On February 14th, we fell in love. With green eyes, soft head butts and a beautiful coat. The green-eyed girl who gave us the biggest “take me home and love me” look from her Petsmart kennel became our newest family member.
We weren’t planning to buy a cat. Even though we both loved cats and wished we had one, there were always too many worries in the back of our minds. Could we afford to keep a cat? Could Eddy, our African Grey Parrot, stand a cat or would the cat spring at him for target practice? Would a cat fit in with our lifestyle and work? Would it just be one giant mistake? I grew up in a house full of dogs. Would I go all “dog” over the cat and freak her out?
These worries kept us immobile. We fretted and didn’t do anything but look wistfully at kitty pictures on Pinterest and Buzzfeed (and there were a LOT of wistful sighing going on). We made promises to each other that “one day” we’d get a cat. Occasionally I’d go out to the library and bring home every cat book on the shelf and flip through them until I grew sadly frustrated and returned the books.
So that snowy Saturday at the Petsmart was a surprise. It was surreal. We stood like nervous parents as we waited for the family in the Petsmart meeting room to JUST GET OUT ALREADY and let us see the girl that had quickly stolen our hearts. We saw a book on the turnstile about African Greys as we waited and the same old worries kept wanting to intrude and make us turn around, but those eyes…
Meeting her for the first time was filled with confusion. We told the Petsmart attendant that we wanted to meet Midori and she voiced how happy she was to hear that. We were pretty happy too, until she brought in a black and red cat. Not the beautiful striped cat we had eyed through the plexiglass. We sat there awkwardly and wondered about what to do. This cat was nice, but wasn’t the one we had hoped to see. Had we gotten the name wrong?
After the attendant figured out her mistake, we got to see Midori. And all she wanted to do was play. She leaped onto the cat tree and tried to attack the toys, but through all of her excitement, we saw that she also loved people. She wasn’t afraid of us and came up for a pet and a rub as she played. We thought she’d fit right in.
Of course, the feather chasing was a bit of a worry.
We went straight home and filed our application and then we waited. And waited. It felt like we were actually adopting a child. I realize that adopting a real child is probably even more stressfull, but I could now relate at least a bit to how one feels when waiting for the decisive call. We wondered if we had answered the questions to their standards. I read horror stories about agencies that refused adoption for even the smallest thing and imagined Eddy as being the big red X on our application.
“When can I call to talk to you about Midori?” Came the email question and then it was like I was waiting for a job interview.
After a long conversation with the very nice adoption agency lady, we decided to give it a try. She knew that Midori was a good cat around other cats and dogs, knew that she’d love to be the queen cat of the house and promised us that if it didn’t work out, they would take her back. So, on February 17, right after the snowfall from frozen hell, we picked up Midori and brought her home.
We’ve only had her for about a week and a half and already it feels like she’s an inseparable part of our family. We learned that she loves to nap on me at night and that I love her deep purr and her small soft paws. We learned that she’s very adaptable and handled a visit to the cat groomers with no trouble (except for a few grumpy mews). We learned that she loves to bat balls and play with shoestrings. We learned that Eddy, the parrot, didn’t register on her feline radar after she gave him a good look and decided the birds outside were more fun.
We learned that adopting a cat can be one of the most rewarding life moments. Every day she’s opening up a little more to us and we’re seeing a very playful and loving side to her personality that we only saw the hint of through the plexiglass at the store. They say that it takes cats about 4 months to fully adjust to a house. Seeing as how our girl has gone from safe room kitty to full out queen of the house in under a week, we’re looking forward to seeing what she has in store for us as we live our lives together.