Yesterday afternoon, I received a series of frantic texts from my daughter, who is still living at home while attending college to become a veterinarian. They went something like this:
“(Attached Photo of Elderly Cat in Shelter) Can I bring him home?”
I replied, “No, but he’s cute!”
“But he’s 10 and he’s been here a LONG time. He really needs a home.”
“Your timing really couldn’t be worse. I can’t.”
“Can I put an adoption hold on him?”
“I can’t agree to that. Your dad is pretty set against the idea, we would need to discuss it. I don’t want to drop this on him.”
“But, he’s perfect!”
“You can bring it up at dinner tonight, ok?”
There was a long pause. I assumed that she was driving home but the next text I got read:
“Please don’t kill me.”
I was furious until the minute she got in the door carrying the box and said it again, “Please don’t kill me.” I blame my friends for this. For years they have told my children, “It’s better to ask forgiveness, than permission.” As a result, both of my kids are master manipulators. Maybe they should both consider careers in politics.
I really should have known better than to expect that she wouldn’t do this at some point. She’s got the biggest heart. She’s a total sucker for a cute face and my husband warned me a long time ago that this would happen sooner or later. She loves cats. She loves my dogs too, but cats are really more her style. After our family cat passed when she was 11, she has been asking us to adopt another cat and my husband and I felt that we sucked at being cat owners, so we rejected her schemes and plots. I should be glad that she made it 8 years before bringing one home without permission and I should be even more glad that she adopted a cat from a kill shelter, because I have no doubt that she saved his life. Now, I know that she learned ONE thing from her parents. Puppies and kittens come from reputable breeders (if your breeder doesn’t do testing for genetic disease on the parents of your future pet, you’re not seeing someone reputable). When we don’t want to deal with puppy insanity, we rescue because rescuing saves lives.
It took me a while to calm down and even then it was only after my daughter made it clear that she adopted Porter because she believed he was going to be euthanized that day if she didn’t. I made my son take Porter to his room, since my daughter already has two budgies in hers and I didn’t want to deal with the potential drama of a cat and her birds cramped up together while she was at class and Porter had just gotten his rabies shot and I didn’t want him near Jazz, who hasn’t been vaccinated at all in nearly two years because, cancer. So, to the basement he went. I didn’t even go meet him until after dinner.
I don’t blame Porter though. He’s innocent in all of this. In fact, he’s the only being in this whole scenario that carries no blame. The shelter staff, MAY have fed my daughter a line of bull, or she MAY have lied to me about his sob story. I’m choosing to blame the shelter staff, because it makes me feel a little better about it. My daughter rarely lies, unless she believes she has an excellent reason and saving the life of a cat would be a good reason in her mind. People don’t adopt 10 year old cats from shelters. His odds of making it out of there without her were practically zero. So, whether the story is true or not is six of one, half dozen of the other. Eventually, the truth will come out, it always does.
What I know for sure about Porter: He’s an elderly cat. He was recently vaccinated. The shelter he was at did surgery on his shoulder for an abscess and he had a bad tooth. His shoulder has healed completely. He is having a hard time eating dry food around the missing tooth. I have to soften his kibble for him. Once I do, he eats as though he will never see food again (I believe that Porter may be part Labrador).
He hasn’t done anything particularly exciting yet, he hasn’t made himself stand out in some way like most of my pets do, except for this one little thing. It’s tiny really, no big deal at all. I fell in love with him the first time I saw his face.
Welcome home, Porter. No more cold animal shelter floors for you, no more strangers pressing their faces in on you. You have a warm place to spend the rest of your days and you are loved.