Gus: The Cat That Never Was

About two months ago we almost got a kitten. He was light grey with green eyes, fluffy fur and short little ears and small whiskers. The shelter had called him Goyle. After one visit, we named him Gus.  We were too late to adopt him that day because the shelter was closing. “Come back at 1pm tomorrow with this form filled out” they said, “You have a really good shot”. Matt skipped work to hand in our form. We were both so confident our the kitten would be coming home with us.

Turns out there was about 16 other applicants who were all shining stars. We did not get Gus. Goyle went to another home. I couldn’t hold it in, tears were spilling at work. For those who know me, this isn’t anything new. I’m a literal emotional rollercoaster and cry when I see cute dog birthday cards.

But I was distraught. I held it in long enough until I got home. The waterworks started, and I was a faucet. I could not stop crying. Matt couldn’t comfort me. I was behind my walls of protection, lost in my own world. I know this was an extreme reaction, but (at the time) I had no idea where it was coming from. Note: in a later post, I’ll share all about my anxiety which elicits these extreme reactions!!!! :))))))))

I eventually calmed down and Matt and I talked. I just want to applaud him for being the super trooper he is. I didn’t know what to say at first because I didn’t even know what was going on. After some deliberation, I finally spoke. I don’t know what I actually said but this is what I wished I had said:

“I was so excited to get a kitten. I’ve always loved animals and wanted one of my own. I’m the type of person that falls hard and fast for anything and anyone. The idea of Gus warmed my heart and elevated my soul. It calmed down my anxiety just thinking that I would have something to take care of that wasn’t me. Taking care of an animal that needed me, that was a part of our little family.

Being away on exchange sucked so much because I was away from you and now that we’re living together, I want to make this a real home with a real family. Just think, if the idea of Gus calmed down my anxiety, imagine what having a real kitten in this house would do? I could focus on something other than the worries in my brain. I could love something and take care of something when I’m too far gone to take care of myself. He would’ve helped pull me out of my own little world.”

That night we went to a PetSmart, just to look. Matt didn’t realize how important this was to me until I voiced it (something I’m still working on). There were so many kittens and I was overwhelmed. Matt, ever the level-headed one, looked into this glass window where it looked like there were two cats napping on top of one another. We both really wanted to see what these cats looked like. We called the manager over and said we were interested in adopting.

He took us behind the glass and woke up with kittens. There were three! All siblings: one girl, two boys. The manager spoke about each lovingly. Matt and I both knew which one we wanted to hold and get to know without speaking. He was dark grey with a white stripe down his nose and four little white boots. Matt was a natural holding him. When it came to my turn, I was a little nervous. I had never had a pet before and I was coming to terms of what it meant to be a furever family. He stole my heart, this sweet, outgoing kitty.

To adopt, you had to be 21. I was about 21 days off. Matt signed the papers and I just kept my mouth shut. We blitzed through the store grabbing all the essentials. The store closed at 9pm and were adopting at 8:30pm. We were very lucky the manager was so kind. While we were shopping, the kitty was saying his goodbyes to his siblings. His sister was cleaning him lovingly and his brother was trying to play. It broke my heart tearing them a part. Again, Matt the level-headed one, quickly pointed out that we could not adopt three cats.

We needed cash for the actual adoption fee so that it went directly to Animal Love Foundation. I ran over to the nearest ATM and ran back. Within 15-20 minutes we had adopted a cat, got all of his belongings, and were in the car driving back home.

The kitty was in my lap in his carrier. His claws came out and scratched up my hands and stomach. I couldn’t blame him though, he was probably so nervous/scared. Sometimes I think what it must’ve been like. I wonder how many people held him wondering if they should adopt. I wonder who his parents are. I wonder if he misses his siblings. I wonder what it was like at the shelter. Most of all, I wonder if he’s happy or if he loves us. I know he does, but I still can’t help but wonder.

When we got home, he was full of energy and ready to explore. He had no problem coming out of his carrier and zipping around the house. He was an adventurer for about an hour before we could even touch him. We had set up his food, his litter, laid out all of his toys. Tried to give him a treat or two.

Eventually, he ate and came over to where Matt and I were sitting in the living room. He climbed up and down my legs, all over Matt’s stomach and back as he was lying down. He scratched us a few times playfully. He settled down and laid next to us. Then he purred, and it was the best thing I’ve ever heard. Everything was going to be alright.

Please check out https://www.animallovefoundation.org and consider adopting! It’ll change a life and yours.

Peace & Love.

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