I never meant to adopt another cat. It didn’t make financial sense to adopt another cat. I was just starting to recover financially from years of caring for two sick senior cats. Sneakers was low maintenance, low cost. Sneakers, Mamma and Little Black were enough responsibility for me. Sure there were times when I thought Sneakers might enjoy having a furry friend, but there were just as many times when I figured he would be scared out of his mind with a new cat. So best to leave things as they were. Just me and Sneakers.
Then Fuzzy George walked into my life. To be more precise, he was delivered into my life in a cat carrier with several other cats. The veterinarian office I work at has close ties to one of the local shelters. The shelter was going through some transitions and didn’t have room to admit any more cats. They were scheduled to get some cats transferred from a high kill animal control down state. The shelter was told to take the cats or they would be put down. So my boss took the cats into the vet office. We took in two young, healthy “highly adoptable” male cats. There was also a mom cat with her little of new born babies.
Fuzzy George, then known simply as George, was one of those “highly adoptable” healthy young male cats. It soon became clear that he had an old injury to his left shoulder. He then came down with a kitty cold. Me being the sucker that I am, quickly fell in love with the boys. Mom and kittens went to a co-worker’s house for fostering. Over the two months that Fuzzy George and Tony stayed with us, it became clear that Fuzzy George was anything but a healthy, highly adoptable cat.
Fuzzy George had to be completely sedated for his first exam. He had a fractured scapula which made him walk funny. Fuzzy George liked to bite people. He got highly overstimulated in a short period of time, with little to no warning. The doctor half jokingly said he had brain damage; only half jokingly. The consensus was that he got hit by a vehicle and got the injury to his shoulder and possibly some brain damage. He sometimes sat with a weird, lost look in his eyes. It was like he checked out.
Having worked with many difficult cats over the years, I dedicated my lunches to sitting with Fuzzy George. He would immediately jump into my lap for attention. I pet him until he got overstimulated (as in I petted him, he got overstimulated and we stopped. It didn’t take much. He was starved for direct attention).
I played with him.Slowly this cat sucked me in. I thought perhaps he just needed more attention. After all we are a veterinarian’s office, not a shelter; while he was not neglected, he certainly didn’t get the attention he wanted. I also thought he might be getting overstimulated from seeing all the other cats coming through. We moved him to an office and he became a scared, timid beasty for a few days before blossoming.
He was still a super overstimulated cat. Sometimes he would go from 0 to 6o in the blink of an eye. Perhaps he was TOO stimulated in the office I thought. It did face the parking lot and we were right off a busy street. Time went on and it grew closer to the day George was to go to the shelter. I was heart broken. I couldn’t let him go. I was so worried about him. He begged for attention, then went to bite the first instant a hand came near him. How was he ever going to get adopted?
Knowing the shelter he was going to, I knew he would have a home there as long as he needed. As wonderful as it is for needy cats, a shelter is no place for a cat to live long term. I knew George would end up living in an office or a “condo” for the rest of his life. People would admire him. Some may come to visit him. And he would try to bite them all. Perhaps he would do better in a home. Who would take a cat like George though?
Who would take a cat like George? Someone who named a kitty before even bringing him home. Someone who was willing to give up lunch breaks to socialize a scared cat. Someone who tolerates biting while working to teach against biting. In other words, George was coming home with me. I just had to convince my parents.