Annabel Lee is the cat I adopted on Mother's Day. She's a short hair tuxedo and she's adopted from the local Petco. There are several shelters that have cats on display at a Petco or Petsmart because they can't be fostered anymore.

I found Annabel online while searching for adoptable cats in my area. I think that when you adopt a pet, personality is more important than how they look. I was looking for a black cat because they tend to be adopted less often than other kinds. I was also searching for a cat that was young (but not a kitten), affectionate, talkative, and good with people and other animals. I have a dog at home and will be taking Annabel to my dorm with me, so I needed a cat that was going to be comfortable in those situations.

Searching online made it so easy to find a cat that will most likely be as happy while living in a dorm as she has been while living with my family in our house.

You should adopt your next pet because you can pick your pet based on their personality and their compatibility with your lifestyle.

Annabel is everything I was looking for and then some. She's adorable, she's sweet, and she is calm. My dog (who's only a little bigger than Annabel) tries to play with her constantly and is generally an annoyance to her, chasing and barking with excitement on occasion. Annabel is more cuddly than I expected; she likes to meow until I pick her up if I've been away for long and lay on my chest. She's the first pet that belongs to me and not my family as well as my first cat,

The ease with which I found Annabel combined with our compatibility is what really opened my eyes to how much better it is to adopt. Not only are there pictures of adoptable pets online, there's also a description of what they're like, so you typically know everything you're getting into. In addition to that, cats from a shelter are almost always fully vaccinated and spayed/neutered. For me, that along with the fact that the money goes towards helping more animals makes the adoption fee well worth it.

Adopting is better for the community.

Adopting rather than purchasing an expensive pet that might have significant health risks if its a purebred can be better for the community depending on what shelters or organizations you get your pet from.

I adopted from a local group that's run by college kids. In addition to fostering cats, they have feral colonies which involve trapping, neutering, and then returning cats back into the streets to help control the population of community cats in a humane way. They also help find homes for dogs in the area as well. Through adopting Annabel, I learned about feral cats and how they're different from strays. Feral kittens can be socialized in different ways and then adopted out of the community. This is how, in addition to preventing kittens from being born in the first place, feral cat communities are reduced.

Annabel Lee has been ear-tipped, which marks her as a cat that was once part of a colony with a caretaker. It's crazy for me to think that my sweet cat was once in a feral colony, but it was her disposition that got her noticed and then removed from the situation.

The only problem when searching for a pet to adopt is it's hard to resist wanting to give all of the animals better homes. Hopefully in the future I can have another cat or two and help contribute to the upkeep of a feral colony. Until then promoting the good that can come from adopting a pet will have to do.