I left home at 18 with my recently adopted adult female cat, Milo, to move in with my boyfriend. Free at last; I can get as many cats as I please! And as a self proclaimed crazy cat lady, when my coworker told me her cat was having kittens, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to get a tiny fluff ball. I had the pick of the litter, and I chose a fluffy grey boy to take home in another 8 weeks once he’s weened. I brought him home to Milo, and they were insperable from day one; Milo took him in as hers. He nuzzled into her belly and she would groom him like a mama. A few weeks later I got word from a friend of a friend that she had chosen a female tabby from the same litter and she couldn’t keep her due to a move she had coming up. I agreed to take this other kitten, Amelia, in for a few weeks until her owner could take her back. Weeks turned to months and Amelia was coming up on her half birthday and she needed to be spayed and vaccinated, so I told Amelia’s owner that I could keep her if there wasn’t a stable home for her. So, now I had three cats, officially.
A few months later I found myself in my own predicament; needing to move with no notice and only being able to bring one cat. Since my first two were bonded, and the grey male was bonded to my -now- ex-boyfriend.. and by this time Amelia and I had bonded beyond what I had expected. She was now attached to my hip. We decided I would choose Amelia, and Milo and Amelia’s brother would stay together, right where they are. I moved her into my family home and since then I’ve brought her along through 8 moves in 9 years. I keep her favorite blankets and toys, and try to feed her on schedule, wherever we are, so she has some consistency. Finding a vet that I trusted was sometimes difficult but we persevered and I now have a roster of trustworthy docs.
Amelia has gotten herself stuck in walls, having to cut the drywall to get her out. She’s gotten out of the house once, and luckily came right back the next night. She’s developed chin acne in her older years so her food and water dishes need to be cleaned daily. She’s a ‘people cat’ I like to say, so she doesn’t like to be left alone for long like many other cats. She’s also long haired so daily brushing is essential to keeping her fur from getting matted.
It’s been 15 years now of trying to take care of cats, and I would recommend two things to do from day one: getting your pet microchipped, in case they ever get out of the house on their own. I would also recommend brushing their teeth, especially starting as a kitten, to prevent dental problems before they arise.
Amelia will be 10 this year, and my love for her truly grows every day. I see our story as a sort of destiny, we needed each other, even if I didn’t choose her first.
Cat stewardship is a commitment that I gladly choose everyday.
Story by Calli Edwards