This is part two to my adventure of becoming a cat mom. Have you read Part 1? Click here to catch up!
Let me start this blog out with this statement: When I started at SICSA, I was of the mindset that dogs were the best – no questions asked. Dog lady, through and through.
This was 7 days before I met Snickerdoodle Cinnamon, a 3-year-old fluffy white and grey cat. Before my first day at SICSA, I went to SICSA.org to see the site that I would be managing and updating. I scrolled down the listing of available cats and landed on Snickerdoodle Cinnamon. It was a one-sided love at first sight. I knew that I had to meet this cat. Snickerdoodle, now Pixel was being moved from room to room; our open cat room, Feline Flat was just too much for her. She was continually being bullied and lost two pounds in the open room due to being too afraid to come down to eat. Eventually, she was moved into a quieter room, Meow House. That is where I met my Pixel for the first time. I opened her kennel, held out a hand (like I was taught to do in Cat 101) and greeted her. She immediately rubbed her head on my hand, flipped over and showed me her belly. She let me pick her up and it was then that I experienced a love for a cat that I had never felt before.
I brought her home for a Slumber Party and immediately lost track of her. I learned there were way more hiding spots in my one-bedroom, one bathroom apartment. She slinked under my bed, in the cabinet under the bathroom sink and ended up hidden underneath my oven. Having never owned a cat, or even had time with a cat, her shyness was concerning. I tried everything I could to make her feel comfortable. Time was up on the Slumber Party and I had to either bring her back to SICSA or sign adoption papers and make her part of my family. I searched high and low and could not find her. I signed the Adoption Contract without knowing where she was in my apartment. It was her own way of telling me that she belongs to me. I renamed her Pixel and she proceeded to duck from hiding spot to hiding spot in my apartment. I didn’t fully see her for more than two weeks.
It felt like one day, a switch just flipped in her weird cat brain, and she became comfortable with me and my apartment. She would crawl into bed with me at night, hang out on the couch on the weekends and guard the bathroom door whenever I took showers. She became a completely different, independent and sassy cat and often gives me the stink eye when I’m too slow to feed her. We fell into a rhythm until after Christmas in 2016 when I met another fluffy cat that I fell deeply in love with.
Her name was Prairie and she was, unfortunately, and illegally dumped outside of SICSA. She spent the night in a carrier, freezing and meowing until a staff member found her in the morning and brought her in. It was fifteen days later that I legally took ownership of her. She was frostbitten, flea-ridden and so scrawny. I truly believe that she chose me. She would follow me around when I would visit her in Kitty Clubhouse, and come to sit on my lap when I would sit on the bench.
I brought Prarie home on January 12, 2017. I’ve never experienced such a stressful evening.
I had set her up in my small bathroom with a litter box, food, and water. I had planned to introduce the girls on either side of the bathroom door, using food as a reason for them to smell each other and become comfortable with each other. Let’s just say – that plan didn’t happen. I opened the bathroom door to leave and Prairie thought it was time to explore. She was face-to-face with Pixel. “Well, I guess this is happening,” I thought as they started to growl and hiss at each other. I spent that night on my couch to keep the peace and make sure they didn’t try to attack one another. I woke up the next day to a little white and peach face right in my face. It was something very foreign to me; Pixel and I enjoyed our time together, but she kept her distance when she wanted to be alone. Prairie was all about her new mom, from 5am to midnight every single day. For the entirety of our Slumber Party, she would wake me at 5am by licking my eyelid. That’s easily the most jarring way to be awakened each morning.
I ended the Slumber Party early. I was so in love with this cat and Pixel and she were working their kitty politics out. I originally wanted to name her Linux, but that name didn’t stick. I kept calling her my Sweet Rosie Posie because she was just the sweetest little thing in the entire world. She became Rosie (sometimes Rosanna, Rosita, Ro-Ro, depending upon what she’s done and how I feel about her.) Rosie became the dominant force in my apartment, and Pixel was a-ok with it. Pixel lets Rosie bathe her head, puts up with Rosie body-slamming her to the ground and lets Rosie eat all the food. Pixel has become even more confident with a friend. They truly are sisters.
I want to wrap this blog up with this: If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, I highly suggest you adopt an adult cat. I don’t know what Pixel and Rosie went through before they became my family, but I know that they will never have to deal with being hungry, homeless, sad or insecure as long as they live. Adult cats need homes as much as those cute little kittens. When you adopt an adult cat, you know what their personality is. I knew that Rosie was going to be a sweet, loving cat and Pixel would need help with her confidence.
And that, my friends, is how I went from loving dogs to being a cat mom (times two!)
From June 25 to July 3, 2018, SICSA Pet Adoption Center is running The Realhouse Cats of SICSA Adoption Promotion. All adult cats (one year and older) will have fee-waived adoptions. We’re teaming up with Best Friends Animal Society to truly Save the All. Check out our website to see all of our adoptable cats: www.sicsa.org/view-our-cats