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Posted 02-06-2008 at 01:59 AM by One for Sorrow

Okay, so a while back I was on the phone with my best friend, and she started telling me about the cat she had recently acquired. Being the sentimental fool that I am, and missing my own pets back in Oregon terribly, I went to Craigslist and started perusing the local "pets" section. Big mistake. Obviously.

If you ever want to lose faith in humanity, you don't really need to look as far as genocide, abysmal health care or poverty. Just take a look in your local animal shelter. North Carolina has one of the higher kill rates, and often perfectly healthy, adoptable animals have only a couple of days to go from available to gassed. It sucks. We suck. It's a problem we created, by not getting our pets fixed and because people get the cute doggies in the window and then decide they're too much trouble.

I read about some country in Europe (sorry, it was a while ago) that mandated all pet owners get their dogs and cats spayed or neutered, but I guess with certain exceptions. It worked fairly effectively, as there was a bit of an uproar over the government taking people's right to choose what to do with their pets, and concerns of higher costs and long waiting lists to get a pet. Well, so what? If it's going to cost you and you'll have to wait for one, chances are you really want one and it's likelier that you'll be capable of caring for it. There should be a demand for them, rather than such a surplus that we have to kill them off by the millions each year. </rant off>

So anyway, ever since that day a few weeks back when I stupidly started looking on Craigslist, I've been obsessively checking it. Brian and I had discussed getting a dog. He's definitely a dog person--he says he doesn't hate them, but insists that cats will bite for no reason and claw your eyes out while you sleep.

I did my best to ignore the cats as I surfed Petfinder.com and all the individual animal shelter websites in search of the perfect dog for us. It's a strange sort of torture. The kill shelters are quite happy to play on emotions with, "MUST BE ADOPTED BY TUESDAY!" leaving me feeling quite ill knowing what the "or else" is. The problem, of course, is how do you go to the shelter without bringing them all home with you? Especially on their last day? At the nearest shelter costs only $20 to spring an animal, plus the cost of a rabies vaccine. You can't save them all, but how do you choose?

Harnett county animal control had several sweet, sad looking dogs, as always, listed on their website, but I wasn't sure if any of them were the dog for us. They also had one picture of an adorable gray and buff female kitty, described as about one year old and super friendly with people, other cats, and dogs. She had been picked up as a stray and they didn't know much about her. I almost went down there yesterday, when I was off from school, to look at the dogs and bring home the cat. I am definitely a cat person, and if they only had one, I wouldn't have to choose from among them. Let's face it, there is less variation among cats, and it's not as easy to rule them out like you can with dogs because they're a notoriously vicious breed or whatever. But, for several lame reasons, not limited to the fact that I suck, I thought Brian might kill me (he was at school all day and wouldn't be able to make it there before the shelter closed) and that the shelter had a few other young cats with no pictures posted, so I would have to choose, after all. They also listed several litters of puppies that are scheduled to die tomorrow, as well. It takes a stronger person than I to go see them and then walk away without one or all of them on their last day. Plus, this shelter kind of scares me, because so many of them are brought in as strays and aren't tested for any diseases. I'm terrified of adopting a dog or puppy and finding out that it has heartworms or parvo, and not being able to afford to treat it. I'd almost rather go to one where they force you to spay or neuter the pet, and check it out for you before-hand, even though the initial cost may seem greater. So, I didn't go, knowing that I had school all day today and wouldn't be able to go today, either.

So, I didn't go adopt that gorgeous gray kitty yesterday, and started regretting it just about as soon as it was too late to make it to the shelter in time. Did I mention that I suck? I finally got around to checking my email later that afternoon, and found that Brian had sent me an email saying that he wouldn't mind "if something else was there" when he got home. And so I kicked myself for not checking that earlier.

Knowing that Brian gets out of school at noon on Tuesdays, I started begging (well, nagging) him to go get that cat for me. He looked at me quizzically and said, "I love you though" in his way that clearly means, "hush, crazy woman." I didn't expect him to actually go and get her for me, but was relieved when I checked the website this afternoon and she was no longer listed. I figured I could rest easy, knowing that she'd been rescued, and decided that I would most definitely bring my cat home from Oregon to put my own madness at rest.

I wasn't really expecting to see a gray furball on my slightly freaked fiance's lap when I walked in the door tonight, but she immediately leaped off him and ran toward me. I thought she was running away, but instead she came right up to me, purring full blast. She's even more friendly than I could have imagined. She greeted me, someone she's never met before, at the door with that winning purr. She's a keeper.

Hah. And so is Brian, clearly.

He showed me his battle wounds from his drive to the vet, where she had crawled all over him in terror. (Two very tiny claw marks--don't let him fool you. But I assured him he was very brave).

She spent the first few hours exploring every room she could sneak into and getting into everything before settling down for every feline's favorite pastime. A few minutes ago she was asleep on my lap, and I had almost forgotten how good that feels. As of right now she has migrated to my feet, curled up in a little fuzzy ball.

I don't know if she is litter trained yet, and I'm a little wary of what I'll find tomorrow. But, I am so happy to have a cat in my life again.

As usual, I'm long-winded with nothing to say. I'll try to get a picture of her soon. I still need a name for her, too. I asked Brian, and he said, "I dunno...Pain-in-the-Ass?" (Grr.) So, I've been calling her Pita, but any real suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
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  1. Old Comment
    BrotherMan's Avatar
    Post pics or retract! :squee:

    I've been itching to get an animal companion. As much as I like the idea of getting a dog I think a cat is more my lifestyle - as in, it's more likely to be more independent seeing as I'm not home for 10 hours out of the day (though, my roommate is). The thing that's acting as a big blockade now, though, is the amount of dangling wires and assorted cables in certain rooms. And the leather furniture.
    Posted 02-07-2008 at 02:55 PM by BrotherMan BrotherMan is offline
  2. Old Comment
    inland wave's Avatar
    Pita--cute! Pets are wonderful, enjoy your new friend, Jess.
    Inland Wave.
    Posted 02-24-2008 at 07:32 PM by inland wave inland wave is offline

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