Last weekend I took a 250-mile road trip from Maine to Connecticut to visit my good friend and fellow cat blogger, Robin Olson of Covered in Cat Hair.
Why? Not just for spits and giggles.
First of all, I wanted to visit with Robin and Sam because they’re awesome. Secondly, I wanted to meet the litter of six kittens whose antics I’ve been following on her blog and Facebook page — one of whom is named after my sweet, beloved Dahlia. (By the way, they’re almost ready for their forever homes, so go to Kitten Associates and fill out an adoption application if you’re interested!)
And finally, there’s another cat who’s been in Robin’s care for quite a while. She was a teen mom, pulled (with her litter) from the Henry County Animal Shelter in Georgia at the last possible minute and transported to Robin’s rescue, Kitten Associates, by a wonderful network of individuals who strive every day to save cats from high-kill shelters in the Deep South.
I’ve been following Bobette’s story on Covered in Cat Hair ever since she arrived in Connecticut. I watched as her kittens grew up and found homes. I hoped for a good outcome as I learned that Bobette was sniping and hissing even at her own kittens, and then as Robin discovered the most likely source of Bobette’s bad temper — a luxated patella that made it impossible for her to walk without pain — my heart was filled with compassion.
I sent good mojo as Bobette had the surgery that got her kneecap back into position and did the best she could not to go nuts during her extended period of post-surgery cage rest, and as Robin and Sam lovingly tended to her every need.
Every time I saw a picture of Bobette’s sweet face and soulful eyes, my heart melted a little.
After Dahlia died and Thomas and Siouxsie and I got through the worst of our grieving, I realized how empty my house felt with only two cats in it. I started thinking about Bobette more and more. I knew Robin would have a hard time placing a special-needs cat like Bobette, who will need some level of pain management for quite a while — any of you who have had knee surgery know how long it takes to recover from that — if not for the rest of her life. She may even require more surgery in the future. I don’t know.
But what I did know is that I’m ready for that.
I made a commitment a long time ago that from now on I would adopt cats with special needs. I’m an experienced and knowledgeable cat caretaker who is willing to go the extra mile (or the extra many miles) for a cat when it’s called for.
I’d been talking to Siouxsie and Thomas about the possibility of bringing another cat into our family, and they seemed amenable to the idea. Thomas especially misses having a “snuggle buddy,” so I almost hope that they become best friends. If they don’t, though, that’s OK too.
So, beyond even visiting Robin and Sam and seeing cute kittens in action, I went to Connecticut to meet Bobette. I wanted to find out if she and I would make that special connection. We connected, all right! It was like we knew each other the moment we met. I like to think it’s because I’ve been “talking” to Bobette for a few weeks, asking her if she’d like to come home with me. I even gave her a code word, which might become her name — Chrysanthemum — and told her that when I saw her I’d call her by that word.
When I sat on the floor and called, “Chrysanthemum,” she came running to me and rubbed against my hand, purring like crazy.
Bobette and I spent quite a bit of time hanging out. She would “go to bed” in the guest bathroom at night, so I took every opportunity to spend time with her there. During the day she had the run of the house and enjoyed watching squirrels out the window.
Although I’d expected Bobette-Chrysanthemum to get along well with me and I was 99 percent sure I was going to adopt her — later on this year — I had no idea how deep the connection would be.
This weekend, I adopted Bobette.
Yesterday afternoon at 12:30, I left Robin’s house with my precious cargo. When I stopped at a parking area off I-495 to do a “cat cleanup” after the poor thing lost her breakfast, I noticed that she was starting to get overheated. (I suspect this is the main reason she vomited.) So, off we went, with the A/C blasting. Goose bumps are a small price to pay to keep a cat from getting heat stroke!
When I got Bobette home, I set her up in my office — I moved my computer into the living room, cleaned, gave her a litterbox and the new set of Catty Stacks to climb on and look out the window, and made her a bed out of a cardboard box lined with a pillow and towels. Food and water (laced with the Stress Stopper Spirit Essence) were placed, and now it was time to see what happened.
