My husband and I adopted our very first cat in 2016. We were so excited, but a little overwhelmed, having only ever owned dogs. Growing up, I adored cats but never had the privilege of having an indoor cat as a part of my family. I recall bonding with outdoor cats. I'd feed them, sit outside and pet them and inform them that they were the very best babies in the whole world.
Our First Cat
After many conversations, and without having any pets in our household, my husband and I went to a no-kill cat rescue shelter, just to look. (How many of you cat lovers are shaking your heads at us right now... only to look, really?)
Anyway, we fell in love with a cat there. We had to take him home. We weren't exactly prepared. However, the rescue shelter helped us by giving us a thorough overview of how to take care of our new baby. We had to promise not to declaw him (so thankful for this information as we were simply ignorant at that time), we learned to switch his food gradually, and we were given a rundown on keeping him healthy, when to see a vet, and who to speak to if we had any concerns.
Pro Tip on cat rescue - We loved the idea of the shelter we went to because they go out of their way to give every cat a fighting chance. Even if other shelters may not try to work on behavioral issues, or medical ailments, the place we adopted our first cat from, always does and will. Plus, all of the cats have foster homes, meaning they don't have to stay in cages. Their empathy and concern for their cats made them stand out to us as a clear choice in adopting. We have adopted all of our cats except one from the same rescue shelter. The last cat we adopted elsewhere, simply because he was in such pitiful shape that we couldn't stand not helping him.
With the information we received from the rescue shelter, off we went with our new son. I remember experiencing some shakiness and jitters. Energy seemed to be bouncing all over the place and I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have this source of joy and love clinging to my side. We took our new cat with us to a pet store, which amused the employees. I recall the comment, "We typically don't have cats visit us here." Of course, we knew our cat. He was cool. He could handle being there. He showed no signs of nervousness, just curiosity. He was our destined soulmate, right away. (To be fair, not all cats like public outings and we have to play it by ear based on each cat. We tried to take Sebastian to a pet store once and he was not excited, nor was he having it, so we drove back home.) We got our new cat the healthiest food we could find, bought him toys, a litter box, and pretty much cleaned out the cat aisle. When we finally made it home, we placed our cat son in the middle of our living room floor, looked at each other, and asked, "What now?"
Well, we became addicted to all things cat-related and kept on adopting. Our present team of 4 cats has seen us go through quite a bit in the last 4 years. Their unconditional love, support, and silly temperaments make us so grateful to have them by our sides. We like to think they've made us tremendously better human beings. More to come on that, but in reality, we wouldn't be the people we are without having such bonded and purrfect kids to call our own.
Don't worry about our original lack of cat insight. We have learned as much as we could, questioned our vet as much as humanly possible, as quickly as possible, all to ensure the love, health, and happiness of our cat kiddos. With this blog, I hope to share lessons learned or things to watch out for first-time cat adopters. Also, I want to simply share joyful moments and enjoyable time with our cats. We strive every day to make their lives as purrfect as we possibly can. They mean the world to us and we will never let them forget it!
Below is a bit more information regarding each cat, so you can see how they've grown over the years and what they looked like when we first adopted them.