Wednesday, July 27, 2005
The kitty on the left is my buddy Abbott. On the right is his brother, Costello, naturally (he's Wendy's cat). We adopted them nearly 11 months ago from the Jersey Animal Coalition. JAC sponsor a pet adoption day every month in Maplewood, and recently built their own facility in South Orange.
Anyway, A & C weighed around 2.5 pounds each when we got them - they were 7 weeks old and had been found on the street by a JAC volunteer. I wanted a cat because they're a lot easier to care for than a dog - no walking and you can leave a kitty over night and they'll be fine. Of course, I had forgotten that kittens tend to be frisky and Abbott quickly managed to climb behind the fridge, into the back portion, and get stuck up there. After I extracted him, he tried to climb back there again.
No matter, though. I got Abbott because I was feeling a bit lonely living by myself for the first time, and he quickly dispelled all of that. He would sit by the door and wait for me at the end of the day, following me from room to room meowing, as though telling me what he had done while I was out. And unlike the cats I had growing up, he liked being picked up and carried around. He's also become an expert bug catcher, slaying and eating all manner of icky bugs that get into the house. One day a couple of weeks ago, I came home late and saw him sitting in my bedroom window. "Abbott?" I called. "Meow! Meeeeooooowwwww!" he wailed. "Hold on, I'm coming." "Meeeooowww!" He was sitting patiently by the door when I entered. It's easy to see why people anthropomorphise animals when they act like this.
I tell this story for one main reason - having a pet has been good for my soul, if you believe in such things, and at the very least it's great practice to have another creature dependent upon you. I know it can be tempting to get a purebred dog or cat- you have the benefit of knowing more of their history and hey, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are beautiful dogs. I, myself, am partial to bulldogs (because, like me, they're rather lazy and would prefer a nap to exercise) and Irish Wolfhounds (very sweet-natured and ginormous). But I've come to the conclusion that if and when I am able to get a dog, or a kitty companion for Abbott, it would, without a doubt, have to be an animal from a shelter like JAC. There are just too many dogs and cats who need and are deserving of a good home.
Check out the happy endings page of JAC (A & C are listed there!) and if you are in a position to adopt, please consider it.