Seriously, folks, we never intended to own five cats! I mean, I remember a lady who lived on (or near) our street when I was a very young child who had what seemed like hundreds of cats roaming around her house and property (and the neighborhood). In fact, she had so many cats that they took over the house and she slept outside. I kid you not. So, yeah, The Crazy Cat Lady I did not aspire to be! Like life, though, it just sorta happened (the five cat thing, not the crazy part). And here is how.
After Clyde passed away, we waited a bit more than six months to adopt Pete and Lily. Even then, this wasn't necessarily planned. While we were on vacation in California, I remember talking a bit about whether the time was right with a few friends. More than one said, "Yeah, you'll have them soon". Mr. B quipped, "Probably by the end of the first week we're home".
In fairness to MOI, it wasn't that fast (but close). I was out the weekend after we got home running around taking care of errands and such. I went to this huge outdoor mall (Brier Creek) to get a few things and, oh boy howdy, there were cat and kitten adoptions going on at the Petsmart! I went to the Hallmark store next door and then to Michael's on the other side. I kept telling myself, "Don't go in, don't go in, don't go in". But, hey, who was I fooling? I was ready. So, in I went and within a few moments had been introduced to Pete and Lily, as well as their foster mom Christy and other folks from Hobbes House. There were many other kittens and cat there but I was drawn to them because a) they were right up front b) they were absolutely adorable c) they were siblings and d) they were the last of the litter (their two brothers and one sister having already been adopted). Christy shared a lot of information with me about them; where they'd come from (a storm drain in Fuquay-Varina), that she'd bottle fed them, that Lily (she called her Velma) was her particular favorite, that Pete (then named Scooby) was little pissy (somethings have not changed), and that she'd REALLY love it if they "went home" (Hobbes House lingo) together. I told them I had to talk to Mr. B about it and left. BTW, now that I've done the fostering/pet adoption drill myself, I know it is highly unusual for someone who leaves without filling out an application right then and there to ever surface again. Believe me, I learned this!
Well, most of this tale y'all already know. It's just sorta fun recalling it understanding both sides of the coin; prospective new family and Hobbes House/foster parents.
Like, for instance, I got grilled up one side down the other regarding my statement on their application that I might let them outside but only if they were leashed or supervised. Bad thing to say (again, I know NOW) to an organization that strongly believes no cat should ever be outside, especially not ones who have been rescued/a lot of money/time and effort has been spent on them to turn them into social, happy, INDOOR kitties. I mean, I think they are more hard over on this than they are the whole declawing thing (another story). But, they don't come out and say that when you are expressing interest in a cat or kitten; they wait for you to hang yourself by putting it on your application. As a matter of fact, if a person indicates that they intend to make the cat an indoor/outoor, it is cause for instant rejection. I agree with this stance 90% of the time but sometimes what it may come down to for a poor cat that's been fostered for several years (and its foster mom or dad) that it might just have a better life living in and out of doors with a loving family than locked up in a bedroom or confined to a cage every weekend.
Obviously, though, we prevailed with the application (funny, I later found out that Christy lets her own personal cats outside supervised!) and were approved to adopt Pete and Lily. We went to get them on November 15th. I swear to God, I thought Christy was going to have an emotional melt down when she handed Lily over to me.
Pete and Lily the day we brought them home
Probably because of this; I felt so sorry for her (she'd BEGGED her husband Brian to let her keep Lily but he refused since they already had four of their own + a ton of fosters in various stages of socialization) so I promised her I'd keep in touch, send pictures, give her updates on their status, etc. Which I did. And, because of this, that led to the next part of the story, fostering The Greek Gang.
The picture of The Crazy Cat Lady is actually a picture of an action figure; you know, sorta like GI Joe or Barbie or something.
Don't anyone get ideas about what I might need for Christmas :-)