Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kitty Comes Home

Sleeping after her long flight.
 Didn't take her long to find my side of the bed!
A long time ago in a land far far away (seriously, Billings MT is a long way from Philadadelphia) my poor desperate parents couldn’t think of what to get me for my birthday. Seventeen is a rough year for presents, especially since I’d already graduated but couldn’t yet move out. So they decided to get me a cat.

It was an awesome present. I’m a tried and true cat lady and my last cat had died two years earlier. The overcrowded shelter my mom took me to was Nirvana for a cat lover. It took me over three hours to pick Willow. I thought she was a quiet cat who hid from scary strangers. The truth was she was a loud cat hiding from scary bigger cats. We got along famously. She’s still one of the best cats I’ve ever had.

The thing they didn’t think about was what the future held. I moved out less then a year later, leaving these poor people with an animal that they really didn’t know what to do with. I would be in and out of the house over the next four years but for the most part she became my parents to deal with. The  four years after that were even worse. I got married and took off. Willow is a social cat and needs lots of attention. Being a cat in a dog person household meant that she wasn’t happy and neither was anyone else.

That leads me to today. Eight years since she first came home with me she made a trip. She was taken to the vet, bundled in a carrier, and flown 2000 miles to Philadelphia. That was probably the worst day of her life but one of the best of mine. When she showed up stressed and tired it felt like bringing her home the first time, only better. After all, we were already friends.

She loves the tortured noises
my tablet makes when she sits on it.
I’d been wanting to bring her out here for years. My parents had been hinting that they wanted her to come live with me, but distance and finances were always in the way. When Jonathon got a new job and I was at home alone it was time for us to get a pet. And the only one I wanted was the one I already had.

Jonathon was amazing. He and my dad arranged it all without me knowing. I think I squealed and jumped around in a circle a couple dozen times when I found out! Obviously I was super chill about it all. When we brought her home I was terrified that the long trip had permanently traumatized her, but as soon as we got in the house she took it over like the champ she is. Soon enough it was me who was having the trouble adjusting to her being here.

Some people have asked me why I bothered trekking her all the way out here. It would have been easier and cheaper to find a new home for her and get a new cat out here. All I can say is that I love her. To me she’s not just a disposable part. I could get another cat, and love another cat, but it wouldn’t be her. She can’t put her two cents in so it’s up to me to make the decisions. When I brought her home as a teenager I committed to her that I would take care of her. She’s nine years old now and probably has another nine years of life left. I’ll take care of her through all of them, and make sure she has a good home.

As I write this she’s sleeping next to me. She’s snoring loudly in the way only a cat can manage cutely. All I know is that seeing her here with me makes me feel I’ve finally come home.

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