Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Jackie at Life in the Canadian Desert along with her blog buddy declared February 13th to be "Blog About Your Dog Day". I jokingly commented that her and the other dog people could have that day. Us cat people have the other 364 days. She suggested I make February 15th "Blog About Your Cat Day" (it doesn't have the nice ring, does it?). Anyway, this banter reminded me that I completely spaced out Allison's 2nd anniversary with us. I still don't know the actual date offhand. Sometime in February before Valentine's Day. I distinctly remember Nellie's anniversary, she was the first cat Dean and I got together only days after we moved to Florida. It was a big day for us as a couple and as proud new parents. Wrigley found us the day after Thanksgiving. Allison, like many third children, does not have a birthday that stands out in my mind. Poor little Alley! She must be one of the sweetest, gentlest creatures I've met and an awesome cuddler. She also has a coat like Egyptian silk and to see her muscles move beneath it reminds me what amazing animals cats are.
I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to describe just how it came to be that we own three cats.
It was a Saturday night. Dean and I were home watching college basketball and drinking beers. Lots of beers. I got a little bored by the sports and went in to the other room to surf the internet. I have no idea, NO IDEA, what possessed me to go on petfinder.com to see what was out there. Maybe I was feeling like Nellie and Wrigley weren't enough work already or maybe I was secretly looking for a way to punish Dean for making me watch so much damn college basketball. Whatever my hairbrained, drunken reason, I went on petfinder.com and found Yankee Cat Rescue, located about hour from my apartment. One of the cats they advertised was a pathetic black kitten named Allison decribed thus (lifted verbatim from their Happy Tails):
This little girl LOVES attention. Her brother never made it over to adoption as he was born with hip problems. She's very depressed without him and needs to get out of this shelter QUICKLY. She just came over, but she's so stressed that she'll get sick and because she's still a kitten (at only 12 weeks) she'll be put down. This animal is available at a very high kill county shelter. We have posted their pictures in order to help find them new homes before their time runs out. Anyone listed with this disclaimer is on a VERY limited time in adoption. If you see that the animal is listed as “Urgent” they may only have days to live. Please email quickly if you’re interested in saving this life before it’s too late.
Well, I did just that. I called Dean into the spare bedroom and made him (likewise in a drunken stupor) read this heart-wrenching account. "Oh, God!" he moaned, "We have to save her! We have to!" So I emailed quickly. When some people have too much to drink, they experiment with drugs. Or have casual sex. Me, I adopt kittens.
The next day I got the call from the rescue center. "Hi Natalie! You're still adopting Allison, right?" I couldn't very well say no, not with Allison's life on the line. Of course we adopted her. And I have not regretted it once. She is an absolute joy.
I should clarify some things that I learned about the rescue center. It is run by just one lady that works full time at the Manatee County Humane Society, which is indeed a high-kill shelter. Stray cats are brought in and are displayed for awhile. If they are not adopted, they are put on a list to be euthanised. The woman gets ahold of the list, takes all the cats on it home and continues trying to adopt them out. Allison's description never lied. She was at a high kill shelter. It neglected to add that if someone didn't adopt her, the rescue center would. Thus I didn't actually save her life. I don't begrudge the shelter in the least, it is just trying to give cats loving homes. I've even made a couple of donations to this amazing one-woman organization. For awhile though I've told the story with some of the facts, well, massaged.
By the way, make sure after you've had a few drinks, you come back to this website and click on the "adoptable pet of the day" button...