I can't imagine a life without them.
I've been a cat person my entire life. You could probably guess that if you caught me on a day wearing short sleeves so you could see my cat tattoo that encompasses all my past cats, my current cat, and all the cats I'll have in the future. I know I sound a bit like a crazy cat lady when I explain that, but now that I've moved out of my parents' house, I honestly can't imagine going a long period of time without having a purring companion in my life.
So far, my family has had cats named Tigger, Misty, Licorice, Murphy, Lydia, Gandalf, and Berlioz. I don't remember Tigger or Misty very well since I was younger, but Licorice, Murphy, and Lydia were the trio I knew best while growing up. It was just a fact of life to see their black, orange, and gray/white coats respectively around the house.
When we had to put Licorice down in 2015 due to sickness, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had had fish and even a little frog before that had died in the past and I was upset about them, but I had never experienced the agonizing pain of losing a pet that was in your life for years. I can't remember a time before that day when I sobbed as much as I did once she was gone.
I felt the same agony when we had to put Murphy down for the same reason in 2017. I still miss those two so much, but they lived long, happy lives with my family and I. To me, all the pain of this experience is worth it because I got to have these amazing animals be a part of my life.
In her memory, my family and I decided to start fostering kittens for the local shelter. Since 2015, I am proud to say that we have raised over 100 kittens (and even a few puppies) that came through our home in order to be prepped for their eventual adoptions. It's heartbreaking to say goodbye to them (along with the two sweet angels that we lost due to sickness), but you take comfort in the fact that you helped give them a loving place to stay for a while until they found their forever homes.
However, my family and I are only humans after all. We fell in love with and adopted two separate cats from two separate foster litters over time, Gandalf and Berlioz. We had the joy of seeing them be born and watching them grow up, and when they eventually met, they became as close as brothers. Gandalf is a mischievous punk and Berlioz takes right after him, but we wouldn't trade them for the world.
When I left for college, I noticed a distinct lack of cats hanging around the university's dorm rooms for obvious reasons which was a strange experience for me. When I moved into my first apartment, I didn't want to get a cat of my own while I was adjusting to apartment life and balancing my money.
Towards the end of last year, I decided I was mentally and physically ready for a cat. Then, in February, we had a pregnant foster cat and my sweet Gorby was born. As he grew and I fell in love with him, I decided to adopt Gorby and bring him to live with me in Eugene. Though he's now officially mine, he has to stay with my parents until I get moved into my new place in September as I wrap up my current lease.
It really sucks to see my kitten grow bigger from a distance with visits home being my only interactions with him, but he is one of my main motivations to work and earn a bunch of money for savings this summer. I can't wait to have him be a part of my adult life and bringing him to visit my other cats back home for many years to come. It's Gorby and me against the world, so I hope you're ready for him and the cat lady who adores him.