Well lookie here! (Please read in the voice of genius Robin Williams as Genie…sod it, let’s link the song!)
I’m here to bother all who click on these posts with more wordworthing! I will get on some fiction soon (I’m actually needing to be on a lot of fiction since I plan to finally have my book out by the end of this month) but poetry was fun for a while so I’ll probably dip my toes back in that ink well in the near future.
I said yesterday that those on my Instagram would probably be able to guess what I’d be posting about today, but I don’t like leaving people out so here’s a clue!!
Can ye guess yet!
And this is just because I want to post more!
No, I haven’t finally become the wicked witch I always wanted to be and turned my ferrets into cats (not that I’d want to but I never said I’d be a very efficient witch)… I got kitties! Well, we got kitties… sod it, mine mine mine!
Or as anyone with cats will know, we’re actually owned by the kitties so the kitties got us!
For those of you who started following me back in August you’ll probably be aware I didn’t have the best time when I was last out here. I didn’t post details and as a rule of thumb I generally don’t talk in depth about my personal life (which is a shame because my life became a bloody soap opera) but it was bad. Honestly, I still haven’t exactly been brilliant and I’m surprised I made it back.
But cats though, cats.
I’ve always stood by that animals have an incredible healing ability for us. Whether it’s bringing laughter or happiness or a friend (as Roda pointed out, your best friend doesn’t need to be human) there’s a mutual bond with an animal. I say that last part and hope to emphasise the mutual part, I’d not get nor suggest getting a pet just to help heal, you give as much as you take.
And they can cost a fucking fortune. Let’s not forget that part!
Joey (also known as Handsome Jack) and Callie though, our new buddies, are bloody brilliant. If a tad, just a small bit, very very markedly insane. This post will mostly be about my experience at the shelter, you know, when I was a poor lonely kitten. Ahaha, where am I going with this and why am I laughing at my own jokes?
Yes, this post will be about the shelter and another will be more me bragging about my brat cats.
We discussed getting cats when I was last out here but fell in love with some mice and so left it at that. But this time it wasn’t too long after I got here (I’m talking days) that we headed out to see some cats. We hadn’t decided to definitely adopt that day but we had been discussing getting them for months.
I’d become a bit of an addict on the adoption website by this point and so when we were at the centre I sounded like quite the mad woman as I could name off cats that had been adopted months ago! – forever in my heart Starlord! –
I’ve never been to an adoption place before. I’ve always had rescue cats but with those you’d call the shelter and then make an appointment to go see the cats and be introduced. Here, when we arrived we were greeted by the really friendly volunteers and then I kind of just stood there.
“Uh what do we do?”
“Go walk around!”
“Okay, what don’t we do?”
“Set the cats free!”
So we set off on what was soon to be a very difficult task for me. Note for future self: never be put in a situation where you are in a room of cats and need to choose just one. It will not end well.
There were a couple of cat houses and a couple of dog houses and just like we had been told we could walk into a room (they had max people signs) and play with the cats. I was pretty torn on this. Some people were just there to see the cats and play with them but watching one be carted around by children (cat I’m talking about is actually joey!) and another pestered by some guy who didn’t seem to realise cat does not equal toy it just seemed a bit unfair on the cats at times. So it was both really cool being in a room of cats and a bit ruh roh.
Don’t get me wrong, there were volunteers around and they were watching so I’m sure something would have been said had it been too stressful for the cats and apart from a couple who were scared (cats not volunteers – although that image just made me snort with laughter – “oh God there are cats everywhere!”) most of them seemed pretty chill. I’m just, I dunno, I can’t fault the volunteers and it seems wrong to fault a shelter, I just felt a bit down seeing a kitten scurry away to hide when we walked in a room while a volunteer was trying to calm it.
That volunteer was awesome by the way and helped me be able to make the seriously tough decision between two cats: Jackson and Lucas. Well, kinda. More on that soon.
Now Lucas was the first cat I saw and was drawn to and I spent my time awkwardly petting him (he was hiding in a corner under a seat) while Snek had very quickly found his cat. She found him too and they quickly bonded. Within seconds I think we both knew Callie would be coming home with us. This part of the process was also pretty strange to me. Back home the rescues I’d had experience with in the past asked questions before adoptions but here it was “I want that cat” and then “Okay I’ll get a box”. I think i expected a couple of questions but at the same time I was grateful not to be grilled because I’m pretty sure anxiety would have made it go like this:
“I want that one”
“Have you had cats before?”
