I thought I knew what it would be like to have a cat of my own, but I didn't know the half of it. My cat surprises me every day and I couldn't be more than thankful that I found him, even though he is a handful. This is what I have learned on my cat mom journey so far.
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Let me just start by saying, I am more of a dog person than a cat person. My family has always owned dogs ever since I was born. In my opinion, they're Gods gift to us. I was always one of those people who never had an appreciation for cats until my family adopted two kittens a few years ago. It changed my whole perception, and I love them with all of my heart.
When my sophomore year came to a close, I decided I wanted to live alone. My two best friends, who were older than me, had done so and loved it. When I was signing for the apartment, I saw a questions asking me if I anticipated owning a pet. Immediately my mind raced, I WANT TO ADOPT A PET.
For the rest of the summer, I tried to convince my parents to let me get a cat. I begged and begged to the point where they would sometimes get angry at my persistence. I wanted to get a cat because they were so much easier to care for. A dog needs walks and much more attention, and I did not want to buy a dog and not give it the life it so rightfully deserved. By the end of the summer, my parents were still very much on the fence. However, when we arrived in Texas for move-in, I finally won them over.
About a week after living in my apartment, I decided to go to the animal shelter. I did not want to buy a cat that I did not feel a connection with. In other words, I did not want to force it and buy a cat just because I wanted a cat. The first animal shelter I went to was one that I frequently visited to play and pet the animals. It was a release for me and it always put a smile on my face; I knew it made the animals happy too. Sadly, I did not find my cat.
I decided to go home. Maybe today is not the day I am supposed to get a cat. Upon arriving at home, I started working on an essay. When that was done I thought, why don't I visit another shelter.
When I arrived at the next shelter, I was surprised by the enormous amount of cats they had. I went to a volunteer and described the type of cat I would love to adopt; I wanted a cat who was affectionate and sweet, preferably not a kitten. She escorted me to a room with three cats. She told me the calico named Sweet Pea fit my description perfectly.
Once I entered the room, Sweet Pea came up to me and rubbed against my legs; she was adorable but after a few seconds of rubbing against my legs she went back to her bed to resume her nap. All of a sudden, an orange tabby awoke from his slumber and ran right up to me. He immediately started nuzzling my legs and purring. I stayed in the room with him for another ten minutes to see if this was my cat. I knew he was one the one when he laid down on my legs. I didn't want to get up. I eventually stood up and went to talk to the volunteers. I decided to see a few more cats so I could make sure my connection with the orange tabby wasn't just a figment of my imagination. Turns out we were meant for one another.
I later found out my tabby was eight years old and had been given up in June. When I signed the adoption papers, all the volunteers thanked me for adopting an older cat. They said it rarely happened.
I have now had my cat, Sonny, for a little over a month, and he is the best cat I could have asked for. He follows me around everywhere and always needs to be near me. When I leave the room, he has to follow. I feel so blessed he is mine, and I am happy I was lucky enough to save him. For some reason, I just had a feeling he was the one, and I think he knew too.
Stray cats are people's pets who have become lost or abandoned. These cats are very friendly and comfortable around people. Stray cats are usually completely reliant on humans and haven't been able to adapt to life in the wild. They're the ones that will usually post up in your backyard or garage, hoping you'll feed them or give them some love. Community cats are those that have likely been raised in the wild. They've adapted to living on the streets, tend to keep their distance from humans, and like it this way. Community cats often live in colonies that allow them to live a longer life- especially with the help of a human caretaker. Caretakers provide spay/neutering, shelter, and regular feedings for community cats; allowing them to survive and live a long, happy life.
When you give a stray cat a home, you potentially save a life.
It's a tough world out there. Stray cats face many dangers in the wild like starvation and extreme weather conditions. Most of the kittens born in the wild will die within their kitten-hood due to diseases, parasites, and infection that they've been exposed to in the environment. Even then, if they survive their first few months their lifespan is still only expected to be about two years living on its own. People can be cruel and will set poison traps among other cruel attempts to eliminate the stray and community cats (In MY college town, there was food found on the side of the road where a colony of community cats lived that contained razor blades intended to harm them).
When you give a rescue a home, you give a rescue hope.
While some stray cats learn to adapt to the wild, "community cats" often tolerate human interaction, and in some ways, depend on humans for survival. These animals may be shy and abused by strangers in the past, but give them a chance. Offering help and kindness to a stray or community cat can encourage them to warm up to you, and give them a sense of hope. They have feelings too.
When you give a stray a home, you gain a best-friend
As I said before; a "home" to a stray doesn't even have to be living inside your house; a home to a stray could be your garage, under your porch, or any type of shelter around your house. Remember, these cats are likely to approach you and want affection. When you offer them shelter and food, they will become your best friend. ALL of my animals are rescues. We share a special bond, and they are so thankful and absolutely know who rescued them from the dark. They'll always be by your side and love you no matter what.
When you give a stray a home, you give them love, security, hope, and life.