I adopted two rescue cats back on Friday 24 May and it’s been a bigger life change than I originally imagined. But how did I get here?
So back in April after many many years of procrastinating I finally bite the bullet and decided to adopt a pet. I’ve always wanted a pet but when moving into my apartment 14 years ago originally pets were not allowed. Even when that changed I was concerned about how often I was on the road for work, my international travel and work hours.
I always recalled being told that while pets might be a small part of your life you are a major part of theirs or even their centre. I had to be all in if I was getting a pet.
So what changed? It started when my nehpew Andrew and his fiancee Danelle moved into the apartment. Not long after they moved in Danelle fell in love with a frigthened little kitten, lost and cold hiding in a car engine. Danelle, a dog person, decided to rescue this kitten soon to be named Indie (for independent) and suddenly the apartment had three humans and one cat, a cat that I bonded with very quickly.
Indie – The cat who changed my apartment living forever
Indie proved to me that a cat could adjust well to apartment living. My work travel had reduced almost to zero, and for international travel surely I could found someone interested in apartment sitting for free.
The next catalyst was when Andrew, Danelle and Indie moved out after 9 months. Weirdly the moment they moved out a neighbours cat started visiting me every day for some pats and bubble bursting (something Indie loved), her name was Maple and her owner was fine with the daily visits. But this only went on for 2 months and Maple moved out as well leaving me alone again. I decided Maple’s sudden visits and then her moving out was a sign and it was time to look for a new cat.
Originally I was going to adopt an older cat who just needed a second chance. I was working on the assumption that such cat would be settled and would just be happy to have a nice warm forever home so wouldn’t mind being alone while I was at work.
However Danelle pointed out that maybe I could adopt kitten siblings who could provide each other company. Danelle then sent me a link to four related kittens just up for adoption.
We (Andrew, Danelle and me) all immediately fell in love with Boots but disagreed with which of the other three should join me, they were Alfie, Bear (a totally black cat) and Juno. I personally liked Juno and when I inquired only Boots and Juno were left and I put a hold of them. It turned out that these two loved playing with each other.
I organised to go with Andrew to outer Melbourne (hour drive) and the kittens inspected me and I inspected them with my sister Lana who we meet us there. Everything went well and I had already made a connection. They were the friendliest cats I had ever experienced. Their foster mother Samm did an outstanding job.
Over the next 4 weeks I went about preparing the apartment, buying a cat tree and heaps of toys and recommended dietary kitten food. My apartment was inspected by Forever Friends Animal Rescue who deemed the apartment acceptable.
As I prepared for their arrival I was ‘accused’ by Danelle of ‘nesting’ ie creating a nest for my new babies. I watched lots of YouTube videos on looking after and bonding with cats, read articles and reflected on what Indie liked.
Finally on Friday 24 May the now 3 month old kittens, a guess on their age since they were found in a box abandoned (makes me mad thinking about it, if you can’t look after a pet take them to a shelter), came home with me and Andrew. That night they explored the apartment while Danelle, Andrew and me enjoyed our Top 100 movie of all time night giving them space to adjust.
Over the next few weeks Juno, Boots and me worked out each other’s patterns. Boots was adventurous, always wanting to play and regularly overcommitting and falling off my bed trying to catch a toy. Boots also run out into the stairwell every chance he had. Juno was more cautious always taking time to work things out but still ready to play. Juno turned out to be an up high cat climbing to locations I didn’t think were possible. They loved the cat tree, surveying their domain. They loved everyone who walked in the door, a new person to play with and get attention from.
There have been ups and downs for sure. It turns out they like having a feed between 4 am and 5 am and prefer for me to be up playing with them no later than 7.30 am. As a late night non-early starter this has taken some getting used to. But is it worth it?
Well last night I had one cat (Juno) nestled under my left arm with her neck on my arm. I had the other cat (Boots) draped over my other arm with his belly exposed purring in a deep sleep. Their warmth washing over my body. Their trust in me overwhelming. My feeling of love for them made for happy thoughts as I drifted off to sleep.
Yes they are worth it, even being sleep interrupted 🙂
Today Juno has already jumped into my arms for a cuddle. Boots has already given me three head ‘bunts’ telling me that I’m part of his family. We have all played together, they have played with each other, wrestling around their toys, they have run around the apartment playing tag. Right now they are sleeping together.
It’s funny however one thing leads to another. Danelle and Andrew’s decision to move in with me while they saved for their first home lead to Danelle rescuing a lost kitten (amazing given her being a dog person), which lead to me seeing how a cat could add value, then once moving out Maple starts visiting to feel the Indie gap and then when Maple moved out of the complex this lead to Danelle finding Juno and Boots two of the friendliest and loving cats I’ve ever experienced.
My concerns about caring and loving them enough seem like nothing now. I’ll make it work for them. Right now I’m content, even when clearing their kitty litter every morning, I guess it must be love if I’m happy to get up at 5 am to feed them and to clean their smelly litter 🙂
As for how we interact I found a lot of truth in this article.