Saturday, 5 January 2013

Soft kitty, which kitty?

Today, we're going to an animal sanctuary to choose a feline to live with us for what could potentially be the next 20 years. I'm not so secretly hoping the cat chooses us! It's not like you can interview for the position of house cat or can you?

Our landlord has kindly allowed us to keep a feline & Norngirl has bought all we need (except food and cat litter which we're waiting to get once we know what the cat we get is used to). It was a lovely surprise sprung on me at Christmas by Norngirl who had plotted to make my hopes of one day keeping a pet cat a reality.

I grew up with cats around me and I think they're one of the most majestic creatures on the planet. The independence and self sufficiency of a wildcat entwined with the calmer nature of a domesticated animal is as brilliant a combination for a pet as I think you can get.

Though I guess how great a pet is all depends on why you want to look after it...
It's an odd one, in human history pets are really just a strange result of our historical dependency on domesticating animals to help us. Though these days, around this part of the world, you still get the likes of guide dogs, sniffer dogs and the odd foodstuff guarding-rodent catching cat, keeping such animals has spiraled away from their working past because we no longer need them to help with the tasks they were originally kept for. They now add to our own life experience by their very presence and companionship. Even keeping goldfish had a calming influence so it’s probably not a shocker to want to look after an animal that responds to being stroked with a soothing purr, is soft and warm, can be playful and carefree but also affectionate and sociable. And yes, sure there is the smelly cat litter, the damaged furniture, the random medical conditions, the life span that will see you out live your cat… but those things pale in comparison to the positives a pet can bring. Not to mention the extra responsibility which might be a well needed kick in the right direction.

So the big question I have is how do you pick a cat over another? You can't ask them if they'd like to live in your house so I guess you have to hope you can earn their trust. Thankfully it sounds like we’re going to get a little help in finding the right feline friend. I’m told that at the shelter they ask you to answer lots of questions so they can try and pair your household up with an animal suitable for your situation. My best guess is we’ll adopt a house cat, short haired, older than a year old and hopefully friendly. Even if we do find the perfect kitty this weekend, we'll not be bringing it home until the weekend after but it’s still all very exciting!

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