Back in 2003 I decided to get a cat of my own. I knew I wanted to adopt an adult cat from the Humane society instead of a kitten, but at that point I wasn’t quite sure what I was
looking for. So, I logged onto the Ojai Humane Society website and scrolled through the pictures of the cats for adoption and there she was…my cat. I knew from that moment she was the one for me. Her name was Bailey and she’d been at there for almost two years. The next day I went to go meet Bailey for the first time and make sure that she was the cat for me.
I walked into the cat room and was instantly surrounded by loving, cuddling, cats of all sizes and colors; and there was my Bailey…curled up in a corner, all by herself, looking slightly terrified as I approached her. Bailey was not a cuddling cat, in fact, she really didn’t seem to like people at all. So, what did I do? I adopted her. I can’t really explain why, just that I saw it in her eyes that she needed someone to love her, to care for her, and to give her a home where she could feel safe. I think to this day, I’m convinced it was her eyes that sealed the deal.
As we finalized everything; the ladies working at the Humane Society warned me that Bailey was a “suspected” abuse case who had taken over a year to rehabilitate, just to the point that she could even be adoptable. I was told that she was very skittish and that she took a LONG time to warm up to people and to be sure that this was what I wanted. Even my family kept asking me if I didn’t want a more “social” cat. But, there is a special place for everyone and I know that Bailey’s place was with me.
It took well over three years for Bailey to become fully comfortable and be able to socialize with anyone but me and to this day people often tease me about how “moody” and “unfriendly” my cat is….in fact, some people don’t even know I have a cat, because she has a tendency to hide out whenever company is over. But, when the house is quiet and it’s just her and I; she’s my little princess and she’s the sweetest, most loving cat I’ve ever known; often curling up with me to watch tv, or sitting in my lap while I’m on the computer.
And even now a days, with a rambunctious toddler running around the house; Bailey sits perched on top of the couch (just out of reach) and watches over all of us. She’s incredibly patient with my son’s attempts at learning to “pet the kitty gently” and she follows him around from time to time intently curious of whatever mischief he’s getting into.
I feel so blessed that my town has a no kill shelter that gives animals like Bailey a second chance at life, because I’m sure if you asked her, she’d say she’s loving her life quite a lot these days and even though it took two years for me to find her…it was worth the wait.
-Courtesy of Lauren Snyder
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