“No, yes, yes I mean yes”
“where did it live?”
“In an aquarium. Sorry that was my frogs. No wait I’ve never owned frogs. I meant axolotls.”
“I don’t think you’re a suitable fit…”
“Is it because I’ve never owned a frog? I can get frogs!”
“Axolotls are kind of like frogs. That’s if you stretched the frogs a bit. Not that I stretch frogs”
“No, damnit! I’ve never stretched a frog I swear!”
*no frogs were harmed in the writing of this blog post.
So Callie was taken for a blood test (we needed to make sure she didn’t have fiv or felv because she’s coming to England where I have Leo) and then put in a box while I decided on my cat.
Oh Lord the pressure.
I can not make decisions. I can’t even decide what sandwich I want or heck even packet of crisps to eat with a sandwich so deciding on a cat was like asking me, well, it was asking a lot of me!
Now what I said up there about a volunteer saying something actually happened to me. I asked if I could hold Lucas because I was interested in adopting him but hadn’t been able to interact with him too much because he was hiding and at this point he was curled up so I didn’t want to bother him without seeing if it was okay *breathes*. I was told no, which you know I thought fair enough about but also was a bit confused given the carting of cats around by children. So I sat around for a while to see if by magical brain powers I could lure him out to me. Sadly, I am not magneto. What? He could have been part robot cat.
I can’t actually remember the exact order of events with this but I know at some point we left the room and I ended up speaking to above volunteer who helped me make a decision. We’d been talking for a little while and I mentioned my predicament with Lucas. This girl said if we’re interested in adopting it’s better to know than not to, so a few minutes later we went back to him and after some strokes I picked him out. Yeah, he sat for a couple of seconds and then was not impressed. Turned out he was super shy! Which was fine and I decided I would adopt him, especially after bothering him.
If you’ve come this far and you’re wondering what happened to Joey he was there! Chilling out and being stroked while I got confused because I thought he was a boy but had been told he was a girl.
But I’d decided on Lucas so off we went to adopt him. That is until I spoke to another girl about him and after being told just how shy he was we thought he might not be the best fit for our house because I’d mentioned we could be loud. I think by this point or at some point (it’s a big stressful blur) I’d mentioned Jackson and now I’d learned he wasn’t a 1 year old female named Jackie but a 5 month old male name Jackson! Mistakes happen!
Honestly, I didn’t think I’d end up with a tuxedo cat but I was soon leaving with Jackson soon to be Joey! Just like he is now he’s home with us, he was a surly fella at the shelter too. I liked him a lot though so I was plenty happy taking him home.
But I was still hung up on Lucas!
Maybe some of you will get this, some won’t. But he looked so sad and had the little bite out of his ear and I felt such guilt for upsetting him and then, as I sat in a quiet house with two cats who had settled in amazingly, I wondered why the hell I had thought we wouldn’t be a good fit.
Long story and lots more discussing short we were going to go back to get Lucas. He was adopted a couple of days before we planned to get him though which I’m pleased about! I’m sure he’s gone to a great home. Not really. Lucas come back to me. Luuuuucccaaaaasssss!
This is a really long post, and I’m hoping it doesn’t come off like I’m bitching about the shelter. It’s not like cats were being swung around the rooms by their tails and made to rehearse dance moves to anime openings, it was just different and I was worried some of them might be unnecessarily bothered. But they were in nice cat happy decorated rooms, safe and fed and given most were simply being petted I’m sure enjoying tlc given some were strays (Callie included!).
I plan to write more about our cats in another post, but just to look back to how I started this, although we could say we gave these cats a home, I feel much more like they made it a home. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve always lived with cats but to me cats make things better. You could put me in a box and as long as I had a cat (and a ferret or two) it’d feel like home. On the flip side, put me in a beautifully furnished mansion but without animals the place would feel empty and cold. Even if I had kids… this is why I should never have kids.
Christ, doesn’t a mini version of me just strike fear in your heart anyway? I wouldn’t need a nanny I’d need an exorcist.
Are you still awake?