Do you know that when the time comes to add a cat to the family that if you're patient enough, the right cat will pick you?
I was entering the kitten room at Tree House Humane Society over 20 years ago and was explaining to the adoption counselor that I wanted to adopt a pair of sister kittens. The words were barely out of my mouth when I saw them - a beautiful poof ball of a kitten and the funniest looking kitten I'd ever seen - his ears were bigger than his head and he just seemed a bit off. The goofy one was clearly a male cat - he had that swagger and I started to adjust my expectations for my first rescue as an adult.
I let the poofy kitten sniff my finger and gently picked her up. She seemed to take a deep breathe before she started to purr quietly as she curled up in my arms. The adoption counselor told me that she didn't like to be held...or at least didn't up until I walked into the room. There she was, purring and purring away to her little hearts content while her brother went on a silly run through Kittenville.
From that moment on, I forgot about my idea of adopting a couple of female cats and didn't really notice any of the other kittens in the room. This beautiful little kitten picked me and I was not about to leave her behind. All the way home from Tree House, my friend who had gone with me to pick out a pair of kittens gave me tons of grief - "you know, they tell everyone that a particular cat not won't let anyone hold him or her."
Here's the deal. They were 100 percent correct.
My Scarlett did not like to be picked up or held by just anyone. There was me, maybe one of my old roommates over the years and eventually my husband. She was super selective in that way. It didn't mean she wasn't social or happy. She just was very finicky in her selection process when it came to who she felt was good enough to pick her up.
She was an incredibly sweet kitty cat. Scarlett was very shy in her early years. She also wasn't a lap cat in the beginning. I went through a lot of Pounce treats to bribe her into accepting the lap. Being that we lived in Chicago she bought into the Chicago way and fell into the trap of being a lap cat before I went broke on cat treats. She blossomed into a wonderful outgoing kitty who ruled the room when company came to call.
When you walk into a roomful of cats and kittens at a shelter, one of the hardest things to do is to pick one or two. They all need a home. Some are looking for attention and others just curl up in their safe spot waiting for the right time to make their presence known. If you take your time and you're patient, the right cat will pick you.
Cats have this wonderful ability to pick out a special someone - someone that they bond or connect with to the depths of their soul. They just know sometimes when the right person walks in. They really do. This was truly the case with my Scarlett.
When I read some of the descriptions on Facebook of cats that have finally been adopted after years of waiting, there is often a tale of a kitty that was shy or finicky or just super selective about people. Then, the right person came in and all of a sudden that cat wasn't a wall flower any longer. She was begging for pets or climbing in a lap or doing something extraordinary to get noticed.
So, the next time you decided to add a cat or two to the family, give it a little time and let the right cat pick you. Scarlett and I were together over 19 years before she crossed to the Rainbow Bridge. There will always be a piece of me that is connected to her that is very hard to describe unless you've connected with a pet in the same way. I also know she's always with me, keeping me in line like my personal feline guardian angel. (You may recognize her furry face on the top of all of my blog.)
Seven years ago, we were searching for a cat to add to the family after Scarlett's brother Rhett died. No cat seemed like an apt replacement for the Late Great Rhett the Wonder Cat. No cat was until we walked into to Heartland and a goofy cat started wapping my husband over the head with his massive paws. Max picked my husband (however misguided that may be) and the rest is history...and part of another blog post.
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