I adopted a cat! I've become comfortable enough in my Adult Life that I was sure I could properly take care of a pet. I also have been wanting a pet for a while.
I adopted from the Nine Lives Foundation in Redwood City. I specifically adopted from them because their lease is up at the end of May, and they need to adopt or foster all of their cats before then. If you read this, and are in a position to add a cat or cats to your life, please consider adopting from the Nine Lives Foundation.
My cat's name is Trisha. She's one year old, and a wonderfully sweet cat. A lot of the cats in the shelter were (understandably) a bit skittish, or just not interested in being pet. Not Trisha. Trisha was asleep when we came in (most cats were). When the volunteers at the shelter opened her cage, she woke up, and basically fell into our hands - she was that eager to be pet. I wasn't sure if she was The One at first - I hadn't really got a good impression of any of the other cats. But, after a bit more petting, I was sure. We walked out with her two days later after the vets had done a checkup.
I knew some things about cats before adopting Trisha. My parents got a cat (Howie) a few years ago, and though I never took care of him directly (away at college), I did help feed him, and pet him, and watched him tear around the house, and sometimes accidentally got him in a painful playing mood. I had an impression of having a cat as pet.
But I've never owned or raised a cat on my own.
Trisha took a bit of time to get used to my apartment. She was distressed the whole ride back in her carrier, and didn't seem much happier when I put her down in my bedroom. She meowed and explored only a corner of my bedroom. She got on my bed, and then basically stayed there for the next couple of days. (I know she used the litterbox. I'm not sure if she ate.) Only after a few days would she come out of my bedroom on her own and not run back immediately if I moved too quickly.
She spent (and continues to spend) her days sleeping while I'm at work. At night, she suddenly gets very interested in exploring my apartment. Sometimes noisily. The first (and second) nights, she roamed around my apartment meowing in what had to be confusion or distress. I tried shutting her in my bedroom, but then she roamed around my bedroom meowing in confusion or distress, and I woke up throughout the night to that. She's since calmed down a bit, but is still a great motivator to try getting to bed earlier.
My apartment was fairly cat-safe before I adopted. That hasn't stopped Trisha from causing problems. My bedroom was the best room to slowly introduce Trisha to my apartment, so everything had to be set up in there. If I don't clean the litterbox often enough, I'll notice. I stay fairly on top of that.
Trisha using the litterbox (and me cleaning it) kicks up a bunch of litter-dust, which makes me feel like garbage. I air my apartment out a lot more now.
Trisha also is becoming a big fan of sitting in my windowsills. If I don't leave some of my blinds raised, she'll shove her way through them to sit by the window. I can feel my security deposit ticking down.
Trisha likes playing around my apartment. I've come out in the morning to find things moved around or knocked off shelves. Trisha finds a lot of new toys I didn't know I had. Again, this all happens mostly at night.
The litter, of course, gets everywhere. Trisha keeps kicking a bunch out of the box, and tracks it everywhere. I'll have to vacuum sometime this weekend, and I get the feeling that's going to be a theme.
Trisha was sweet in the shelter, and that part hasn't changed. She'll always accept petting, and will push her head into my hand to get scritches and scratches behind her ears and under her chin. She loves to play. Even when she's real excited, I never get bitten or scratched. I think she specifically keeps her claws sheathed, or at least sheathed enough to not do any damage. (Howie isn't so kind.) The only time I really get close to getting clawed is when I hold her too long, and that's more her flailing to get back down than her actually trying to hurt me.
Trisha is always happy to see me when I get home. She meows at me in a way I can only interpret as happy or excited. On Twitter, I described it as "teen girl screaming at boy band", and I'll stand by that. (Maybe I'll try to capture a Vine proof later.) It's heartwarming.
At the same time, I don't feel like she's ever just waiting for me to get home. She roams around a bit in the mornings. I'll find her sleeping when I get back. A lot of the time, she'll stay near me on the couch, or on my bed. But she'll often go do her own thing, go play by herself, or otherwise be an independent creature. I don't get the impression she's spending her days upset and waiting for me to get home.
I'm very happy to have brought Trisha into my life, and I look forward to spending a lot more time with her. I'll probably be posting more about her here and/or on Twitter (including pictures!)
Thanks for reading!