In honor of International Cat Day (yes, apparently there is such a thing) I thought I would take the time to introduce my new studio assistant and fur child, Kai.
As a kid, I knew only two things had to happen when I grew up: I needed to be an artist of some sort and have pets. Animals have always been a major part of my life. Growing up as an only child, I had fur siblings instead of human siblings. While other girls were busy dreaming up names for possible future children, I was coming up with names for future animals (mostly after my favorite athletes). I would fuss over seeing someone’s dogs or cats like other people fuss over infants.
So finally, after months of heavy consideration and making sure I could afford it, I began my quest to adopt a cat this past June (which also, fittingly, happens to be National Adopt a Cat Month.) All my childhood cats were rescued strays, so I had no idea what to expect on my initial visit to the local humane society. At first it was almost overwhelming. Cats running about in various rooms or snoozing in cages, groups of young volunteers parading through. I tried my best to not look entirely clueless, but after a while I managed to talk to one of the volunteers about trying to find a lap cat. I wanted an adult cat, about 1-3 years old. She suggested a male tabby that was a bit shy at first, but if you stuck around long enough, he would sit in your lap.
Taking her advice, I wandered into the room the shy tabby was in, and sat down on a chair in the corner. I sat there for a little while playing with an older tortieshell and saw no sign of the shy tabby. It wasn’t until I stood up to go pet a cat across the room that I suddenly saw him. He had appeared out of hiding and was now staring up at me with big green eyes. Realizing who he was, I quickly sat down in the chair, and, sure enough, he wandered over and sniffed my legs. Sniffing turned to rubbing, and he allowed me to pet him. I then sat on the floor, and sure enough, he climbed into my lap! I was torn. Part of me wanted to take him home that moment, but another part of me thought I should at least look around a little more before making a final decision.
So I went home empty handed.
I’m the type of person that feels like animals adopt us as well as us adopting them. I kept thinking about the little shy tabby, even after visiting another shelter a couple days later. I kept checking the first humane society’s website like crazy, making sure he was still there. Sure enough, he was, and on Friday, three days after our initial meeting, I returned to the humane society right when they opened for the day with the hopes of adopting him.
There was only one thing he had to do to pass the final test.
He needed to sit in my lap again.
I made a beeline for the room he was in and sat in the same chair as before. There was a new addition to the room, another male tabby, but this one was more outgoing. He sprawled out on the floor sunning himself contently as I waited anxiously for the cat I was after. The shy tabby soon appeared, making his way down from one of the cat perches on the wall behind me. He again looked up at me with those green eyes and immediately launched himself in my lap with a purr.
We sat for a little bit, he and I, and right after our bonding session was over, I walked over to grab his paper and apply to adopt him.
As I was waiting to speak to an adoption counselor after filling out the application, I returned to the room to play some more with the gray tabby. He was sitting by a small cat door that led to an outdoor enclosure and looked at me as I came in. I smiled at him, and he promptly walked out the little cat door.
His mission was accomplished.
Now it has been almost two months since I first brought Kai home, and he has been nothing short of wonderful. He still loves to cuddle and always greets me with a chorus of meows when I come home from work. Most of all he makes me smile and laugh every day, reassuring me at the decision to adopt each other was mutual.
Although he would like for me to play with him instead of write this post.