Before Susie, we had never owned a cat before. Never. Both my husband and I grew up in homes with dogs, and although we both love dogs, he really wanted to experience owning a cat.
Little did we know that Susie would come to own us.
To start the story off, I'll be completely honest in saying I never wanted a cat. Ever. I wasn't a cat person. But we cannot own dogs in the place we are, so I did what most wives eventually end up doing when your manchild won't drop something. I gave in. Of course I presented him with a list of things that he would have to do. Because I wasn't.
We mulled for days over where to find a kitten - I myself am kind of allergic to cats, therefore we were searching for "hypoallergenic cats". All of which were provinces away, and we were looking at a lot more $$ than we wanted to spend. I'm talking thousands (we live pretty far out). We wanted a kitten so we could experience the whole thing, but we were both a little hesitant in the maintenance kittens require (not to mention the trouble they can get into). Ironically my friend had a kitten at the time we were searching, and while visiting her while her kitten was particularly excited, we both decided that maybe this wasn't for us - I was terrified and my husband wasn't much better. Maybe we didn't have what it takes to be "cat parents".
Obviously you know where this is going, but at this point we had kind of stopped looking. I convinced my husband that it wasn't the best time, and if it happened, it happened. We weren't going to shop online for pets that lived halfway across the country.
I was bored at work one afternoon, and as a staff member we're allotted an hour break to do whatever we want/need to. I usually just sit in my office and eat lunch, but on this day I said screw it; I'm going to the shelter. Why I decided this, I will never know. It's awful, I know, but I generally stay away from shelters because I'm such a soft hearted person, I find it hard to even be in such an environment.
I walked in on a bad time - dinner time. I'm going to admit that growing up I had somewhat of a fear of cats (and not just because doctors proved I was allergic to them). I don't know why, I mean growing up and never owning one or being around one would probably do it, but I was not even interested in opening any cages or holding them when it was so loud in there. (Throw some anxiety into the mix, and you have one extremely uncomfortable person).
Anyways, I just kind of stood in the middle of this room with all these kitties meowing and crying while the vet worked her way around distributing food, and I'm pretty sure she could tell I was uncomfortable. About ready to break down and get the heck out of there - I spotted her.
A tiny little cat, who was supposedly a year old (though I still think she was much younger), came into view. It was like a mission, I swear it was the weirdest experience of my life, and I swallowed my fear enough to get eye level with her cage (she was in the very bottom left corner). She was sitting on a little mat, and her belly was shaved. I just knew she needed to be loved. It was total Mom instinct.
When I finally worked the nerve up to open her cage (all the while trying to not look like a terrified idiot in front of the vet), she didn't move. Not even an inch - she just looked at me with her huge green eyes. It was like she was terrified too, and I'm not sure what clicked inside me, but I wanted to hold a cat for the first time in my life.
After another few minutes of coaxing both her and myself, I was holding her. And gosh, she laid her head down on my shoulder and that was it. I was gone. I didn't want to put her down, I didn't want to go back to work. I couldn't leave her - she needed me. I can't ever remember making a life changing decision so quickly - I overthink and analyze EVERYTHING.
Turns out that they're pretty easygoing when it comes to giving cats new homes - I was expecting to fill out papers and wait until I was approved or something (I didn't know anything I never did this before), but when I walked out of the cage room with her still in my arms, asking when I could come back to get her, they offered me a box to take her home in.
In a frenzy - all the while this cat was laying in my arms totally content and purring the whole time - I called my boss and told her an emergency came up. I needed to go home, everything was okay but I needed to leave work. My boss is so easy going, and before I knew it, I had named this cat Susie and we were driving home together.
The drive home was more than stressful - it consisted of Susie crying the whole way, scratching to get out of the travel box we had to put her in, and I accompanied her with the tears. I cried the whole twenty minute drive home along with the new cat. I was panicked that I now had something living and breathing I needed to take care of, I was terrified that I wouldn't even be able to live in my own house with my fear of cats, but most importantly I was scared that she was hurting. I was horrified at the idea that she would hate me when I got her home and out of this box.
Susie, though, she's a champ. As soon as I got the box into the house and opened it up, she looked up at me. She didn't even jump or run or try to hide. She just sat contentedly in her box staring up at me with those huge soulful eyes. Immediately I picked her up and it's pretty much history from there. I think we saved each other, that day.
PS: Husband + Cat / Freak Out = Puuurfect