June is the American Humane Association’s Adopt-A-Cat Month, chosen because each year thousands of kittens are born in spring and summer. Many end up in animal shelters awaiting loving homes. People who visit animal shelters in search of the “purr-fect” cat for their household are often adopted themselves by the chosen cat – regardless of whether they [the owners] realize it at the time. Somehow cats know who would be a good match for them.
I learned this approximately four months ago when I visited Roanoke Valley SPCA (RVSPCA) in search of a cat companion. Specifically, I visited RVSPCA to meet a cat by the name of Maize, featured as Pet-of-the-Week on a local radio station’s website. The description of Maize indicated that she was a one-year old calico, “sweet and loving.” She did indeed possess all of those traits. However, she also appeared to be much more energetic than what I was looking for.
As I stood in front of Maize’s cage carefully observing her, the cage door to the left of Maize’s began to rattle back and forth, and I saw a paw trying to push through to reach out to me to get my attention. I took a few steps to the left and saw this beautiful longhaired tortoiseshell cat, named Bianca, who looked at me with very expressive eyes that I could not ignore. I asked the attendant if she could open the cage and if it would be okay for me to hold Bianca.
The attendant also asked whether I had other cats or animals at home, and I responded, “no.” The reason for the attendant’s question was that the two-year old tortoiseshell cat is so laid back, that other pets may try to take advantage of her good nature.
After sniffing my scent, Bianca licked my hand and began purring. I slowly picked her up and placed her on my shoulder. She then wrapped her front paws around my neck and purred even louder. As heavy as she was (13 lbs.), I managed to hold her for several minutes before I placed her back in the cage. She lay on her back and I stroked her belly. Most cats that I have been around do not like to have their belly rubbed, and in fact, will soon become rather agitated, so I found that to be interesting, as well. She then turned on one side to be stroked, and several minutes later, she turned on the other side to be stroked.
When I requested to take the adoption paperwork home to complete, I was advised that the process was “first come first served.” The next day, I was back at the RVSPCA before the doors opened and there were several people in line ahead of me. I was sweating bullets – I wanted Bianca badly. Finally, my turn in line came and I asked if Bianca was still available for adoption. She was. I was elated beyond description.
When we arrived home, Bianca thoroughly inspected her new living quarters. Is she spoiled now? Of course. Hanging from Bianca’s black collar with rhinestones is a microchip label, a silver engraved charm with her name and phone number, and a tag from Roanoke County that makes her a legal Roanoke County (cat) citizen. So again, who adopted whom?