I have always loved dogs. First we had Shadow, a big black Lab/Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix. He loved the outdoors, hunting with my Dad, and going on walks with us kids around the farm finding woolly bear caterpillars and feeding the cows. His life was sadly cut short when he was hit by our mailman and left to lie there. He came back from the vet with an ok bill of health, but a week later had to be put down due to internal complications. I was 5.
A few years later, we had moved from the farm, and were in the suburbs. My parents decided to try again with a dog. I was 9. There was a family who lived a few blocks away and they were selling their 1.5 year old purebred Dalmatian for $50. We went to visit him, and we saw the terrible conditions he was living in, saw how badly they treated him (they had broken his tail at one point so it had a big bulge in it), and saw just how sweet he was even through all this. We took him home immediately. Triton was my best friend through middle and high school. We did everything together, and we were there for each other through the good and bad times. When my parents moved (and consequently kicked me out of the house), I couldn't keep him as I ended up moving in with my boyfriend and his parents and they couldn't keep dogs where they were. So my parents took him with them across states. Two years later I found out he was terribly ill with jaw cancer, and he was put down. I couldn't be there for him in the end, and I still feel heartbroken about it to this day.
Fast forwards seven years later. I'm 28. My boyfriend and I had moved from WI to NC, and after about a year, I was itching to get another dog. Life just isn't complete for me without an animal companion around. But time constraints with work just wouldn't allow it...we just couldn't be home enough for a dog to be let out during the day, and we didn't feel it was fair to do that to an animal. So we turned our thoughts to a cat.
A cat. I've never owned one in my life, and my boyfriend was in a completely different boat altogether...he'd never had a companion animal in his life. We decided to try our local SPCA, and just take a look around. When we got there, we found they had about a half a dozen rooms, each with about a dozen cats in them laying around, playing, and hiding. The very first room we went in, several of the cats were sleeping, and I'm ashamed to say that we overlooked them. We really liked this beautiful, friendly, fluffy, black cat with a little bit of white on her chest, but wanted to check the other rooms to see if any other cat would be a better fit for us. So we made our rounds...some cats liked me and not my boyfriend, and others liked him and not me. We just couldn't find one like that black cat from the first room. So we went back.
Upon entering that room, we noticed how many little kids were in there chasing the cats, and picking them up when they didn't want to be. We tried to approach the black cat again, but she was now hiding from everyone, and was hissing like crazy. We started to wonder if we were wrong about her.
I noticed some of the cats that were sleeping were now awake, and I approached a gray and white one with an adorable little gray spot next to her black nose. She was still lying in her makeshift blanket bed, but she was looking at me sleepily with these beautiful green eyes. So I went over and started to pet her...she started purring immediately, and stretched out her neck for chin scratchies. I thought she was just so cute, I had to call my boyfriend over. She let him pet her too, and she was just purring up a storm.
So we started debating. We talked about this cat and that cat and the black cat, and while I was talking, I had stopped petting the gray and white one. And then I felt something warm on my arm. She had crawled over to me and layed her head on my arm, still purring, and looking at me as if to say "Hey, I'm right here". So I pet her for a little bit more, and then stopped again. And again, she crawled closer, and layed her head on my arm along with a front paw. At that point, I was in love and I had to have her. We adopted her that day, and brought her home. We named her Samantha.
After about two weeks it was apparent that Samantha needed a friend to keep her company. So we went back to the SPCA. In the first room was that same black cat with the little white spot on her chest we had looked at the first time. She was just as sweet and cuddly as could be, and we realized it was the kids who had made her skittish the first time. We couldn't leave her there, not again. And so she was brought home and was named Rochelle. Her and Samantha met after only three days (my fault completely!), but things went so perfectly with them, that it was hard to separate them. Perhaps they remembered each other from the same room? Who knows. Either way they were happy, and I had forgotten about getting a dog because I was so happy.
I would still love to have a dog at some point, but my cats are everything to me now. Rochelle is just a sweet playful girl, a little dense (haha!), but it gives her personality. Samantha has bonded with me, and she is my pride and joy. She cries when I'm not home, or if she's shut out of a room I'm in for too long. She hugs me with her front paws around my neck when I pick her up to hold her. She sleeps with me, lays on the back of my computer chair when I'm in it, and makes all my hardships and worries melt away.
I can officially say that I am a cat person now. And I don't mind one bit.
Thanks for reading!