I started volunteering at the Denver Animal shelter weekly with the cats. I knew that familiarizing myself with the cats would inevitably result in a feline addition to my family; I fully accepted this “risk”.
I was in my mid-twenties, had a stable job, a condo that I owned, and knew that a cat lifestyle was for me. While dogs are great- they are like children and the kid free-lifestyle was fantastic. Cats however, are like roommates-they can greet you at the door, cuddle with you, give you companionship and yet you can leave them at home for 2 days at a time. As a young female, I wanted to be able to go out with friends after work and take weekend trips; thus, a feline was purr-ect for me. 😊
People say that cats choose you and from my experience this is true. There was one cat who had been at the shelter almost six months, Twinkie. She had gorgeous gray hair and piercing eyes. She would purr fervently every time I walked by her cage and demanded attention; she chose me. She was kept in a back room at the shelter and was not highly visible to future adopters. She languished in a small cage and month after month was overlooked, until me.
From the moment Twinkie came into my home she has enriched my life. She greets me at the door whenever I come home and sits on my lap while I work on my computer. She has helped make my house a home and has provided me with companionship and affection. A few months after adopting Twinkie, a cat arrived at the shelter who looked like her twin, Gandolf. Gandolf was approximately the same age as Twinkie and very sweet. I knew that I always wanted two cats but wasn’t sure if he would be the right addition to my family. After every volunteer shift I would tell my friends, “if he’s still here next week I’ll adopt him.” This little holding pattern went on for several weeks until I finally pulled the trigger and adopted Gandolf, renamed to Zinger (as cute as Gandolf the gray was, I wanted my Hostess babies.)
While it took Zinger and Twinkie about 4 months and a cat behaviorist (seriously) to get along, they are now the best of friends. I am very thankful for my wonderful feline family! However, it has not always been easy, or cheap. Adopting any animal is a huge responsibility and please make this choice with your eyes wide open. While food and litter aren’t expensive, medical stuff comes up and can cost A LOT. Adopting an animal is a life commitment, make sure that in 10+ years you will still be able to have the pet prior to bringing them into your home.
As I’m writing this, Twinkie is sitting on my lap and Zinger is perched on a blanket nearby with his two additional cat brothers (now that’s a story for a different time).
Please, do not overlook the animals in shelters. They are loving, need your help and want to provide you with love and companionship. Please adopt, don’t shop!