Hello everyone, and greetings from Michigan! I have been lurking these forums for quite a while now, and I finally decided it was time to join this wonderful community of fellow cat lovers.
Forgive me for the lengthy text, but I would love to share my story with you.
16 years ago, my dad and I adopted a precious brown tabby from the humane society. This is where my love for cats began. As I grew, so did that little kitten. He is now a huge cat named Max who, just three years ago, accepted a fuzzy orange guy into his life - and his kingdom. The orange cat is named Thor, and him and Max are currently enjoying the retired life with my dad in Florida. They are total bros. My dad included.
I, however, still live in Michigan, and just last year, I suffered terrible heartache when I had to put my sweet cat Ivy to sleep. She was an adorable black and white cat who found me while she was living as a stray. When I first met her she was painfully skinny, her fur was full of mats, and her eyes were glazed over from her obvious hunger. I tried to coax her into eating, but all she wanted was to lay in my lap and gently purr while I stroked her tiny body. I knew from that moment I would do anything for her. I desperately tried to find her owner. But with no microchip, no lost postings for her, and nothing to go on, it was assumed by the vet that she was likely abandoned. With some help from my family, I was able to take her in as my cat, and over the next several months, she slowly put on some weight and began to look healthy. It was obvious that she enjoyed her status as princess kitty of the house, and I loved to spoil her. She was a sweetheart to everyone, but we had a special connection. When a cat chooses you as their human, it is truly something to be cherished. She always made me feel so special when she would lay next to me and put her paw on my hand. One day, she started throwing up, and it kept getting worse. After several vet visits, it was concluded that she was a very sick little kitty. She was never diagnosed, but all of her symptoms and excessive blood work pointed to intestinal lymphoma. I didn't expect myself to get emotional while writing this, but since I am, I won't go into any further detail. On our final day together, I gave Ivy the gift of peace, and it helps me to think that the last part of her life was spent with a family that loved her dearly.
RIP my sweet Ivy.
A few months after Ivy's passing, I found myself at an animal control center. They had a room full of cats, and all of them had ID numbers instead of names. Beneath the ID numbers were the dates they were available for adoption followed by the dates they would be euthanized. This broke my heart, so I tried to give every cat attention. While I was visiting with the older cats, I heard a little high-pitched "mew" behind me. I turned around and a very small calico kitten was looking at me with heart-melting gold eyes and a dainty white paw reaching in my direction. Needless to say, that was that. The beautiful little girl had clearly chosen me, so I took her home, named her Madelyn, and now she is laying on my chest as I write this post.
Madelyn had been brought to the pound with her mother, her two sisters, and her brother. I had a chance to see all of them, and the volunteer told me how much she loved her little brother. Before I got there, they had been in one cage together. If they weren't playing or grooming each each other, then they were all snuggled up together like little lovebugs. Someone ended up adopting her brother right after I left, and although I was happy he got a home, I really wished I could have kept them together.
Two months later, while looking for a companion for Miss Madelyn, I came across a post on craigslist with the title "Poor Tom." I clicked on it and there was Madelyn's brother. Apparently he had been returned to animal control due to "no fault of his own," and now he needed a new forever home. This wasn't coincidence, this was destiny. Then very next morning I drove to animal control and adopted him on the spot. The staff told me the lady who had previously adopted him had a severe stroke and had to be put into a nursing home. Her son had to bring the kitten back, because there was no way he could be properly cared for. I was sorry to hear this, but everyone was thrilled that Tom was going home to be with his sister.
I now have two wonderful cats that get along famously. They are snugglebutts, partners in crime, playmates, grooming buddies, and amazing companions for not only each other but for me as well! I am greeted by face rubs, cheek licks, and nose paws every morning, and I wouldn't have it any other way!