The Nine stages of Adopting a Cat

1) For 10 years you’ve been praying for a homeless kitten to turn up in your backyard. You’ve seen the videos on Facebook and assumed it would happen to you too. Even though your much-pined for orphan kitten never showed up, you’ve decided…. you are ready to become a cat-parent. And that cat shall be an orange tabby called Milo.

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2) It’s only been one day since you decided to get a cat and you’ve already amassed an impressive collection of toys, scratch posts and cat tipis. You won’t have enough money for food this week, but damn you are proud. You don’t even know where that automatic red-light laser toy came from (with the swivelling top and four settings), but it’s there, waiting.

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3) Now that you have a red laser toy, it’s only a matter of time before you welcome the new addition to your home, so you call up your parents and let them know they are going to become grandfurparents. Once they confirm they will cuddle/feed/play with Milo when you are away, you know it’s time.

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4) Bristling with anticipation and starry-eyed with excitement, you start the search. Your mind explodes. There are at least 2,849 orange tabby cats on the “pet rescue” site. Not to mention the thousands of orange tabby’s on Facebook… they all look so damn similar! 

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5) After spending hours on the internet scrolling through pages and pages of cats up for adoption, you decide your future furbaby will be the oldest orange tabby you can find, or the most unlovable one missing an eye, because you will make him feel loved!

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6) To your immense relief, you discover the local shelter is only 2.56kms away. Surely, surely there will be an orange tabby there. And if not, you have a plan. You’ll walk in and the first cat that meows/bites you will be the one. You are all about the signs.

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7) You pop over to the shelter, but it’s closed. Of course. It’s 10 pm on a weekend.

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8) And it’s a good thing they were closed. You forgot there’s a thing called “cat poo”, and you’ll be the hooman cleaning it up. You make a list for gloves, a poopy scoop thing, disinfectant, scented kitty litter, scented kitty-litter liners, scented room spray that is non-toxic for cats, a high-rimmed cat tray, a cat tracking mat and lots of disposable anti-bacterial wipes for when the poo lands on the ceiling. Because that shit will happen.

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9) The next day you open your front door. Felix, a fluffy 10-pound grey nomad, is lounging on your doorstep. This is your new cat.

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29 thoughts

  1. Ha ha – so true! Cats adopt us, rather than the other way around, sometimes. I adopted Rosie my 9 year old tabby cat when she was 3. I went online to find a cat and in the end, I chose Rosie for her suitability with small children and took a punt when I learnt she had suffered some gut troubles. The interesting thing for me is that like myself, she is allergy prone, and so the rescue cat which should have cost $85 to purchase ended up costing me a couple of thousand in her first year. So glad she has thrived since. Although my husband would rather not admit it, she is very much part of the family!

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  2. I don’t have to wait or go to a shelter. There are so many feral cats and kittens out there. With me, it’s the opposite problem: Feral cats leaping in the window, when I don’t have enough money to feed them all. All started with a sick kitten whom I had to take home, or she wouldn’t have survived. And then I got attached and decided to keep her, and then the other cats smelling the cats’ food and leaping in through the window, and I fed them because they were hungry. And now I have to close the window so I won’t end up feeding a dozen cats with money I barely have…

    But I love my four cats. I’m crazy about them, and I know I’d made the right decision in keeping them. They make me happy, and they’re happy because they finally got a good home.

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  3. Came across your article. Love it!
    I will use this as a spurce of information for my blog.
    In my story, one of my characters gets a pet kitten.
    Thank you so much for writing this!

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  4. I’ve got so many cats now that I fear that in the event I get any more there is a real possibility that I’ll be labeled a pet hoarder. I didn’t intend to get them all, but they just kept showing up, and who could turn down someone that just wanted love.

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  5. My neighbours have a beautiful long haired grey cat but they kicked him out when they got the labradoodle because the dog hates him 😦 now there’s the moral dilemma of whether it’s stealing if they don’t look after him anyway…

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    1. No it’s not. They’ve kicked him out, and he needs a loving home.
      And what kind of people kick out a loving pet when they get a new one? They aren’t like kids’ toys. ‘Oh, a new toy! I’ll just forget my old ones.’
      And what’s a ‘labradoodle’ but simply a crossbreed (mongrel?) with a fancy name?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never been able to understand people who leave their animals behind when they move (or kick them out, which seems even more heartless because they’ll be able to witness the trauma everyday?) It’s so… cruel. It’s not that hard to hand your animals into a shelter, you may be judged and it may cost some money, but it’s for the well-being of a little soul that has come to rely on you totally and completely. So sad.

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      2. I know 😦 he’s such a lovely cat too. Very friendly and sociable. It’s a real shame. We’ve reported them to the RSPCA a couple times but there was nothing they could do 😦

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  6. It’s also quite close to the process of summoning a familiar. You go through the ritual, cast the spell and what shows up is not necessarily what was expected or hoped for. Either way, it is usually a good thing 🙂

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  7. We moved from the neighborhood where I did TNR, and adopted out the kittens who were young enough to socialize (keeping several ourselves along the way.) Thought we were done with that in our new neighborhood. But I couldn’t walk past the frantic mews… orange tabby kitten was rescued out of a Chevy van engine. The Cat Network knows!!!

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  8. We found a stray giving birth to kittens in our compost bin last year. She now shows up semi-regularly for food and petting. Wisp is definitely not interested in living indoors (at least yet) but we have a heated shelter for her on our deck. And have paid for her shots, sterilization, flea meds etc.

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