Just popping in to share a bit of fun, furry news with you... we've adopted a ten week old kitten and he is just the sweetest, cutest little thing!
He is bringing joy to our home, and I feel like God has restored a missing piece of our family. Sometimes after a much-loved pet passes away it is easy to begin again with another, and it helps the pain of passing. Sometimes it takes a long wait. Living arrangements can be a factor, and then there is the interesting process of looking for just the right pet.
Here is our new-pet-finding story...
Every month since the fire I have scanned local animal rescue sites. After Christmas this past year, we were finally feeling like it was a good time to add a cat to our family. You would think picking a cat would be easy, there are so many wonderful animals out there who need loving homes. We visited the local Humane Society, and brought home a cat who looked very much like our Cadi. Unfortunately, her personality was nothing like our sweet previous cat. After a couple days of hissing and growling, we decided she needed to go back to the shelter. It was strange to have an animal in the house that looked so much like Cadi and yet acted so very differently. I'd catch myself wanting to call her Cadi, and it just felt sad and hard. So we crossed tortoiseshell cats off the list. Discouragement set in, and we thought maybe trying to have a cat again was just not going to work. After all, we had waited so long, surely the first cat we try should be the one, right?
A couple weeks later, with a fresh burst of hope, we were off to look at a six month old black and white kitten who was being fostered by Second Chance Animal Rescue volunteers. His description on the website matched our cat-personality wish list to a tee; cuddly, personable, a true lap cat. Surely this was the cat for us! However, when we arrived all we saw was a black streak as he shot off down the hallway, afraid of strangers. My heart sunk. Then, peeking around the corner, a little grey fur ball waddled in. Too young, and not yet ready to be adopted out, he was not on the website and therefore not on our radar. After being assured that the black and white cat really does warm up quite quickly we decided to give him a try, but asked about taking kitten as well. He would not be ready for another week, so we agreed to come back for both cats once the week was up.
We did have both cats in our home for a couple days, but something still felt off. The black and white cat did warm up to us quite well, but we just didn't feel like he was the right cat for us. After Neal had a bad allergic reaction to this cat rubbing on his chin, we knew that either both or at least one of these cats had to go.
Driving alone in the car early the next morning I prayed about this whole cat situation. Tears of frustration and confusion leaked out of tired eyes as I asked God to make it clear to us. Were we done with cats? Why doesn't any of this feel right? Neal and I were a team, we were in this together cats or no cats, so I asked God to speak to both of us about the best choice in our situation. Surrender comes a bit easier with practice, and I knew I could trust the God who numbers the hairs on my head (and maybe the cat hairs on my couch?). I loved this little kitten already, but did not want Neal to suffer allergic reactions like he had with the other cat (this was kind of a new thing as he never had any reactions to Cadi). Not confident in my logical decision making capacity in this highly emotional situation, I asked God that if we were to keep the kitten, the idea would be presented by Neal first and not myself. We had agreed the night before that if both cats went back, this was the end of trying to have another cat.
But that is not where this story ends.
Not long after I was home, Neal said he had been thinking of trying just the kitten. The black and white cat went back to his foster home that afternoon, and we adjusted to having just the little one around. Something good seemed to sink in and the nervous, fluttery feeling I was struggling with was gone. After a week of settling in, we knew this little one was here to stay.
His name is Simon. He came to meet me at the door after church today, tail straight up and purring the moment I began to pet him. He is everything we were looking for and more.
And so, we begin again, and all things are made new.
Just a side note on animal adoption... shelters are stressful places for the animals awaiting adoption. It was unrealistic on our part to assume we could just walk in and find a perfect, friendly cat. Some cats may act friendly at the shelter and not be so happy in your home, and others may be fearful at the shelter but fine after settling in at your place. They all deserve a chance. With that being said, I do believe that there are animals who will be just the right fit for your family. Thankfully most shelters and animal rescues give you some time to settle in together and see if it will work. It is a little easier to assess how an animal will be in your home if it is being fostered, but you never really know until you try! In any case, a rescue is a fantastic place to find your new furry family member and we are so thankful for the people who work with these animals as they await their forever homes.