In our 20’s, we were pretty broke. Like, really broke. We lived a paycheck to paycheck sort of life and sometimes, you couldn’t even really call it that because there were times, paycheck to paycheck didn’t cut it. There was definitely a time or two where we had to get help from family to pay our power bill. That being said, we both knew that someday, we’d get some animals but had no business doing so until we could afford them & all that went with them, including vet bills. Our 30’s have been kinder to us, we both have decent jobs & our financial situation is much improved!
Over the last couple of years, I would occasionally check out who was available for adoption on the local humane society web site & regularly made jokes about getting a pet but it never went beyond the joke.
Until May 8th!
I was sitting on the couch in our living room, doing something on the laptop… I can’t remember what but it was probably pet related because I said, “Let’s get a cat.” Much to my surprise, Rob said okay… Part of me wondered (& still wonders) if he was calling my bluff but I decided to embrace this opportunity and that day, we brought a cat into our lives! It was a new “first” for us, because obviously, this was our first pet together so that was really exciting, and after nearly 10 years together, we don’t have many “firsts” anymore.
We knew we wanted to adopt (adopt, don’t shop) so we looked at the humane society web site again, and saw some adorable options but went in completely open minded, with no specific breed, color, etc., in mind. The one thing I knew I wanted was an adult cat, knowing it can be challenging for them to find homes because so many people want kittens. Kittens are wonderful but so are grown up cats!There were a few cats that stood out to us, including Snickers, who was primarily white with some orange markings & much larger than his online picture led us to believe! There was also Angela, a sweet, solid black, four year old with a name I would have kept. Then Tony… just so sweet and friendly with black & white markings. I wish we could have adopted all of them and I hope they all found excellent homes. I feel guilty about any animals we don’t adopt, like I could potentially be allowing them to end up somewhere terrible by not choosing them. I think of Snickers sometimes, because he really didn’t show much personality when we met him but I think the poor cat was traumatized. I hope he is happy & loved, wherever he is.
As you can tell, I had a handful of cats on my mind, the three listed above, along with a gray tabby named Georgetta. Actually, I really wanted everyone in the room but had pretty much narrowed it down to those four! Indecisiveness is not usually an issue for me, but became one when it came to choosing a cat! I refused to even go into the room where the dogs stay! It was a simple decision for Rob though. We walked by Georgetta and she came right up to us & was so sweet & had the cutest little face! I’ve had tabby’s before & know from experience what wonderful personalities they have. Rob had never had a tabby but always heard great things about them & liked the ones he’s met in the past and the idea of adopting a tabby really appealed to him. We played with her through the little cage and she was just adorable. Rob was instantly sold on her and that helped us make a selection. The room was filling with people and Rob decided we needed to go apply for her adoption NOW so we left the room, arranged to meet & hopefully adopt her (first come, first serve basis for meeting) and we got there in time. When we had the chance to meet her outside her little cage, the cuteness and sweetness continued. She was “kneading” the air which, according the woman doing the introductions, is the sign of a happy cat. So we fell in love with her. It’s fortunate we moved so quickly on it, because before they even brought her out to meet us, other people were already showing interest in her. We won, though!
Once we decided to adopt her, we started discussing names. I think Rob wanted to take some time to give it some thought and talk about it but I’m impatient. The one thing we agreed on from the start is, Georgetta was not her name. It didn’t suit her. We kicked around a few options & I suggested Amelia. I threw it out and at first, it was a maybe for Rob but we ended up agreeing on it. He likes names related to Greek mythology, so he suggested names such as Athena. I do like the name Athena, but I didn’t think it was the right fit for her either. She was small and cute so she needed a soft name, so Amelia it was! I asked him if he liked it spelled with an E or an A better and he chose the E, so Amelia became Emilia. To be honest, I prefer the A spelling but that’s alright!
Since she came from the humane society, she’d already had some basic care, including treatment for ear mites, some of her shots & had been spayed. People don’t realize it but it’s cheaper to afford a cat from the humane society, coming with all these things already taken care of, than it is to get a cat elsewhere and then pay for these things individually. Since she was the first cat in our adulthood together, it was nice to have a list of things she’d already had done and a list of upcoming things she would need, simplifying everything for us. This was quite the learning opportunity! She was just on the verge of adulthood, her age being estimated at just over a year. I was planning on going for a cat who was around maybe 5 or so, but Emilia was meant to be ours so that happened instead.
To this day, the car is not Emilia’s favorite place to be. Naturally, she was a little scared on the car ride home from the humane society, with strangers, in a box, in a moving car heading who knows where, so she meowed the entire ride. Once we got home, we carried the box straight into our bathroom to let her out, curious as to how it was going to go. It could not have gone smoother! We opened the box, she popped her little head out, looked around curiously and climbed right out. She was affectionate and felt at home right from the start! It wasn’t flawless but she loved us & bonded with us pretty much right away. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect cat. They say to gradually let your new cat explore, allowing them access to only one room at a time, which is great advice, but she was so happy to be with us that we allowed her a little more freedom. We closed the bedroom doors but let her roam through the main part of our home and it all worked out.
The humane society said she was a stray who was surrendered. Maybe, but we think she’d been exposed to people because she is so social with humans and she’s been just fine living with us as an indoor cat. I wonder if someone decided they just didn’t want a cat after all or maybe something happened to her owner? Or maybe she was a stray who just happened to have a great personality? She meowed endlessly in the beginning and we would soon find out that she was suffering from an ear infection so maybe a previous owner couldn’t handle the constant meows?
Anyway, on May 8th, 2019, our lives changed forever!
This is my all time favorite picture of her.
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