Over the last month or so, the desire to adopt a kitty has hit me, but I resisted it because life is so uncertain right now. But, about 1 1/2 weeks ago, my sister mentioned something at dinner, and I just got thinking… She said that she would help me out financially if I did get a cat and needed it. And then my dad gave us our Christmas checks – triple what he would normally give – and I really, seriously got thinking that it was something that I thought that I wanted to do.
I started searching petfinder.com and found some cats that I was interested in pursuing, but felt that I needed to clear the idea not only with my mom’s husband, who owns our house, but also with my dad and my mom, who have been helping me out financially through this tough time. I knew it was crazy financially, but a cat adopted from the humane society doesn’t have to make you go broke, and the drive to get a fuzzy pet, I finally realized, is purely emotional.
Both my mom and dad were on board with me adopting a cat – for emotional reasons. My mom’s husband, a little less so, but he agreed if it were what I really wanted to do. Just because I had their approval though, didn’t mean that I went right out and got one, instead, I continued to analyze the origin of my desire to get a cat, as well as all the reasons to do it – and to not. The rational part of me told me to wait, but the emotional part of me disagreed.
I really felt that I needed the kitty to help me heal from all this separation stuff. My kids are awesome, but I have come to want the quiet company of a pet who loves you no matter how messy your house is; no matter how badly you lost your temper that day, nor how much you are ashamed that you did; no matter that you choose to spend your free time writing blog posts rather than mopping the floor, and who sits with you without demanding your attention while you do so. But it’s also that pets are healthy. That undemanding companionship is mentally and emotionally healthy; it calms you, and relaxes you.
I also thought that a cat would be good for the kids. I feel that Paul is old enough to be able to live with one. I know that it will take a time to adjust to having the pet, but once the novelty has worn off, he will calm down and will learn how to treat an animal, as well as about all the work that is necessary – and fun – in taking care of one; I don’t mind scooping poop or changing the water daily – I like it! (I did always want a horse, and perhaps the acceptance of the fact that I would have had to scoop poop for one made me this way.)
So, after giving it more thought, doing some more research, and having the approval from the necessary sources, I chose one to go meet. The kids went along, but when we arrived, the woman who works at the front desk told us that that cat had been applied for, the application was pending at the moment. This did not mean that we could not apply for that cat, so we went to see him. He was a beautiful black guy with big yellow eyes. He was a little bit fuzzier than I had hoped – I do not want a long-haired cat. He came right to the door when we opened it while his cage-mate remained on his bed. The black cat was very nice, and very soft, but I thought about how someone else was wanting him. He also seemed a little fearful of Paul, and batted at him a little when Paul pet him the wrong way. Hmmm, that’s not what I’m looking for.
So, we greeted all of the cats at the shelter; something had drawn me to this particular shelter and I felt that if the kitty that I had gone to meet was not the one for us, we could find another there. Elizabeth picked out her favorite: a long-haired yellow cat, but that one was not going to work for us – or me, rather. So, we went back into the black cat’s cage and his cage-mate came out to greet us this time: a black and white male. This cat was very relaxed with us, and especially with Paul, didn’t bat or bite when he was touched, didn’t run away from Paul, and didn’t mind to have his tail touched: all good qualities.
We made the rounds again to re-meet some of the other cats; there had been one other female that I had been interested in meeting if the black cat didn’t work out, but she turned out to be too dainty for what I was looking for with a 2 1/2 year old boy. I came back to the black and white house-mate, who’s name was Percy, and we re-pet him and I began to feel that he was the one for us.
We stayed with Percy a bit, and I had to convince Elizabeth that maybe we ought to consider him instead of the black one, whom she had all ready set her heart on by then. But, I figured that if the black cat had a potential adopting family, why fight them? Or why not give another needy cat a home? With the final idea that Percy may be able to go home with us that same day, she let him into her heart.
So, let me now officially introduce you to the newest member or our family: Sir Percival the Stout and Awesome.
Since his name was all ready Percy and I did not want to completely change our new pet’s name from whatever name they had become accustomed to, I decided that we could elaborate it without deleting it completely. Since his name was Percy and Percy is short for Percival, that immediately came to my mind. The ‘Sir’ came next because the name Percival reminds me of knightly times. Then came the stout because he weighs in at almost 12 pounds! All of this I conjured before we even had him in the carrier to take home! I last asked Elizabeth how she felt about the name I had thought of, and she wanted to call him Awesome Percy, so I added that to the end, with the intention of calling him exactly that which she had offered as his regular, every day name. And that is how Sir Percival got his new name but kept his old.
I think he will grow into being a Sir in time too, right now he’s still young, and playful – within a few hours yesterday he was out playing with us, and played for an hour after the kids went to bed. In general, he’s a really nice cat, and I think he will fit in very well with us. His papers say he was surrendered by his previous owner due to a problem with allergies, and he was obviously well cared for (he’s got a little belly pouch), though he doesn’t respond to any voice commands, not even for food. I’m guessing that he lived with a man because he didn’t blink an eye when Chepe arrived in the evening and took to him immediately.
He spent today day under the couch though, it will take time to adjust, especially with the kids. It will take me about a month to get used to having him here too – even though I am excited about it, the change also stresses me out. I go into a panic because of the commitment involved – which I would do if I were to sign a new 2-year contract for a phone, purchase a car or rent a house, or anything major like that; I need lots of time to think it over before I take the plunge, and then I will always second guess myself afterward and wonder if I want the new commitment. But, I at least know this, and knew it going into the thing. It will work out, and it will work out Awesome!
Share your thoughts: How has adopting a pet been an Awesome healing process in your life?