I have a cat.
I've never had a real pet before in my life. By "real pet" I'm referring to anything that lives outside of a cage or a bowl. My mom is nervous around cats and dogs, and so we never had them... and truthfully, I was pretty nervous around cats and dogs, too. Maybe I imagined having a pet in the future, but not really... I can maybe remember dreaming that I'd one day have a dog, but as I moved into my twenties it wasn't part of my future plans. Pets just seemed like too much work, and they represented permanence. In the past 8 years I've had 6 different homes... permanence isn't something I've felt for a while.
But the more serious I got with my girlfriend, the more I realized that I'd likely have a cat one day. My GF has had cats for her whole life, and so I accepted that a cat would be in my future... I just didn't expect to have a cat so soon. That's how life goes though... here's how it went down...
Our friend L. fosters cats through the Annex Cat Rescue, so she'll take care of a cat for a few months and help find it a "forever home", even involved in the screening process of the potential new owner. Back in November, L. started fostering a cat named Spoon. My GF went to visit the l'il guy and fell in love. She gushed about Spoon when she came home that day, but that's where the story could've stopped.
Two months later, L. posts a photo of Spoon on Facebook and says she'd love to find him a forever home, and would prefer that he go to a friend. K. (my GF) was so hoping our home could be Spoon's forever home, but I needed some time to consider this. I wasn't at all opposed to having a cat... I wasn't even concerned or nervous... just apprehensive, perhaps. I needed to ask a lot of questions - weird ones! "Will I be surprised a lot, i.e. will the cat jump onto random places, frightening me?" "How much will it cost?" "Are cats inherently evil?" And so on, and so forth... After a lot of discussion, and a lot of patience on K's part, we decided the next step was to meet the cat.
When I met Spoon, I had to hold him. He's just got such a great demeanor: cuddly, mellow, sweet, friendly, etc. We cuddled with him, asked L. lots of questions, and then afterwards, when we got into the car, I told K. we should go for it.
That evening, K. called the Annex Cat Rescue and had a screening, wherein she answered some questions, and then was approved on the spot for adoption! The next day we went to Petsmart and bought everything we could possibly need to care for a cat (including a few special things to enhance Spoon's life). A week after our initial meeting with Spoon, we came back to L's place, armed with our new collapsible cat carrier, allowed L. to say her goodbyes, and then brought Spoon into the car to take him to his forever home.
We've now had Spoon for almost two full weeks. It seems like he's been here forever... in a good way. I thought I'd need to sleep with the bedroom door closed for a few weeks before I was comfortable with him having the run of the apartment... turns out it only took one night! I love having Spoon around. He's so funny and cuddly and sweet and I couldn't believe how quickly I fell in love with him. I frequently find myself lying on the floor petting him... I've brushed him for 10 minutes before (he loves it!)... I love knowing that he sleeps near me (or on me)... and I love how happy K. is to have a cat.
So... I'm a pet owner, and there's no going back now.