Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Forever Home

September 24, 2018

Ziggy came to live with us 6 years ago
He came in as a 17lb, 5 year old black cat
He is now a 20lb, 11 year old black cat and is more loved as each day goes by
His nicknames range from Ziggy Boy to Chubzilla to Count Chubbula to Zigmund Zigaby to Zigs to Zigladon
Ziggy follows Lucy around the house and sits next to her whilst she's watching TV, eating breakfast or reading
Ziggy sits on Sean while we're watching TV after Lucy has gone to bed
But he sleeps with me
Only Lucy can pick him up
Only I can brush him
And only Sean cleans his litter box
Ziggy is spoiled
And we're spoiled for having him
He completes our little family
A couple years ago, Lucy wanted nothing more than to have a little brother or sister
So much so she would get upset with me when she asked for one and I would dodge her questions
When I finally explained to her I could not have more kids, she held my face in her little hands and assured me she was ok with that as Ziggy was her brother and he was more than enough
But Lucy has always wanted more cats
And for a short time, we did indeed have two cats
Herbie lived with us for a few months
But poor old Herbert Sherbert the 3rd was not happy as a house cat
He loved us and we loved him but he loved the outdoors more
So he went to live with Uncle Michael and Neenie at the lake
Herbie is happy
We are still sad
In 2016, we started looking for a new cat
We'd go to the shelter a couple times a month in hopes of meeting the perfect cat
But then a cat bit me and I was on antibiotics twice a day for a week and scared of shelter cats for a year
We (I) finally worked up the courage to go back to the shelter
I just don't get too close to the cats
So we started looking again
But we could not find the right cat for us
In June, we were in Reading at a Family Field Day and started chatting with an agency in Wakefield which fosters and places cats
We looked at numerous pictures they had at their booth and were also directed to their website which showcased an even broader field of cats up for adoption
Lucy started to get more excited but first, we had to make sure we were all up to the task
So we had many long family conversations about cost and responsibility
I'll pay the adoption fee! Lucy declared
Honey, that can be up to $200
It's worth it Dad!
So it was agreed
We'd look for a second cat to join the family
Sean and I would cover the vet bills but Lucy would pay the adoption fee
We figured a 5-7 year old male would be best; old enough so he was out of his kitten phase and a bit more chill
A little younger than Ziggy in hopes of keeping Ziggy young
And a male because Sean said he had never had good luck with female cats
Lucy wanted a Maine Coon Cat
I wanted a Norwegian Forest Cat or a Rag Doll
Sean just wants someone else to clean the litter box
Lucy and I then spent one lazy afternoon on the website for the agency in Wakefield
And we stumbled across Andre.....a 7 year old Maine Coon cat
I emailed about him, filled out the application and we waited
But nothing happened
Yesterday, with not much to do, and Lucy frustrated because we never heard back about Andre, we took a ride to the MSPCA shelter (same place we got Zigs, same place the cat bit me) to have a look around
As we wandered through the cat room, I kept seeing this little gray and white kitty getting all kinds of love from people
Until they realized her age and then they'd walk away shaking their heads and saying it was too bad she was so old
I was standing in the corner as Lucy and Sean went from cage to cage peering in with curiosity and anticipation of finding the perfect cat to come live with is
At one point, Lucy sought out a volunteer and peppered her with questions about one cat in particular only to find out the cat was going home later in the day
Dejected, Lucy hung her little head and frowned
The volunteer, this wonderful woman called Cristeen said to Lucy let me flip through the book for you and see who else we have
Lucy perked up and we returned to the cat room while Cristeen looked for Lucy's cat mate
Then Lucy spotted the little gray and white kitty
And then Sean spotted the little gray and white kitty
Sean popped open the cage which was high up and the cat jumped into Sean's arms
Lucy melted
Sean melted
Cristeen came back into the room and found Lucy and Sean with the cat called Harley
She's not quite what you are looking for said Cristeen
Can we hear about her? asked Lucy Can you get the paper on Harley and tell us about her
Cristeen looked to me and I nodded
Harley is a 15 year old female cat
Her owner was forced to give her up when her adult son moved home with various dogs
Harley was looking for her forever home to retire in
By all accounts, she is a pretty healthy 15 year old cat and had been well taken care of until the dogs moved in
And by all accounts, our daughter had fallen in love
Sean and I exchanged glances and shoulder shrugs
Cristeen gave us time to discuss
Lucy pointed out to us that Harley only had a few years left and didn't she deserve to spend those last few years with a family who could love her and take care of her?
And Lucy assured us she would work with Ziggy (who is pretty chill) to get him to understand how much Harley needs us
Then Lucy pulled out all the stops and went straight for our heart strings:
If we take her home guys, when she does die, she'll die in a house full of love ..... isn't that the best thing for her? I don't want her to be alone......
Even Cristeen the volunteer knew Lucy had just sealed the deal
Minutes later, we were sitting with Jenny, the adoption counselor
Lucy could not contain her excitement
And Jenny and Cristeen were just as excited for both Lucy and Harley
As we completed the paperwork, Lucy kept babbling away to Jenny about how Harley deserved a forever home in her old age and assured Jenny we were just the family Harley needed
Plus, she told Jenny, I'm paying to adopt Harley so that should tell you how important this is to me
And then Jenny, bless her heart, did the most wonderful thing anyone could have done for Lucy that day - and for us as Lucy's parents
When Jenny slid the adoption papers across the table, which were pre-printed in Sean's name with a signature line for him, we realized Jenny had also made a line on the paper for Lucy to sign
Jenny turned to Lucy as Sean signed his name and said
Lucy, I'm also going to need your signature as you're paying the fee and Harley is your responsibility
Lucy, with her head held high, beamed as she signed her name with the flick of her pen
By the time we left, everyone knew Harley was going home to a house with lots of love for her to live out her final days because as Lucy said
Hey! We all gotta die sometime and it should be in a house full of love......
Welcome to the family Harley Girl

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