Jun 16, 2013

National Adopt a Cat Month

I know it seems like every day is "national" something. We've had sibling day, donut day and so many other ones lately I can't even keep track. June, however, is important because it's National Adopt a Cat Month. I'm pretty sure I came into the world as a "cat person". Nikki, our all white with a pink nose cat, was the first to greet me when my parents brought me home from the hospital. Then later, as a toddler, I shared a stroller with Buckwheat, a cute little tabby-cat kitten who was the last of the litter and was being given away at a local mall. My mom couldn't leave him, so we brought him home. Buckwheat and I spent eighteen years together.

As you can see, cats are an integral part of my life since the beginning. I've volunteered at local shelters and it's so disheartening to see full litters of kittens just dropped off or older cats who've lost their forever homes because of death or lack of families ability to take care of them. After seeing first hand how many cats are homeless, there is no way I could ever buy an animal. When you rescue an animal, you truly are saving their life. You've taken them out of a potentially harmful situation and you've brought them into your home to love them and care for them.

My third year of college, I spent a particular Saturday at an animal shelter with my at the time boyfriend. I told myself we were going to tour the facilities and sign up as volunteers, but as soon as we walked in my heart was pulled in a different direction. They had some pretty hefty rules, which didn't allow us to adopt (you had to be 25 and own your own home to adopt), but for some reason I couldn't let it go.

So, we drove to Petsmart, which happened to be having an adopt a cat day (coincidence?), but I didn't get my hopes up too much because of the strict rules. Then, I saw him.
Joey (formerly known as Alex) caught my attention and I knew I couldn't leave without him. I remember he rolled over on his back and just looked at me. We took him in a back room to see how he was with us and he just sat on my lap and let me pet him, his little heart was racing and his hemingway toes were too cute to pass up. That day, eight month old, Joey Alexander came home with me and now, five years later I still can't imagine how his family could have ever surrendered him.

There are certain things he's afraid of and it just breaks my heart that anyone could have harmed him in any way. He is deathly scared of brooms and vacuums. He cowers and then runs and hides if he ever has a hairball and he hardly ever purrs. He is, however, much like a dog. He greets me at the laundry room door when I get home everyday. He does "tricks" for treats and he begs from the table.
Lifeguard on Duty
If you glean one thing from reading this blog — adopt. There are far too many animals out there that don't have homes, are abused and just need someone to love them. Go to a local shelter and adopt the next member of your family.

If you have adopted or do after this post, I'd love to see your pictures. You can email them to me at erikabennettblog@gmail.com and I'll feature them in a follow up post.

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