As a cat mom who adopted, as opposed to giving birth to a cat (hello—impossible!), I feel like the cat adoption story is underrepresented on blogs. You’ll find birth stories on any mommy blog you turn to, like here , here and here. And, when chitchatting with co-workers, you’ll hear stories of marrying a spouse with a cat from a previous relationship (or singlehood) or cats that wandered upon a porch to be welcomed into a family (talk about a bona fide stork story!). My husband didn’t have a cat before I met him and Corey didn’t “adopt me” as some cat parents are apt to say. As a single woman and new to Cincinnati, I found a cat shelter, filled out the necessary paperwork, went through the selection process and ended up with Corey, my lil’ tuxedoed punkin.
Corey was 5 years old when I adopted him. At the shelter, I perused the cats, wandering around the large room that housed them. I went in looking for a cat who wouldn’t be too affectionate, but with whom I could bond. After a few minutes, I found Corey sitting upon a table and he allowed me to walk up and pet him. He made biscuits. I petted a few other cats before discovering him lying upon yet another table. I approached, petted and biscuits were made yet again. The decision was made.
The story doesn’t end there, though, because when you adopt a “mature” cat, sometimes they don’t adjust well or quickly or both to their new home. Now, Corey didn’t destroy anything by scratching or urinating on any dry-clean-only pieces, but for the first year, we pretty much lived like roommates. He would come within a few feet of me at breakfast and dinner time while he waited for me to pour his krunchkas into his bowl. Other than that, we didn’t have much interaction. His initial coldness made me think I had been bamboozled at the shelter. The turning point came when I had to take him to the vet for his cat eye-herpes. Corey wanted nothing to do with me and scurried around my tiny apartment escaping the towel and eventual cat carrier I had for him. After a few tears (mine), I was able to catch him and take him to the vet.
I kept him in the bathroom for the few days I had to put medicine into his eye. Then, I instated “pet therapy.” Not for me, but for him. I found whatever nook and cranny he was hunkered down in, started a stopwatch and petted him for 15 minutes straight—no matter how cramped my legs or neck would get reaching for him. Eventually, he realized he liked to be petted. Then, one day he sat down on a particular corner of a rug, I approached and he let me pet him. A few weeks later at a certain time each day, he would visit that particular corner of the rug and wait—he was telling me he was ready for “pet time.” Finally, Corey started hopping up on the couch (never sitting on my lap, mind you) and allowing me to pet him. Nowadays, I can’t sit down on the couch without him hopping up beside me or him meowing with all his might in the evenings just for a stroke on his head and a good rub of his belly.
While I may not have come to be Corey’s mom in a more traditional way, I wouldn’t have any other cat. Looking at Corey’s growth and the bond we’ve built is enough to warm any cat mom’s heart.
P.S. Corey’s sister, Charlotte, is available for adoption. She sports an adorable half-milk mustache!