Dude, I don't even know. Yes, husband & I rescued and care for three cats. Because today is a National Pet Day (but isn’t that every day tho?) I am dedicating this post to them: Pepper, Whitey & Lucky. I am a huge dog person, so it was natural to rescue & adopt…cats.
I’m still trying to figure out what happened there. One summer we had some strays roaming around, and by the time harsh Chicago winter came, those little furry assholes have infiltrated our house and our lives. Humans have this natural predisposition for attachment and its incredibly easy to get attached to animals. That's exactly what happened to husband & I. Pepper started coming around my deck in Summer of 2014, a year we planned our wedding. He didn't act like a scared feral and enjoyed being pet and played with. I'd sit on my deck (as I usually do the moment it hits 50,60 degrees outside) and he would come, lay around my feet and I'd play with him and hold him.
I'd give him some food and while later, his "sister" started to follow, but was far more feral than he was.She'd poke her head on my deck and run away. This went on for months and months, after the wedding festivities in September wrapped up and well into Fall & Winter. Fall of 2014 was fairly wet and rainy season. One night, I let Pepper inside and husband naturally freaked out and told me to kick him out. At first, I did. Then he started showing up more often and I'd let him roam around the house to dry off and warm up. At night, we'd kick him out and this went on until it got REALLY cold. I'm trying to recall the exact moment when we decided we'd keep him in permanently. I just know that in our mind, all of this shit with cats was supposed to be "temporary". It was supposed to be until Spring came and here were are, four years later and I can't imagine my life without them.
Month later, we had him neutered.
Pepper's first time in the house, October of 2014
He quickly made himself at home.
His "sister" (litter-mate) Whitey remained outside, gnawing at the glass deck door. We had separated them.
They clearly missed each other. How heartless can one be to separate them??
After a month or so watching her yearn for her brother, we let her roam around the house and hang out with him. January was just around the corner and once again, we made a "TEMPORARY" decision to keep her in until it warmed up. Meanwhile, she got a really bad eye infection. I took her to vet and a month later, we had her spayed. At this point, both of the cats were healthy & fixed and decision was made to keep them.
But our cat woes do not end here. End of December of 2014, another small white kitten showed up. Feral and hungry, I had set up a shelter with heated pad for him on the deck. Around January, the poor thing got REALLY sick and quit eating. Within few days, this little raggedy looking thing (which we called RatBoy for a while) became emaciated and deathly ill.
We had a dying kitten on the deck and decision had to be made: watch him die slowly and painfully in the cold...or trap him and take him to vet for either treatment or to be put down. Later than night, Slavisa went to Home Depot and purchased a humane trap. Took us 2 hours to lure him in. Usually, the food will guide them right in, but the poor thing was so sick, he couldn't smell the food, therefore he quit eating. I grabbed a small laser (yes, stereotypes about cats and lasers is VERY TRUE) and with it, I managed to get him going. Once he got trapped, I immediately drove us to emergency vet where he received an antibiotic shot. Vet told us its gonna take few weeks for him to be cured. Again, we didn't have the heart to let a sick, ailing kitten out in the snow while he was trying to get better.
At the vet's office. We had to cover the trap so he could calm down.
For the third time, a "temporary" decision was made to help a kitten in need. We told ourselves, if Ratboy survives this, we will call him Lucky. Few weeks later, once a dying kitten on my deck, began to thrive but now a tough decision had to be made. I realized that in less than 3 months, we had rescued and took in THREE stray cats into our home without a plan or a serious conversation. I did not have the heart to let Lucky go once he got better. I told my husband "
you will open that deck door and YOU will let him out because I physically and emotionally can't."
I dare you to resist this face
I think we all know how that went and that's because my husband has the biggest heart and he is attached to them as much as I am. No matter how hard he tries to pretend otherwise.
4 years later, we have 3 cats in our house. Our parents still give us a hard time (its frowned upon indoor animals in our culture), I constantly have to vacuum and clean up hair, I spend hundreds a month on their (premium) food, toys, furniture and litter, I have to worry and prepare in advance every time we travel to Kansas City, arrange a long term solution for longer trips, be ready for anything that may come up, watch their weight constantly etc.
I wouldn't even call this "hard" work. Its become second nature to both of us.
Do I still like dogs better? Definitely. Do I want a dog? Oh for sure. Am I gonna get a dog? Probably. Animals have brought joy to my life, eased off anxiety and gave me a sense of purpose. I feel less depressed. They seem to soak up edge off me. Its hard to explain. I miss them when they're not around.
So that's the story behind my kitties. Nothing unusual or crazy dramatic. Just a bunch of strays and my soft-for-animals heart.
Happy National Pets Day to my furry monsters.