||Two years old|
||Atlanta, Georgia, USA|
years ago this past September, I lost Prudence, the cat who had
been with me since I was 10 years old. Through adolescence, on into
college and adulthood, she was there for all the joys, tears, and
I mourned the loss of my "Gumbie cat" for four years. Finally, this
past fall, I was really emotionally ready to let a new friend into my
life, not to replace the previous one, but to have a new niche all her
own. I had decided that it was important that the new friend not look
like Prudence, so I thought I might go with a breed this time if the
opportunity presented itself, not that I'm breed conscious, I just
wanted to be fair to her memory.
I started looking, and looking... visited the Atlanta Humane
Society repeatedly, met a lot of cats, but none that "clicked" -- they
all seemed to lack personality.
After months of searching, at the beginning of January, I decided to
expand my area to surrounding shelters: Cobb, Gwinnett, and so on. I
started browsing web sites, and I connected with a wonderful volunteer
at the Gwinnett Animal Control Shelter, (which has one of the better
sites) and told her the several breeds I was looking for. We started
swapping cat stories via e-mail. I told her the several breeds I was
interested in, and she promised to keep her eyes out... I didn't
really expect anything to come of it for a while. We had a brief hope
with a Himalayan that came through, but by the time she could get to it
it already had three holds on it -- too late. Still, I told her that I
wanted to come by the shelter that Saturday anyway just to finally meet
her face to face and get the "grand tour."
What I really wanted was a Ragdoll, but I could not in good conscience
go to a breeder when there are so many animals who need homes, with a
grandmother who founded a Humane Society, and with Ragdolls being so
very expensive. Sometimes, things don't go your way, but sometimes they
do. That Saturday was one of those days. :)
I walked into the Shelter around 12:45, and introduced myself to the
volunteer I'd been in contact with, who had her name tag on. She was
shocked to see me, and so was the other volunteer with her, which didn't
make sense since she knew I was coming until I found out why:
She had one of my e-mail messages in her hand because she was going to
call me right then to come down. Why? Not 5 minutes earlier, someone
had come in to give up a Ragdoll mix! She saw it and said to herself "I
know somebody who wants this cat!" Now, in the years she's worked there,
she's only seen one come through, so the coincidence of this was pretty
amazing, but she couldn't put a hold on it because it was a give-up --
if I hadn't walked in right then (they hadn't even finished putting her
name tag on her cage) she would have been gone.
It was starting to feel like fate, but I'm cautious, and we had to do
the personality test. Well, she plopped in my lap and started purring,
even as stressed as she had to have been with the dogs barking nearby
and the recent car ride with her previous owner to the shelter! This
was a match, and I headed to the desk to sign the papers. She even
snoozed in the car on the way home.
I am not much for sentiment, I pride myself on reason and logic . . .
and yet, I can't help wondering if Prudence had a paw in this from
beyond the "Heaviside Layer." Don't really believe in fate, but this
feels like it was meant to be. Regardless, I feel truly blessed and very
grateful for having Annsa in my life -- that's her new name, by the way.
It's Scottish Gaelic for "beloved," which she certainly is.
If you want to look at Gwinnett's site for yourself, it's at
Friends of the Shelter.
One clarification: it's
run by Friends of the Shelter, a volunteer group that helps care for the
animals and assists Gwinnett Animal Control. The Friends are great --
the Animal Control part is not so great -- the process of adoption is
typical bureaucracy and is not streamlined -- I have a few suggestions
for 'em -- but it is worth it, and unfortunately, you'll go through the
red tape anywhere. But there are many responsibilities to caring for a
companion, and these little hurdles are just a few more. They're
annoying, but negligible -- don't let it discourage you from finding
your "true love" and giving an animal that would otherwise be killed a
Through a combination of technology, a volunteer's dedication, and a lot
of luck, I found mine, and hope you find yours, if you haven't already.
Find out how your pet
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