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Sunday, May 7, 2017

12 pounds of energy

On the chilly, rainy night of December 2nd of this past year, I decided that it was time to bring some more life into the house.   I officially adopted Jasmine and Grace.   How did I end up with these two mischievous little furballs?   It was an easy decision for me.   I kept my question for the Summit Humane Society pretty simple.  “Who’s been tough to adopt and needs a home?”   
Coming home, but not real sure about all of this
These two cats have an interesting story.   They were brought to the Summit Humane Society when they were only 3 weeks old or so.   Both of them had severe upper respiratory infections also.   As kittens, they spent most of the time getting poked, prodded, tested, or having yucky medicines given to them.   Because of this, they look at humans as giant needle sticking, disgusting medicine giving monsters.   By the time they were healthy enough to go up for adoption, they were no longer cute kittens, but now cats.    
Not only were they not the cute and cuddly furballs, but they were scared of humans.   The caretakers at the Humane Society did wonderful things for the girls, but Jazzy and Grace aren’t really so sure of that though.   People would come in, hang out in the visiting room with the girls, and they would just hide in the corner.   It’s this unfortunate reaction that made most people say “I’m just not feeling it with these two”.   
When I started to think about adopting cats again, I started to think about what type of cat I wanted.   What their personality would be like and how they would interact with me.   I looked back to a cat that I had for 13 years before named Rocket.   She was amazing.   She always greeted me at the door.   She was always ready for dinnertime.   She was always by my side.   “Yes….that’s what I want again!”
I realized that is the cat that everyone wants.   That is the cat that gets adopted right away.   I started to ponder my position in things and I felt that I should be taking on a challenge.   I should be learning something new and different.  I should be doing something that’s going to be a change and force me to change.   I have the capability, so I should be the one to adapt.   As soon as I was told about Jasmine and Grace, I knew that they were the ones that we going to come home to teach me.   
For the first 3 weeks, they never left my home office.   2 litter boxes.   2 food dishes.   2 water bowls, and about 10 times more room than they’ve ever had.   I could almost see the “OMG this is scary big!” looks on their faces when they finally ventured out of the cat carrier.   When I started to open up other areas of the house, Grace started out as the brave one.   Unfortunately, that was short lived as she made it to the living room before hiding under an end table and refusing to move...for 24 hours.   Once she got back to the office (with some assistance and me earning a few scratches for my efforts), it was 2 more weeks before she decided to venture out again.   
The first 5-6 weeks were tough on all of us.   I wanted to encourage them to get out of the office and explore the rest of the house.   My presence usually only scared them into hiding.   I wanted to show them some of the neat things to climb on.   I wanted to show them all of the room that they now had to run around in.    They sat huddled in the corner together.   
Sometimes they just creep on me while I workout in the morning.
It’s been 5 months now that Irving and I have had the two new housemates, and we’ve both learned a lot.   Irving has learned that cats turn quicker than he does….especially before a wall.   He’s also learned that cat claws are ouchie if you get in the cats face too much.   For me, there’s been a few lessons involved.  

  1. Patience.   Sometimes, we need to do things on our own schedules.   Pushing someone is good, but know when to let them work on their own.
  2. Adapting.   When I adopted these two, I thought “it’s cats. I’ve done this before”.   These two cats are a whole different ball game.   I’ve had to adapt my thinking to fit them specifically.   We’ve all benefited from their ability to get me to do that.
  3. Comfort.   I went a bit outside of my comfort zone when getting these two.   Normal cats are wonderful creatures.   Watching these two do what they do has made me laugh, learn, and think more than a “normal” cat would.   These two are the classic case of “Step outside of your comfort zone if you want to learn”.  
Anytime is playtime.   Especially 3:00 AM

Jasmine and Grace were at the shelter for 500 days.   They’ve been here for only 156 so far.   I still haven’t been able to pet Jasmine and I can only pet Grace when she’s got her face in her food dish.    I’m ok with that.   These two have made this place home.   I’m glad that they are willing to share it with Irving and I along with many, many lessons that they have in store for us.