For National Cat Day, I would like to share how my family and I adopted two shelter cats.
Four years ago, I decided that I really wanted a cat. I was feeling really down and lonely in Canada. I didn’t want to spend money to see a counsellor every week so I decided I needed a furry companion to keep me sane. I persuaded my brother that we should get one. We meant to adopt one kitten but when we saw an ad from Melina’s Rescue for two kittens that had to be adopted together, we fell in love with them. Melina takes in homeless cats into her own home and ensures that they become healthy. Before giving the cat(s) to new families, she makes sure that her fur babies will be safe and loved.
On 16 October 2012, we adopted the two ca. 10 week-old kittens: a female grey-brown tabby and a male black/grey/brown cat. We found out that many wanted the female tabby but not the male black cat. These two kittens were from two different litters yet shared the same background (both mothers died and their siblings became sick. They’re the only survivors). When we first took them in, they were still fairly sick. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before they grew to be stronger and healthier.
I had heard that shelter cats are generally more affectionate. This was certainly the case for our kittens, especially the younger male black cat. I named the black cat Calon, which is Welsh for ‘heart’, as he had a more noticeable small white heart below his tummy as a kitten. Anyone who thinks cats are selfish creatures have not met sweet Calon. He would come to me when I cried and keep me company. Some think that cats are selfish because they only want to be petted, but I have found petting to be very therapeutic. It’s an act that gives back.
Unfortunately, while it would be beneficial for everyone to adopt a pet to improve mental health, many landlords or building managers discourage renter from having pets. As it can be very difficult to find a place that allows pets and costly to keep them, we had to make a very difficult decision: our cats would need a new family. I was devastated to say goodbye to our female cat but at the same time, she is now living with a new ‘mother’ who loves her dearly. Someday, I hope, I will be able to see her again. As parting with one cat was traumatic enough, I told my family that I could not bear to be parted from Calon – even though I am all the way in England. We have been very fortunate to still have Calon. I hope that wherever our family moves next, Calon will never have to be separated from us.