A few months back I mentioned that we were trying to adopt one of the local outdoor cats who didn't seem to have a home. Our elderly neighbor, Elizabeth, had been feeding the cat that Amanda dubbed "Rufus" for a couple of months and she was afraid that he was going to freeze to death when winter hit. We tried to take over the feeding and to get Rufus into the house but apparently he had been an outdoor cat for too long to have any interest in being an indoor one so unfortunately, adopting him just wasn't in the cards. Elizabeth went back to leaving food out for he and another neighborhood stray along with putting a comfy lined box on her back porch should they need somewhere to spend the night and Amanda went back to asking me to look for another cat.
I admit that I stalled until after the holidays as I had heard way too many horror stories of cats trying to climb Christmas trees and knocking them over and that really sounded like an experience I'd rather miss. Following the tree being removed, I half-heartedly looked through the CraigsList postings and the classifieds in the paper as well as some of the online listings but I just wasn't sure and none of the cats that I saw seemed to jump up and say "Me! Me! Pick me!"
Finally Amanda had pretty much had enough of my dithering around and once again asked this week if we were ever going to go get a cat. Having basically run out of excuses I made arrangements to go out to the Humane Society in Waterford on Friday afternoon with Amanda and our friend Amy who has several cats of her own and would be a good judge of character. On the way out I told Amanda that she wasn't to just pick out any cat just because she really wanted one but that she needed to choose carefully and if there wasn't one there that she liked then we could continue looking another time. She agreed but I've got no idea whether she had her fingers crossed or not as she was sitting in the backseat!
There were probably about 10 to 12 cats available for adoption at the Humane Society and the first one that caught Amanda's eye was a 5-year old tortoiseshell female named Ethel who was very friendly but had a major aversion to being picked up. Following Ethel there was a big orange tabby named Caramel that Amanda spent some time scritching and then in the cage below she spotted Montana whom she really liked.
I will say one thing about adopting a cat from the Humane Society versus just finding one online or from a classified ad - they do a marvelous job making sure your new pet has everything that he or she may need. Montana, now known as Tesla, has been micro-chipped, given all of his vaccinations to date, examined thoroughly by a veterinarian and then sent to his new home with a new collar (Amanda's choice of color), a bag of Science Diet dry food, more pain medication to be given to him tomorrow for that recent surgery, and several toys as well as all sorts of documentation and paperwork and discounts for future needs. Not bad at all for an $80 adoption fee - some of the shelters that I was looking at online wanted $100 or more and that was just for the cat, never mind all those other things.
So far girl and cat seem to be quite happy with each other and - as odd as it seems - Tesla likes to climb up onto the computer desk and snooze while Amanda either IMs her friends or does whatever it is that she spends so much time on a computer doing. I'm really surprised the instant-messaging noises doesn't keep him awake but they don't seem to bother him at all. Oh well, a cacophony to one can be a lullaby to another!
Let's just hope this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship! Oh, and Amanda? About that litterbox ... !