THE CATS WHO FOUND ME
Growing up, I didn’t have a pet. I was desperate to have a golden retriever. I imagined myself playing with said golden retriever, telling him all of my secrets and curling up at night with him. I dreamed of the day I had my own place so I could have a golden retriever.
Because my parents were
so cruel doing what was best for our family at the time, I had to resort to cuddling with a stuffed dog TY Beanie Baby. It wasn’t the same.
Fast forward to when my husband and I bought our home. The plans to adopt a golden retriever were long gone. Throughout my years of growing up, I saw just how much work having a dog was—and I fell in love with someone who loves cats. But our new home wasn’t quite ready for any little furry friends. Our plan was to tackle some home renovations first and adopt a cat second.
After living in our home for one week and only painting two rooms and installing new flooring in the basement, my husband found a cat on Craigslist. We barely had made a dent in our to-do list, but my husband was adamant about us adopting this poor, sweet, unwanted kitty.
After looking at one photo of this 5-year-old tabby cat, I knew we had to get him. The home renovations could wait. We contacted the seller and made plans to adopt Max—with plans of changing his name to Bosco (yes, we thought of the name after recently watching the “Seinfeld” episode in which George sets Bosco as his ATM code).
On Election Day 2016, my husband and I both got home from work, ate dinner, quickly voted and then trekked to a Marshall’s parking lot in Kent to pick up Max/Bosco. On our drive home, I told Max/Bosco that I loved him. After about a month and a half of calling him Bosco, my husband called him Max to see if he would respond. Max immediately flipped his head around. We wondered if it was a fluke. Could this cat really know his name? Yes, yes, he could. From that day on, he has gone by Max.
Over the years, I’ve fallen more in love with him. You can’t really imagine a pet’s love until you experience it.
But when we got him, we knew he didn’t play well with others. He had been with his previous owner for only a few weeks. They had adopted him in hopes that he would mesh well with their other cats. Max spent the whole time hiding under a bed. We believe he spent his life before that with one owner.
So we imagined we would be a one-cat household. We were starting to get kitten fever, but we never thought Max would adapt to another cat in the house. That is until I found a kitten while on a walk with my friend, Carly, on the hottest day last July. We were walking along the Hoover Trail in front of Walsh University when I heard the faint cries of a kitten in distress. After calling the police department and waiting 40 minutes in the blistering midday sun for them to arrive, we were able to pull the kitten out of the sewage catch basin.
While waiting, I had called my husband to see what we should do. He said we couldn’t let the kitten go to the humane society, so we brought it home with us. After some online research, we determined it most likely was a girl and probably about 3 weeks old. I told my husband that there was no way we could keep her. How would Max cope? By now, he was 7—almost 8—years old.
Of course, I had found her on a Saturday after the vet had closed for the day. We had to keep her at least through the weekend. After calling the vet and local shelters on Monday morning, we found out they all were full. So we made plans to keep the kitten—and we made an appointment at the vet. We also finally gave her a name: Mila. After taking her to the vet, we found out she was actually 9 weeks old and malnourished.
After about a month of working with Max and Mila and letting them have time together and time apart, they became best buddies—as you can see in the photo.
Sometimes pets come into your life before you’re ready, but they come into your heart when they’re supposed to. And yes, my family does refer to me as the crazy cat lady.
And by the looks of it, a lot of you readers are crazy cat—and dog—lovers. When we asked for you to send in your pet photos, the response was overwhelming. Check out this month’s features to see all of this month’s pet-related content.
Until next month,
Kelsey Davis, editor