Rewind about a year ago.
It was just a regular evening in the Shepherd household. Something came up that led us to the discussion of getting a cat.
I've always loved cats. In fact, I remember always saying;
"when I grow up, I want to be a crazy cat lady"
First, there was Casper, a big, puffy gray Persian. He left us in a tragic way, I'll never forget my mom holding him as he slipped away after being hit by a car.
Then there was Sammy, another big and puffy cat, only she was a Ragdoll.
both had their attitudes and quirks but I loved them so much. Then, there was Cougar. I adopted him from a horse ranch I worked at when I was 13. I ADORED this cat, almost too much. I was that person, running around behind him saying, "let me love youuuu!"
Okay, back to a year ago. I'm with Riley, the man who's known me since I was 12 years old. Who witnessed life with all of these cats and my immeasurable amount of love for them. And we start talking about getting a cat, eventually. Well, he has the audacity to say that we're NEVER going to get a cat. That he "hates cats". (WHO HATES CATS???!!) Imagine my surprise and disbelief! I was speechless. How could someone who has witnessed this passion and love for something, tell me NO, we can NEVER get a cat?!
I didn't know what to say, all I kept thinking was, and I agreed to MARRY this man?? How can I marry someone who hates cats? (yes, this is how strong my love for cats is)
I needed a break. I needed to cool down, so I went for a drive.
After being on the road for a few minutes, I realize, hey, maybe I shouldn't be driving when I'm bawling my eyes out. So I pulled into a parking lot. Remember, this is all happening at night. I sat in my car just, crying. Confused, scared and hurt.
Suddenly, I see bright headlights right behind me. And then a police officer taps on my window signaling for me to roll it down. I was terrified! And not to mention embarrassed that I'm sitting alone in my car crying like a baby. The police officer asks what I'm doing, why am I parked here, and a million other questions. I complied. I asked if I was trespassing or doing something wrong and he said, "well, you are the only car sitting in a bank parking lot, it looked a little suspicious". Talk about not aware of my surroundings!
Then he asked what caused the fight.
I kept trying to tell him it was nothing, it's stupid, and yes, I do feel safe at home, I just needed to cool off. But he persisted. I told him I was embarrassed to tell him, but he reassured me he'd understand.
I told him; "we got in a fight because he won't let me get a cat"
He giggled a little along with me and told me that he does understand, that his wife wants a cat too, but he doesn't like them, just like Riley and I.
After a minute or two of trying to regain any pride I had left, another cop walks up, it's a woman. She says; "here, maybe this chocolate will help make you feel better."
a few weeks later. I come home from work and I see a litter box, food and water bowls...All the works for a kitty. I tore open the front door to see Riley sitting there with the proudest look on his face. I screamed and cried and bear hugged him all while yelling, "is this real?? Don't joke with me! Don't you dare joke! Seriously??"
He wasn't joking.
Then a couple weekends later, I see that an adoption agency is going to be at a PetSmart in a town like 2 hours away. I actually went to see a specific kitten, Josiah. He was gray, just like Cougar. But when I got there, I made eye contact with another kitty. A Siamese/Snowshoe mix. He was gorgeous. The moment I picked him up he nuzzled right up on my shoulder and started purring. He was the one. But, as I was trying to get a hold of Riley, more people were filing in. I literally had to fight for him, like a black Friday sale or something.
Navi' has been a miracle. He is the exact, most perfect kitty I could have ever imagined. And I bet if you ask Riley today, whether he likes cats, his answer would be different from what it was a year ago ;)
Now, fast forward to a few weeks ago. Riley saw this little Siamese-looking kitty running around outside near our building. He was a stray. Now, I don't remember what exactly was said, all I know was it was enough ammunition I needed that if I caught the kitty, I knew he'd let me keep it. I don't think he realized what was happening. For the last few weeks I ran all over the base looking for him, leaving tuna out, and I even paired up with an incredible lady, Carolyn and was able to use a couple of her safe cat traps. Days and days came and went, and I started feeling discouraged. I felt like this was going to be the ONLY other cat Riley was going to let me get, and if I couldn't catch him, all hope was lost for me to get another kitty.
Everyone on base chipped in to help! It was the most amazing thing, I got texts and emails, and even picture messages from people saying they saw him. On Thursday April 10th, 2014 I got a text. It read, "you caught your kitty!!!!" I couldn't believe it!! I was just about to throw in the towel!
So I bring him up to the house, create his own space in the guest bathroom, and give him food and water. He's terrified, and probably confused. I know he's a stray, and possibly a little feral but being that he's only about 6 months old, he has a better chance of being domesticated. I'm ready and willing to do whatever it takes.
I've been researching, and I have found some really good resources and advice.
Here are a few of the websites:
Something else I did, was I created a mix CD of relaxing music for scared cats. Yes, it's actually a thing :) I play it on repeat in his room.
In the evenings I sit with him. Just, reading, or blogging, or just to sit. To help him know that I don't want to hurt him.
Tomorrow I have his first vet appointment where I will find out if he is a boy or a girl, whether hes been spayed or neutered, has had any shots etc.
From there I can get back to my training, and helping him warm up to his new family.