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Well, as posted, this is my first time owning a cat; further, it's a special case adoption.

For some detail, my new little charmer is a bengal. She is 4 and had been at her local shelter for 2 years, in a separate area (one of the managers's offices); that said, she was not viewable to the public. I recently moved out to Gracie's city and started volunteering at the shelter, to live vicariously through the owners. Lots of fun. I mentioned I was eager to adopt an animal at some point, but that I wasn't allowed to have dogs in my building.

They introduced me to this gorgeous young lady (talkin' about the cat, here, folks!) and had her sniff me. It turns out that Gracie needs to smell you first, because there's a chance that after a sniff, she isn't going to like you. Period. So, she had her sniff, and we became friends. I went to the SPCA and continued volunteering weekly, but soon, the visits became all about Gracie. I'd go to her office (she was alone most days; the manager had running around to do) and spend a bit of time with her. It was clear we were getting along.

Last week, I finally pulled the trigger and adopted her. She has tons of personality and is a hoot when you put a straw in her way! She loves them, and I'm very happy with the decision I made.

I did mention issues. I don't know the whole story. Nobody did. Alas, it's pretty clear; she's a bengal, so there's still a bit of that wild side to her. The end result is that she can't be around other animals. Other pets cause poor Gracie too much stress, as she has no primary defence mechanism with her front claws not there. That said, the shelter needed to find someone that got along with Gracie, 1, 2, didn't have any other pets, and 3, most importantly, wanted her because she's awesome, not because she's a novelty pet.

Granted, I've run into a few problems as a new pet owner that nothing I've read on cat behaviour seems to cover. I'll post that somewhere and sometime else, though - it's for another day! :)

Cheers, and nice to meet you!

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