Before graduating college, my fiancé and I talked about adopting a cat. It was one of those “someday” things we’d think about when we needed a distraction from our studies. It was a daydream. Little did I know that a mere month after graduation, I would bring a furry friend into our apartment.
I’d always wanted a cat. My mom had cats when I was young, but they passed before I was even in kindergarten. In middle school, we owned a couple mice and then a few rats. Cats were strictly prohibited in my college dorms and the apartments I lived in while working toward my bachelor’s. That didn’t stop me from wanting one, though. Looking back, it makes sense that I would jump at the chance to own my own feline.
In June of 2015, I started looking. One of my housemates adopted her own cat a few months back, and I suppose I was a little jealous that she had a pet and I didn’t. I went to a nearby shelter two or three times to look at the available cats. One cat was a big, fluffy tabby that hid under the chair in the meet-and-greet room and grumbled until I left him alone. Another was a sleek black cat who was more interested in the windows than in me. But I finally found him. My cat. White with a few black splotches of fur, pink-and-black toe beans, and light green eyes. He let out the softest meows and rubbed against my legs. And he looked at me like he knew I wanted to take him home.
He was a bit of a handful for the shelter volunteers, so I was expecting a rambunctious cat when I brought him home. When I let him out of his cage to explore the bedroom, though, he went straight to the closet and hid behind my shoes. It took him a few days to come out and be comfortable with us, but it was worth the wait. I named him Finn.
I’m not sure adopting Finn changed my life, but it certainly changed his. Prior to being at the shelter, he’d been a street kitty—a “trash cat,” as we called him. He tipped over our trash cans and fished out things like plastic bags and used Q-tips to play with. (Ew.) After being brought to the shelter, he stayed there for a few weeks. No one had shown interest in him. And then he won me over with his gentle meow and cute cat face. He eventually grew to cuddle with me while I read, lick my hands, sit on my lap while I play video games, and follow me around the house. In exchange for food, he gives me affection. It’s one of the best trades I’ve ever been a part of.
Anyway, all this to say that shelter animals deserve a chance. They deserve your love. So much good comes from adopting an animal from a shelter: the shelter can stay open, the animal gets a loving home, and you get a great friend. I’m so happy that I made the decision to adopt Finn. He’s been the best pet I could ask for and I’m thrilled at the idea that he’ll be with me for the next ten years. And I like to think that he loves me for it.