Ever since I got married, my husband and I decided to adopt black cats. They tend to be left behind due to superstition, and/or wind up in horrible circumstances--especially around Halloween.
When my 17-year-old Bombay mix, Spooky, passed away in 2017, I didn't think I could get past the heartache and open my heart to another. Especially since she adopted ME first.
I used to toss papers for extra money back before I had kids...and one of my stops was a vet office. Every single night, when I pulled up to the door, a tiny black kitten would wait in the corner of the window and meow at me. Her other siblings ignored me and stayed asleep. But not this one. I bonded with my girl and she chose me, and those are the most special cats...those are the ones that become that one-in-a-million. Spooky was my baby girl...my one-in-a-million. SO, I didn't think I could open my heart ever again. Time proved this to be an untruth.
First came Loki...ahem, Raven...well, no...Loki. Let me explain.
My friend posted a pitiful photo of a little black kitten on Facebook with the query, "anyone want to adopt a black female kitten?" This was just as my Spooky was losing her battle with kidney disease. I didn't want to go there yet, but my husband looked at the photo and urged me to take her.
So, home came Raven...with the cutest white heart on her belly, but for the most part, all black. I took her to the vet, did the spay her immediately thing--especially since she was a street cat. Literally. Someone tossed her out the window of their moving vehicle! I swear people like that deserve the worst to befall them!
Anyway...we dropped Raven off and a few hours later, I receive a call from the vet. It seems Raven had a surprise in store for us. She was a he! I trusted my friend and didn't bother checking on my own...so now I needed a new name and had to adjust to a male cat when I expected a female! Hence--Loki!
Next up? Lily. My sweet girl who is a bit of a foodie. She went from lithe and slinky to a chunky dunk in one year. Lily is my heat magnet, and on cold days, can always be found semi-attached to me. And usually wanting food, begging for food--or dreaming about food.
Lily has quirks. If you sneeze she meows. If you pretend to sneeze, she meows. If you take in a sharp breathe--yeah, you get it. She is also a sniffer. Lily sniffs everything. Socks, my 24 year olds boots (!), stinky cheese. We discovered she adores stinky sharp provolone and loves nothing more than to wash it down with coffee. Yeah...Lily is weird. She's also a bully. Not only is she bigger than my other two, she uses it to her advantage. She steals food and she causes quarrels.
Lily came from a cat rescue as a wee kitten--I suspect she got bullied young and this is why she is not a good middle child.
Yes, middle child.
As I mentioned, we just adopted Lexi, our tuxedo kitten, from the same rescue as a Father's Day gift for my husband (the man would let me bring home a cat a week--I swear. He's a fluffernuff marshmallow when it comes to animals!). Bringing Lexi home shifted the dynamic and created a hierarchy. You see, Loki and Lexi get along leaving my middle child, Lily, the odd one out. Loki and Lexi hang out, sun themselves on my daughters bed, and will play together.
We are now employing kitty pheromones to keep Lily calm, but I truly believe she will finally accept the kitten and peace will reign once more--at least among the felines. My poor Cairn Terrier is outnumbered and has taken to hiding his toys and facing the wall in his bed when all three cats are bouncing around the room!
Lexi, the baby...my oddball tuxedo, is quite different from the other two. She plays fetch! And I don't mean she will chase after a little mouse toy and saunter over to you and drop it with a meow. No. Lexi launches herself after anything and everything you chuck across the room. She even fetches sticks! (OK...they have a string and a feather tied to one end, but she picks the entire thing up and runs with it and never tires of the game!).
I can honestly say, having a new kitten in the house comes with challenges, but oh those awards negate any and all of them! The smile on my husbands face alone is worth it.
Now, here comes the why. WHY did I bother writing this blog, and why is it about adoption? Well, you see, May, June and July, shelters become overrun with kittens. Actually, it's not just the wee ones but teenagers, adult and elderly cats that all have one thing in common. They need forever homes because they are on death row.
There are good people out there...and I believe my readers--YOU--are some of those who do good and believe in simple acts of kindness. I'd like to beseech those of you who have, for one reason or another, remained firmly on the fence about adding a pet to your household. If you can swing it, I'd love to invite you to consider adopting a kitten or cat this month. Before we know it, August will be here...and that's when many on death row meet their end.
I just want to put it out there. In Georgia alone, 30,000 cats will die this year. 2.7 in one years across the United States. No-kill shelters need support. But even mores than those places? There is a cat on death row right now that needs a home. Please consider being an angel and save a life!
That's all. I'm going to leave you with four photos of my four joys...starting with Spooky who I miss every single day. To Loki, then Lily and finally the little brat - Lexi. (OK...I added Fergus, too. That poor dog!!) I think the day I launch to best-selling stratosphere in the world of writing books for a living, I will open my home to a few more...just not the thirty or so my spouse insists we can squeeze in the nooks and crannies our of fur infest home!
Hmm...maybe I can build a kitty condo? - Bettina