Hubby and I had decided, it was time for us to adopt a cat from a cat rescue. I had started doing my research and looked at a cat rescue website. I contacted the rescue by phone and they let me know what the procedures were. I was to make a list of the cats we wanted to meet. And then the rescue would give me the contact information of the people fostering those cats so that hubby and I could arrange to meet the cat.
The first cat we met was in a college student’s apartment downtown. I was pretty shocked how small, dark, and dirty the apartment was. I felt sorry for the cat which had so little space to roam around and no windows to look out of. The college student had decided to foster a cat because she missed her cats back home. The food she was feeding the cat was the cheapest she could afford. Yeah, I confess to judging her for that. I didn’t think the college student should’ve been able to foster a cat in such an environment just because she missed having one around.
The college student told me the cat was devastated because her previous (and original) owner had given her up because his fiance was allergic to cats. The cat had been with the owner since kittenhood. I felt really sorry for the cat. I just can’t understand people who think so little of abandoning their animal. If it had been me, I wouldn’t have considered dating someone that wouldn’t let me keep my animal. The cat seemed depressed but was connecting with me a little. I wanted to take her out of that dark, dingy little apartment and give her love until her little heart opened up again. I wanted her to be able to run down our hallways and nap in the sun by our windows. I wanted to cuddle her and let her know she was loved. But she didn’t connect with hubby which was so disappointing for me. We had agreed that the cat had to connect with both of us. In the end I had to sigh and let her go. I wished her well in my mind and we went to visit another cat. I still haven’t forgotten her and hope she’s well wherever she is.
The next cat we visited was being fostered in a house with two other cats who were bullying her. The person fostering was another college student but this one was out of the country! Yeah I judged her too. Talk about irresponsible. In her place, her parents were taking care of the cat we wanted to meet. The parents had put the poor bullied cat into the cat carrier 30 minutes before we were due to arrive. They just wanted the foster cat gone. As you can imagine the cat was feeling stressed. It has been cramped into the not large enough cat carrier for 30 minutes. How were we supposed to meet the cat in a cat carrier? I asked the parents to let the cat out which they did. The other two cats came around and started pushing her around. Our attempts to connect with the cat weren’t possible because of the situation. The cat was trying to protect itself after being cooped up in a cat carrier. The parents said we could just take the cat. “What if we don’t get along?” I asked. “You can just bring her back.” the parents said. That would’ve been very disruptive for the poor cat even though it was being bullied by the other two cats. I wasn’t impressed with the parents. Hubby and I left in disgust.
I was feeling quite discouraged by then and mad at the way these rescue cats were being fostered. I said to hubby, “That’s it, let’s go to Petsmart.” He asked me if I was sure and I said yes. So we dragged ourselves over to Petsmart which also works with cat rescues to get them adoped out. We were allowed into the adoption area. Hubby was immediately taken with a tortie cat who was being grumpy with him. I was looking at the cats still in their cages. There was one really beautiful black fluffy cat. He was walking back and forth in his cage, rubbing himself against the metal bars and he would stop as he got shocked by static electricity. Then he would start walking again. And I said “Oh let him out please.” I looked at the chart by his cage. His name was Guinness and he was six years old. The description said “very affectionate guy.” But the word guy was smudged a little and hubby thought it said “very affectionate gay.” I was kind of incredulous at that. “No silly, it says very affectionate guy! Not gay!”
Guinness came out of his cage and immediately came to me and rubbed on my legs. I petted his silky soft fur happily. Then he walked over to hubby and rubbed on his legs. He continued going between me and hubby, making figure eights around us. I was smitten. Hubby agreed he really liked Guinness too. His health records were in order. So we filled out the paperwork to take him home. The cat rescue told us someone would interview us by phone and if we passed the interview then we could pick him up and take him home. We found out that Guinness’ owner had been an elderly lady who had fallen ill. She hadn’t been able to continue taking care of him and her children didn’t want him.
After our interview about a week later we were cleared to take him home. When we came to pick him up he was snuggled with two kittens whom he seemed to be protecting. He didn’t want to go. I can’t blame him. He was leaving his friends and going to be the only cat in our home. The first night he was with us he howled almost all night. Hubby and I barely got any sleep and I asked him if we had made a mistake. But I think he was lonely. We were still strangers to him. Despite having to adjust to a new environment, he had the best manners of any cat I’ve ever known. It was wintertime so we had one of those fake mink feel blankets on the bed. He was sitting on the floor looking up at me as I sat on the bed. He had a questioning look on his face. So I said ” Guinness you want to get up on the bed?” He meowed as if to say, “I’m allowed on there?” I patted the bed. “Come on up.” He jumped up on the bed. And when he felt the texture of the blanket he laid on his back and was rolling around from side to side, purring in pleasure. It was the cutest thing I ever saw.
After that first night Guinness proved what a great cat he was. He bonded with hubby and with me he had a very close connection. I called him my bodyguard or shadow as he followed me from room to room. He would crawl into my lap and fall asleep for hours if I didn’t move. He also loved to be held and carried. When we carried him he would purr and sit in our arms. My mom loved to look out on the garden and when she did that she usually held Guinness in her lap.
My mom & Guinness watching “tv”
Sadly Guinness got cancer. He developed a bump on his side which was small at first. The vet did a biopsy and the prognosis wasn’t good. We had the option of giving him all the medications and chemotherapy. But we thought it would put him through too much stress and really decrease his quality of life.
Towards the end he was only eating when we would put food in front of him. I think he was holding on for me because I wasn’t ready to let him go. I was in denial. I thought there was a chance he could get better. But finally our vet helped me to see that he wasn’t going to get better and I had to let him go. It was so hard to let him go. We put him to sleep in January of 2017 and we buried him in one of his favourite blankets our backyard under a bush. We put some small boulders on top so he wouldn’t be disturbed. I still miss him everyday. But I know he’s still with us. In the first two months after he passed he visited us constantly. He kept setting off a touch lamp and a sensor light by the stairs when no one was around. I think he did that to reassure us he was with us in spirit. He hasn’t been back to visit as often but he still comes by every now and then to let us know he’s still around. He’s our angel cat now. A guardian of sorts. I’ll always miss him and love him.cat