a cat since I didn't know much about them. They were mysterious creatures that I heard more scary stories about than loving ones.
My biggest fear was that my dog wasn't going to like him. My corgi was this little chubby dog who had an attitude about other animals she met. Every bad scenario crossed my mind thinking about if they didn't get along. Either way, we had decided that if they didn't get along, it would be okay since we were living apart anyways.
The next day, we returned to adopt the kitten. It seemed like an impulsive decision, but we stayed up all night learning how to take care of cats and bought all the necessities for a small kitten. We were prepared and terrified all at the same time- and I guess that was the fun of adopting him.
We decided to rename him Azir, after my boyfriend's favorite League of Legends character. It was fitting that this kitten would be named after a fictional emperor once we got to know him more. Azir was a feisty and playful kitten who was vocal about exactly what he wanted. By that I mean, if he wanted something, he'd get in your face and meow at you until you did what he wanted.
What seemed like a scary idea turned into one of the best choices of our lives. Azir was more than his kitten, it was our little son. If we hadn't stumbled into Petco and seen him, I doubt we would even have a cat today.
Adopting an animal can always feel like a risk since you never really know where that animal came from, but you can always help guide these pets to a better future.