Thomas and Siouxsie are curious, of course. They smell her. And she smells them. But the introduction is going to take a while.
I’ll be blogging about the process of introducing Chrysanthemum-Bobette to her new family in order to show you how it works. Each cat is different, and so is the amount of time it takes for the introductions. Stay tuned, and please welcome the newest member of the Paws and Effect Gang!
We’re deliriously happy for you both! A code word, indeed!
xoxoxo Thank you for giving Bobette a chance. Now I can help more cats and kittens in need since we have more space available! Great to see you. Come visit any time :-)
She’s beautiful! Congratulations Janea! I love adoption stories.
Concatulations to both of you!
Concatulations JaneA! I am so ecstatic for you and Bobbette! I had followed her story on Robin’s blog, and knowing her adopter is you is awesome!
Congrats, she’s so beautiful! Cuddles and (((HUGS))) from us (Squeeks & Tiger) to you all…
That is wonderful news! Congrats, Janea! :)
Great story! It is wonderful that you let your heart heal, then felt it was time to open your home and heart to another kitty family member. I am so happy for all of you!
Oh, this just brought tears to my eyes. Bobette is one lucky girl: first, she gets rescued by Robin, and now she gets the best forever home I could possibly imagine for her with you, Thomas and Siouxsie!
My code name is SQUEEEEEE!!! I am so glad this special girl came home with you and can’t wait to see how the kids get along!!
YEAH!!! For you and Bobbette and everyone at your home. We are all very excited to hear about the adjustment and very glad she found such a wonderful home. She may not have gotten any applications – but we bet is was because she was waiting for you. :)
You’re too young to be a flower child, but you certainly have a flower thing going with your adoptions. But whatever your theme is, what really proves she is meant to be with you is that you knew her name. Concatulations to you and Chrysanthemum, and to Thomas and Siouxsie! And so glad that a special-needs kitty is in a home that understands her needs.
Thanks, everybody, for the congratulations. I think it’s going to go well, as long as I take my time and do the introduction properly. And Bernadette — I was raised by hippies (well, actually they were proto-hippies — they were hippies before it was cool) so I’m kind of a flower child by default.
Very happy for you Janea! Bobette is one fortunate kitty..:-)
Welcome Bobette! Conga rats Janea!
There are lots of happy tears of joy at our house today! This is the awesomest news I have heard in like forever! I followed Bobette’s journey over the past several months and was sad she had not found a home yet. I should not have been sad because clearly she was just waiting for you!
Congrats on your new family member – I just know she is going to fit right in with Siouxsie and Thomas! And bless you for taking in the special needs cats – they are the one who have such a hard time finding forever homes. xo
How absolutely wonderful!
(and so nice to see a fellow blogger from Maine)
Janea, this made my day in a time of sadness. It affirms from loss comes hope and love again.
I am SO happy for you all! Chrysanthemum deserves a wonderful home and I know you can give her that! I’m looking forward to hearing how the introductions go!
Awww! This is wonderful! She’s gorgeous! Those eyes will get ya every time. She’s one lucky kitteh to have found a new furmom in you.
Darn you! I have to go to a meeting and you just made my mascara run! I am SO happy for you all. xoxo
I’m so glad you were able to help Bobette AND open your heart up after the loss of Dahlia.
Chrysanthemum is one lucky girl =)
Congratulations on the newest addition!
She’s just a beautiful little sweetheart.
xo Katie & Glogirly
Great story! Congrats!
Yay! Yay yay yay YAY! I’m so happy reading this.
Congrats to you and Bobette-Chrysanthemum! Sometimes things are just meant to be. :)
~~what a wonderful story…to take a disadvantaged kitty..i’m fostering about 28 right now, several of them in dire straits when 1st found…but now all seem to be coming along…hope you have a long life with your 3 kitties & that they integrate easily!
She looks like my old kitty Pyewacket. Congratulations on your new family member!
Don’t we all just love love love stories like this! Thank you so much for sharing and we look forward to hearing more about Chrysanthemum’s journey >^..^<
Congrats, Janea! :) I love adoption stories.I’m so happy reading this.