I have been a dog person since I was a kid. I was that 8-year-old who had photographs of puppies posted all over my room and every year on my birthday, I asked for a dog (by the way, the blowing out your candles and making a wish does not work. I am living proof). Despite my obsession with the canines, I wanted nothing to do with cats.
A lot has changed.
My first real encounter with a non-dog four-legged animal was with Mike’s parent’s cats, which, when I met them in 2009, were tiny, tiny kittens that could fit in the palm of my hand. Of course, they were adorable then, but I figured they’d grow up to be outside cats and want nothing to do with their family.
But over the years, I took a special liking to one of the cats, Rambo, and she slowly started to like me, too. Eventually, Rambo began cuddling on my lap, finding the way to my bed at night and following me around everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I’ve had to shut the bathroom door on her about 3,000 times.
Then, almost a year ago, I fell in love with a kitten at a pet store. Mike and I had just stopped in randomly one day to check out the puppies, but I gravitated toward an orange furball.
I took it out of its cage, it stared up at me and played with my coat button, and bam, the kitten had my heart. We thought about getting him, but after calling Mike’s old landlord, found out the pet deposit was $500. With a male cat and a chance he’d spray, the cost was just took risky, and I said goodbye to Garfield tearfully (no, I’m not kidding, I was a mess).
I gave up on the idea of having a kitten. Mike moved to his new apartment and months passed. We discussed briefly if we’d get a kitten before a dog, but never too seriously. Life continued as normal.
Then, last week I asked Mike to go back to the pet store just to look. We played around with a labradoodle, who was so soft and sweet, and looked at the kittens. Mike had learned from last year’s experience, and he knew to get me out of there quick and not let me open the kittens’ cages. I had accepted our kitten-less fate, so I wasn’t sad when we left, and on the way home, I even listed all the reasons why we probably shouldn’t get a kitten.
But, somewhat out of the blue the next day, Mike said : “I was going to go get one of the kittens today, but I want you to come with me and pick one out.”
I was SO excited. I was almost as hyper when I got my glasses in 4th grade and couldn’t stop singing: “I’m so excited. I just can’t hide it, I want, I want, I want, I want my glasses, my glasses.” Yup, I was so cool.
So, in my crazy, I’m-so-excited-that-I’ll-sing-every-song-on-the-radio state, we went back to the pet store … and found out that every kitten we liked was a male. And that half of them were bat-poop crazy.
By that time, we had committed to finding “the right” kitten and made our way to our second stop, the SPCA, where they had dozens of kittens.
A calico, Mike’s favorite, caught my eye. We got a guest pass to go into the “Chillin Village” where she was sitting on another visitor’s lap, cuddling — a good sign from the get-go. I went up to her, and she looked up at me with those big eyes and let me pet her and pick her up, and I knew she was my choice. Mike agreed.
We officially adopted her Friday, but left her at the SPCA so she could get spayed over the weekend. We went to pick her up Monday (after buying all her supplies and talking about 57 name options). Before taking her home, a volunteer told us a little more about her story.
The kitten, whose official name is Grande Caramel Latte, was brought into the SPCA on Aug. 18 when she was about five weeks old. She had some injuries and the SPCA thought she may have been hit by a car. The poor thing now has some vision problems, but her other wounds have healed, and the doctors described her as friendly, healthy and doing well despite whatever happened had to her.
Honestly, it was a bit aggravating for us that they didn’t tell us anything on Friday, before we decided on her, adopted her and signed all the paperwork. But, in the end, I knew we were meant to give Latte a good, safe home. Although her ride to Mike’s apartment in the carrier was traumatic — she tried to chew through the metal gate— she’s adjusted extremely well. She’s finding her way around, is playing and cuddling, and using her litter box like a pro.
She is truly the kind of kitten I’ve always wanted. Although I read some articles online about kittens who hide when they come home because they are scared of their people, Latte was the complete opposite. She bounded out of her carrier and onto my lap when we arrived at the apartment. She follows us around and meows when she’s lonely.
She’s also slept and studied with Mike.
A found the way to the top of her scratch post.
And celebrated her homecoming with two grande caramel lattes. Well, we celebrated, and she napped.
We love her a whole latte already.