I’ve mentioned before that I graduated, got a cat and settled down to live my life in an office. I never intended on getting Sam, she decided she was going to live with me and suddenly she was there, hogging my pillows.

I had lived in my apartment for all of two weeks when it hit me how lonely it was there. I was finally free of messy, disgusting, howling sex fiend roomates; ready to live life on my own…and I never realized how quiet a house can be.

I was watching tv and saw those terrible commericals for animal abuse with the really sad songs playing in the background and I was hooked. A pet! Of course!

Now that I’m an adult I can get any pet I want, even the ones my mom said no to when I was a kid. I tried to convince my mom to let me have all kinds of animals and ended up with a hamster. Here is a list of excuses my mom gave me for why we couldn’t get any “cool” pets. Some are legit, some are pure crap:

Bird Cages get too dirty
Cat Not allowed by rental agreement
Dog Not allowed by rental agreement
Fish Had a fish tank already
Frog Little brother had an African Tree Frog
Hermit Crab Wasn’t “cool” enough to entertain me
Rabbit No “children friendly” according to mom
Rat Too “dirty”
Anything else fun NO.

I loved my hamsters – I was the kid that liked to take them for a walk and my sister was the kid who always had a cold and liked to sneeze on my hamsters.

Fact – hamsters can contract a human cold. They usually die.

Fact – my hamsters had a disturbing trend of being near my sister when she had a cold and they died a few days later.

Fact – lots of dead hamsters is NOT a positive learning experience for any child.

So I was understandably excited about getting a pet that wouldn’t be murdered by my sister and that I could come home to at night. My apartment building only allows cats, so I wasn’t given a lot of choice. Honestly, I had every intention of sifting through rescues, shelters and non-profits for months before picking the kitty of my dreams. One of my friends, Kelso was in town for the summer and she and I hightailed to the shelter to begin my search for my soul-cat.

I walked around, shunned by the many cats in the shelter. As I walked down the endless hallway, I thought my first outing to find a cat would be fruitless – which I expected – until I heard a small meow from my right. I walked over to the cage and there was the most beautiful calico I’ve ever seen, right at the cage door rubbing against it. I poked my fingers in and she let me pet her.

I was in love.

I learned that Sam had been “owned” twice before – the first time to an elderly woman who had her declawed because she would scratch during play (imagine, a kitten that scratched!). The woman didn’t like being batted at and “discouraged” Sam from doing so. Consequently, Sam is terrified of toys or batting at people. One time, I was encouraging her to play and I pulled my hand back from the toy and Sam freaked. I realized my hand was in the vague shape of a fist and Sam wouldn’t come near me for over an hour. I have only suspicions, but I think she had been hit before.

The old lady turned Sam in because she was too nocturnal and the woman “needs [her] sleep”. Or so she said on the paperwork.

Sam languished at the shelter, abandoned by the only family she ever knew. Suddenly, a new family wanted her! They were warned that she is a bit…moody and likes to hide. So she did – for five months under their bed. According to their paperwork, they tried to “bond” with her by dragging her out from under the bed a few times a week, but for some reason she never seemed to like them. So they returned her to the shelter and traded her in for a different model.

Along came me. Here was a cat that had abandonment issues, fear of being held or restrained in any way, who was terrified of anyone who reached for her and who is more prone to biting since her claws were removed. This is the cat I chose.

We get along very well. The behavior specialists were all dutifully impressed when she was laying on my lap a few hours after I introduced her to her new home. She still has her hang ups – she sleeps under the bed during the day, is terrified of being held so cat carriers or simply moving her from my lap can be issues. But overall, she’s a cool cat. I’m glad I didn’t get one that needed to be with me constantly. We like to hang out and watch House or X-files, me stretched out on the loveseat and her either on my lap or sitting next to me in the armchair. She loves to cuddle when I’m going to sleep and I’m teaching her to play without fear.

Even though she can be a huge bioch, I still love her. She’s my Bioch.

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